Eagle County starts review Thursday of El Jebel-area project with up to 110 homes | VailDaily.com

Eagle County starts review Thursday of El Jebel-area project with up to 110 homes

Opponents of The Fields application in the El Jebel area posted this sign to make sure residents of the neighborhood were aware of a meeting on Thursday.
Scott Condon/The Aspen Times |

A development project in the mid-Roaring Fork Valley that has been on the shelf for eight months will finally progress to review by the Eagle County commissioners on Thursday.

The three commissioners will travel to El Jebel to hold a special meeting on The Fields, a proposal for between 97 and 110 residences at the intersection of Valley Road and Highway 82, across from the entrance to Blue Lake subdivision. The site is 19.39 acres.

The meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. at the Eagle County office building and El Jebel Community Center at Crown Mountain Park.

The county commissioners asked for more information on traffic generation and mitigation issues in April. The Fields Development Group LLC is back with answers.

The project has two strikes against it going into the review by the commissioners — both the Roaring Fork Valley Regional Planning Commission and town of Basalt recommended that the commissioners deny the application.

The planning commission voted 4-1 in December to recommend denial. The board advises the county commissioners on land use issues in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Comments submitted by Basalt said the property is outside the town’s urban growth boundary and in the “rural fringe,” so it shouldn’t be approved for a high-density development.

“The Town does not believe that a greater public good is achieved by the proposed application,” the town’s letter said.

In addition, the town believes the midvalley will have trouble absorbing all of the development that is approved or in the pipeline.

The Eagle County staff changed its recommendation from denial to “approval with conditions” since the last hearing. The development has submitted a traffic mitigation plan for the intersection of Highway 82 and El Jebel Road that is better than before but still doesn’t address all the impacts, the staff memo noted.

In prior presentations, the representative of the development team has contended that the project fits in with the surrounding neighborhoods and will provide much-needed housing. A range of 24 to 27 units would be deed-restricted housing to meet the county’s requirement that 25 percent of residential units be affordable housing.

The development group was undeterred by the planning commission’s vote. It purchased the property in September, according to a deed filed with the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder’s Office. Fields Development Group paid $2.3 million for the property, the deed said. The sellers were the Steven W. and Sandra S. Rieser Revocable Trusts.

The Fields application is available for review at http://www.eaglecounty.us/Planning/Active_Land_Use_Applications.

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