Vail Valley owners offer open space sales | VailDaily.com
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Vail Valley owners offer open space sales

Special to the Vail DailyThe Berger proposal includes 126 acres of Colorado River frontage. The land borders U.S. Bureau of Land Management property.
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EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado –Karl Berger loves the 166 acre property he owns in Dotsero, located next to the Colorado River.

He has built a dream get-away cabin and runs operations for his landscaping business from the site. He has researched the property’s history as the Yost family homestead through its sale to a mining company years later.

Berger plans to retain ownership of 40 acres at the site, but he has offered to sell the remaining 126 acres to Eagle County to preserve as open space. The Eagle County Commissioners will consider his offer on May 18.



“For me to manage this property the way I want it to be managed, it is very onerous,” said Berger.

He wants the property to remain undeveloped and has partnered with The Eagle Valley Land Trust in offering the land for conservation. The proposal includes 126 acres of Colorado River frontage. The land borders U.S. Bureau of Land Management property.



According to Eagle County Open Space Coordinator Kris Valdez, the asking price for the land is $1.85 million.

“The main advantage … is in what we see as the opening of the Colorado River,” she said.

She noted that bringing in this first parcel could provide an incentive for other property owners to consider open space designations.



When the Eagle County Open Space Advisory Council discussed the parcel earlier this year, members delivered the following rankings:

• Scenic landscape and vistas – High

• Regional heritage, agriculture and ranching – Medium (the ranking reflects the parcel’s size, which is less than 500 acres.)

• Wildlife, wildlife habitat and migration routes – High

• Sensitive lands and environment – High

• Physical and visual buffers – High

• Access to streams, rivers, public lands and dispersed recreation opportunities – Medium

The primary access for the parcel is the Colorado River itself. The current vehicle access is on a part of the property that Berger will continue to own.

“Primarily, the access to that property would be the Colorado River from boaters, floaters and fishermen,” said Valdez.

Berger said that there are a couple of sites on the west side of the river, adjacent to the Colorado River Road, that may be suitable for development as take-out sites. Valdez agreed, conditionally.

“We are trying to find a place where, if the project goes through and gets funded, we could make improvements that wouldn’t impact wetlands or riparian areas,” she said.

The second open space proposal the county will consider May 18 is for the 85-acre Sleepy Hollow Ranch located along Brush Creek adjacent to Sylvan Lake State Park.

The Tonso/Jackson family has presented the proposal and the asking price is $3 million.

The county’s open space committee issued the following recommendation concerning the property:

• Scenic landscape and vistas – Medium

• Regional heritage, agriculture and ranching – Low

• Wildlife, wildlife habitat and migration routes – High (the Colorado Division of Wildlife submitted a letter of support for the proposal)

• Sensitive lands and environment – High

• Physical and visual buffers – not applicable

• Access to streams, rivers, public lands and dispersed recreation opportunities – High

The county currently has $15 million in its open space fund. The Open Space Program was approved by voters in 2002 and is funded by a 1.5 mill levy tax on property in Eagle County.

“We are being very diligent about the properties we purchase and making sure they are the best open space options for Eagle County,” Valdez said.


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