Planning commission turns down proposal for Sunlight Mountain

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Garfield County’s Planning and Zoning Commission late Wednesday night turned down a proposed base village at Sunlight Mountain Resort.

The commission was considering a rezoning to allow a proposal including 830 housing units and 110,000 square feet of commercial space.

Sunlight is under contract to be sold to Sunlight Mountain Development LLC, a Florida-based developer. The sale is contingent on the developer winning approval for the base village project.

Developer representative Mike Dooley said developers would have to evaluate “where we’re at and where we’re heading” as a result of the decision.

Several planning commission members expressed discomfort over the size of the project.

“I’m torn here. I’d love to see Ski Sunlight thrive,” said Commissioner Bob Fullerton.

The commissioners’ decision came after a project consultant said developers would fully address the project’s traffic impacts, which had been a major concern.

“We have every intention of working out these details,” engineer Louis Meyer said.

The county’s planning staff recommended denial of the project. Building and planning director Fred

Jarman said it was deficient in areas such as affordable housing, parking, fire protection and the level of proposed traffic improvements, including on Four Mile Road leading to the resort.

Meyer had said a lot of engineering details could be addressed at the next stage of the project review, during preliminary plan consideration. That included improvements to Four Mile Road, he said.

“As local engineers we’re not going to design a road that’s not safe, that doesn’t meet the county standards,” he said.

He said developers also would work with the city of Glenwood Springs to improve several intersections in town as were needed to deal with 5,000 vehicle trips per day generated by the project.

Jarman told the planning commissioners that they had a responsibility to consider the adequacy of things such as road improvements at the current stage of the project’s review, rather than dealing with
such details later.

Meyer said water was another chief concern for area residents during several open houses held about the project. Just this month, the developers obtained a state water court decree in favor of the supply plan for the project. The plan entailed pumping water from the Roaring Fork River eight miles and 2,000 feet uphill to the ski area. Developers worked with 13 objecting parties to resolve their concerns and obtain the decree, he said.


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