New ideas proposed for Gypsum’s Saddle Ridge | VailDaily.com
Pam Boyd
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New ideas proposed for Gypsum’s Saddle Ridge

This aerial photo shows the Red Table Ventures property, located south of the Eagle County Regional Airport.

GYPSUM — The new owner of a 170-acre parcel located just south and east of the Eagle County Airport floated development ideas before the Gypsum Town Council this week — ideas that include an upscale RV park and a 55-and-older residential community.

George Roberts, of Red Table Ventures, presented the suggestions during Tuesday's Town Council meeting. Roberts noted he purchased the property a little more than one month ago.

"We are here, really, for an informal work session before we invest time and effort in looking at the project in detail," Tambi Katieb, of Land Planning Collaborative said.

The property was formerly known as the Saddle Ridge planned unit development. The town approved that project back in 2008. The plan included a golf club resort with a 100-room lodge, cabins, a clubhouse and more than 300,000 square feet of commercial space. The plan also called for more than 250 dwelling units around a lake and several water features, the golf course and Alkali Creek.

“Does anything we are talking about sound bad to you ... We don’t want to go in the wrong direction.”George RobertsLandowner

While the project did not materialize, the site was extensively graded and the fill dirt was used by Eagle County for its airport runway expansion project. The resulting topography would allow for the creation of an approximately 6-acre lake which could be the centerpiece of future development.

"The idea is the lake area lends itself to a recreational vehicle area," Katieb said.

High end RV Park

The Red Table Ventures team stressed that if it proceeds with an RV park plan, then the proposal would be a high-end facility similar to the Tiger Run Resort project in Breckenridge.

"It needs to be on a nicer level," Roberts said.

"My concern is that there would be full-time residents living there year round," Gypsum Mayor Steve Carver said.

Roberts echoed that concern, saying the development would include restrictions "so it doesn't turn into low income housing."

Deed restricted for 55 and older

As he looks at options for the land, Roberts said he is also intrigued by the idea of a 55-and-older development. He noted he recently toured a deed-restricted, 55-and-older community in California.

"These over-55 communities are anything from patio homes to townhomes to clustered units centered around a clubhouse," Roberts said.

Roberts noted from the property, residents wouldn't be able to see the airport or the commercial park but they would enjoy easy access to Costco and other valley amenities.

"It is a good location. It is right in the middle of everything," Carver said.

Noting that it is far too early to attach density numbers to the project, Roberts said he is planning a "less intense" project of less than 200 total units. This was good news for the Town Council.

"If you were looking at 1,000 units, I am not interested," council member Tom Edwards said.

Council members also encouraged Roberts to retain the commercial land along the parcel's northern boundary, located along Cooley Mesa Road. Roberts noted it may be some time before there is a demand for that commercial space, which will come as good news for the people who currently enjoy the popular sledding hill that is located on his private land.

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After presenting his suggestions for the property, Roberts asked the Town Council members if they liked his ideas.

"Does anything we are talking about sound bad to you or would it be something you wouldn't entertain?" Roberts asked. "We don't want to go in the wrong direction."

In general, council members told Roberts they are intrigued by his proposals for the property.

"I am not sensing any negativity here," Edwards said. "It will, of course, depend on the plan that you submit."