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Two major development projects are on the agenda for the 6:00 p.m. Nov. 30 Chaffee Planning Commission session, one, or possibly both of them is likely to cause fireworks.

The public should note that this meeting will be held on Zoom, due to current county COVID-19 meeting restrictions on county facilities.

Peak View Major Subdivision Preliminary Plan

First on the agenda will be a review of the Peak View Major Subdivision Preliminary Plan, a development proposed for  11415 CR 190 on the edge of Salida.

The 20.13 acre parcel is zoned residential and the proposal is to divide it into seven lots ranging in size from just over two acres to 6.33 acres, served by a low-volume road. The plan would include wells and on-site wastewater systems and the road right-of-way would be dedicated to the Peak View Heritage Water Subdivision  Exemption. The applicant is the Sunnyside  CR 190  LLC,  represented by  Shawn  Allison.

Coming in as a preliminary plan, the project has already had several studies done, including a groundwater study, roadway and drainage plans, and road and bridge engineering comments.

The project has been the subject of a concern raised by Ralf Topper that the plans for CR 190 weren’t up to approval, which in his opinion meant the initial sketch plan shouldn’t have been approved, therefore the Tuesday evening hearing should not occur.

Aspire Tours Limited Impact Reviews
The Limited Impact Reviews (LIR) of the Aspire Tours proposal scheduled for Tuesday evening was continued from the Sept. 28 Planning Commission meeting. That was at least the fifth time that this series of LIRs had been continued since the project was first brought to the attention of the county in 2019.

The business development application for a development proposed by Kathrin Troxler on rural-zoned land located at 11302 CR 190 W, Salida is actually three reviews in one:

  1. An outfitting facility including but not limited to adventure tourism: rafting, hiking, fishing, mountain biking, backpacking, and skiing
  2. A seasonal employee campground
  3. A public campground including camp cabins and tent sites in three phases

The complex development is predicated on multi-passenger vans that will bring visitors to the property from the Front Range and to recreational activities. Seasonal employees will reside on the property to reduce vehicle trips.

An earlier review by the Planning Commission in Aug. 2020 indicated major concerns about the water supply, both for existing and future requirements, and existing and future traffic concerns (recapped in the Planning Dept. Staff Report).

Among several public comments received, most objecting to the proposal, was nearby resident Ralf Topper. He objected saying that such a commercial development shouldn’t be allowed on rural land because of the approval of the 2020 Chaffee County Comprehensive Plan. According to a Nov. 22 letter from Topper, “Over 600 county residents have signed a petition opposing the Aspire Tours application. In addition to individuals, this application raised serious concerns and opposition by Las Colinas Homeowners Association, the Chaffee County Heritage Area Advisory Board, and the Upper Arkansas Conservation District among others.”

The Staff Report clearly notes that –  regarding “Compliance with Applicable Zone District Regulations. The Planning Commission can find that this application complies with the applicable regulations in a Rural zoning district with the approval of the Limited Impact Reviews.”

The Planning Commission is the decision-maker for Limited Impact Reviews. It should be noted that some commercial uses are allowed on rural-zoned land with limited impact review approvals. There are numerous resorts and commercial operations on rural-zoned land throughout the county.  If commercial use weren’t allowed on rural land, even ranches and farms, which are family commercial operations, wouldn’t be allowed to operate.

The public can follow this link to attend the Planning Commission meeting via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/4328290633