De Beque annexes land for development

Continuing a trend, De Beque has annexed a proposed 667-home development into the town.

The annexation, known as Blue Stone Ranch East, adds 187 acres to the town. The property is owned by oil and gas field services company Dalbo Inc., which is based in Vernal, Utah.

Blue Stone Ranch East LLC is managed by Reid Rosenthal, the same developer who previously had another of his proposed developments annexed by the town, the 500-plus acre, 1,200-home
Canyons at De Beque planned unit development. The two proposed developments are adjoined on the south side of Interstate 70, about three miles west of De Beque.

“The plan proposes over 69 acres of open space lands including a 32-acre tract that contains over 17 acres of very buildable land suitable for a school site and/or park,” according to the annexation impact report.

The proposal has a mix of densities. The bulk of the project, 420 homes, will be on 42 acres, creating a density of 10 homes per acre. Of the remaining homes, 183 are planned for a density of four homes to the acre, and 64 homes would have a density of three to the acre. In all, 110 acres would be for housing, 69 acres for open space and eight acres for right of way.

The annexation, approved by the De Beque Town Board of Trustees on Monday, adds fuel to the ongoing fight between Mesa County and the tiny town of about 500 residents 15 miles east of Grand Junction along I-70. The town was sued by the county earlier this year because the Mesa County Commission wanted De Beque to reconsider three previous annexations.

A Mesa County Court judge recently threw out the county’s legal challenge to the rezoning of one of those three annexations and ordered the county to pay the town’s attorney fees.

During a Tuesday briefing by county attorney Lyle Dechant to the Mesa County Commission, Dechant indicated the same grounds the county had for challenging the previous annexations apply to the Blue Stone Ranch East. The county contends the town lacks an adequate annexation plan, one that would show how it intends to provide basic services such as sewer and water and manage such things as transportation flow.

The proposed Blue Stone Ranch East has “the same set of problems we had before” with the other annexations the county is challenging, Dechant said.

The commission took no action and gave Dechant no direction on any further legal action against the town.

The town plans for wastewater from the housing development to be treated by a yet-to-be-built wastewater treatment plant off T Road and I-70. Other services will be provided as needed, according to the town.

One of the additional needs will fall upon the De Beque School District.

“It appears the number of students attending public school in De Beque might be expected to grow by as much as 400 to 800 students over the anticipated eight to 10 (year) construction period,” according to the annexation impact report.


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