Relations between Basalt and Eagle County sour as proposal for joint land use planning falls flat – Colorado News

Relations between Basalt and Eagle County sour as proposal for joint land use planning falls flat – Colorado News

A joint effort to plan future land-use direction between Basalt and Eagle County all but collapsed in a tense and at times heated meeting between elected officials Thursday night.

Basalt Town Council members wanted the Eagle County commissioners to declare a one-year moratorium on review of land-use applications in the El Jebel area, then coordinate land-use goals with Basalt.

The commissioners were lukewarm at best about a moratorium and said their planning commission for the Roaring Fork Valley will require considerable time to assess if changes are needed to the land-use master plan for the Eagle County section of Roaring Fork Valley and, if so, make changes.

The two boards met in Basalt last night.

Basalt Councilman Auden Schendler lamented that Eagle County was following the path that governments often do — putting up hurdles to speedy action.

“Let’s put some urgency behind this,” he said.


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Schendler didn’t pussyfoot around the biggest point of contention between the council and commissioners by calling attention to the commissioners’ 2-1 vote last month to approve the controversial Tree Farm project, which will add 340 residences and nearly 135,000 square feet of commercial space in El Jebel, outside the Basalt town limits.

Commissioners Jeanne McQueeney and Jill Ryan voted for the project “behind cover” of a comprehensive land-use plan that is flawed, he said. Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry voted against the project.

“We’re being screwed by that development,” Schendler said, citing increased traffic and loss of sales tax revenue for Basalt. He said in no uncertain terms that Basalt doesn’t want to see the same mistakes…

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