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Bayfield approves northeast land use plan
4/18/2008 By: Carole McWilliams
Bayfield town trustees have added a major land area to the town comprehensive plan, and owners of two properties in that area have started the annexation process.
Trustees approved the very general land use and density plan for the northeast edge of town Tuesday evening. It contains 13 separate unannexed properties with separate owners, and totals around 416 acres.
The outlying parcels might not be annexed and developed for years, if ever. But owners of the two large parcels next to town limits have applied for annexation. Trustees set annexation sufficiency hearings for August 19.
Brad Elder, developer of the Dove Ranch subdivision, owns 75 acres designated in the northeast plan for high density residential, with a maximum 400 units. The project is called Southviews.
Oscar Byrd owns 43 acres just north of Highway 160 that is designated on the northeast plan for commercial and light industrial use. Elder has touted it as a possible site for a new grocery store.
According to the northeast plan map, the Southviews development could include single and multi-family homes, recreation, child and elder care facilities, and neighborhood storage.
Town Manager Justin Clifton said,"If a particular use such as multi-family isn’t totally inappropriate, there can be some there. … All the details will be handled when specific development requests come in."
The plan also refers to a park of around 20 acres, but the location is yet to be determined and negotiated with the affected landowner(s).
Clifton said the park could be from 10 up to 30 acres.
Town planner Joe Crain clarified that the plan doesn’t give owners any vested rights for use or density. The plan isn’t set in stone, he said. “It can always be amended. This gives direction of what we think is appropriate.”
Elder presented a proposed conceptual plan with street layout for both his and Byrd’s properties as part of the annexation requests.
The layout for Byrd’s land shows mixed use commercial south and west of the light industrial area.
Elder’s project narrative for Southviews includes workforce rental housing just east of the town water tanks as one response to the current mortgage credit meltdown and the need for housing in lower price ranges.
Elder’s narrative also says the annexation might not be pursued because of the extreme changes and uncertainties for developers in the current economic climate.
“Even with our mutual interests in annexation, we may find that annexation is not practical or feasible at this time for whatever reason. We are striving to make that determination no later than August this year,” Elder said.
He added that “…everything has changed in the development business, and what was possible before may not be possible now.”
Crain advised that with annexations this size, state statute requires applicants to provide annexation impact reports to the county before the August 19 annexation hearings, unless the county waives that.
The northeast area plan was created, with the town’s blessing, by landowners Elder, Byrd, Scott Fleming, and Harry Goff.
The town planning commission held four work sessions on the plan in April and May, and the map underwent several changes.
On July 8, planning commissioners voted 5-1 to recommend approval. Town trustees voted unanimously Tuesday night to make it part of the town comprehensive plan.
“I think it’s quite different that landowners can come together and talk about what they want, and then come through the public process,” Crain said.
“Staff is totally in support of what we’ve come up with. Some major changes were made on the map. This is appropriate to set some limits on (development) expectations on the farther out parcels,” he said.
The plan is needed to set maximum densities for use in a traffic study that has to be done to get a Colorado Department of Transportation access permit for the north side of Highway 160, across from the Shell station.
“The new intersection will be the access for at least half this area” in the northeast plan, Crain said.
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