Work to start in ’05 under latest Bair Chase plan
After numerous fits and starts, a proposed development on the 281-acre Sanders Ranch between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs got closer to moving forward Monday. Now called the Bair Chase Subdivision at Sanders Ranch, the project received approval to amend its planned unit development preliminary plan at Monday’s Garfield County commissioners meeting. This isn’t the first time Sanders Ranch, a large chunk of open land just south of Cattle Creek off Highway 82, has been considered for development. In 2000, local citizens turned out by the hundreds to protest an enormous residential and commercial development, which proposed packing 500 houses and 700,000 feet of commercial space on land where a ranch house, two metal barns, a wooden barn, a wooden shed and a cinder block garage now sit. County commissioners voted down that proposal in the spring of 2000.A less impactful version of Sanders Ranch was proposed in 2001. It included 230 homes, no commercial development, and a private golf course.That version also included a 54-acre conservation easement, keeping land along the Roaring Fork River and Cattle Creek free of development. Commissioners approved the 2001 plan. In 2002, developers fine-tuned the PUD, naming it the Bair Chase Golf and Rod Club, after the former owners of the ranch, Elmer Bair and Clyde Chase.In 2003, Bair Chase’s developers – which included Jim Wells, who attended Monday’s meeting – set back construction on the subdivision’s residential component until June 2004 by submitting a new preliminary plan. That plan called for infrastructure for 21 single-family homes to begin in June, and construction on 23 affordable housing units to begin last month.At Monday’s commissioners meeting, Garfield County Building and Planning Department director Mark Bean recommended approving amendments to Bair Chase’s PUD, contingent on more than a dozen conditions outlined by the Garfield County Planning Commission. The conditions include obtaining a flood plain permit through the county and providing a weed management plan to the county. Under the new amended plan, construction of the affordable housing portion of the development, called the Sopris Multi-family district, is set to begin the summer of 2005, and completed by the fall of 2006. Construction of the golf course, clubhouse and lodging units are scheduled to follow. Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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