Westbank residents tee off on Ironbridge golf policy
Post Independent Staff
Ironbridge Golf Course has landed in an unexpected sand trap, after Garfield County Planning and Zoning commissioners questioned its policy on limiting public tee times.
Westbank subdivision residents brought up the private club’s tee time policy during an Aug. 13 public hearing for Ironbridge’s application to amend its planned unit development zoning (PUD) and subdivision preliminary plan.
The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval for both applications, which the Garfield County commissioners must consider within 60 days.
“I expect it to go to the commissioners in October,” said Garfield County planner Mark Bean.
Westbank and Ironbridge sit north and south of each other along the Roaring Fork River between Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, but it took 25 years and several developers for them to hook up.
Westbank was established with a nine-hole golf course in the early 1970s. Ironbridge developers bought out the golf course component of Westbank in the late 1990s, improved the course, and built an additional nine holes, which opened this year.
Ironbridge, which the Garfield County commissioners approved in the late 1990s as the Rose Ranch PUD, is in the early stages of selling 292 residential lots around the new nine holes.
A “significant component”
The original Westbank golf course was open to the public, although it was privately owned.
That policy changed when Ironbridge bought out the Westbank course, added its own holes, and turned the new 18-hole course into a private facility.
Westbank residents were offered discounted memberships to the new Ironbridge course, but public tee times for non-members were limited to six a week, for a total of 24 golfers.
When Ironbridge announced its public tee time policy last December, Westbank resident Warren Wright said the original Rose Ranch developers said in public hearings there would be a “significant component” for public play.
At the Aug. 13 meeting, some Garfield County Planning and Zoning Commission members argued six tee times was not a significant component. They also said the tee time issue is fair game for discussion because the Ironbridge developers are amending the original application.
“I think all issues are open for discussion when they come back for an amendment,” said commission member Christina Chapin after the meeting.
The Westbank Homeowners Association asked for 35 public tee times in an Aug. 1 letter to the Garfield County Planning and Zoning Commission.
Ironbridge representatives could not be reached for comment.
The Westbank Homeowners Association letter also detailed a list of six concerns about Ironbridge, including a strip of land behind their homes being used for golf course vehicles, golf course maintenance, and petroleum storage.
Westbank Homeowners Association President John Haines said he plans to attend the County Commission meeting when the Ironbridge amendments are discussed.
Ironbridge’s proposed amendments include relocation of a pedestrian trail, reconfiguring the affordable housing component, and changing the names of some streets, according to plans filed with the Garfield County planning department.
Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534
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