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Chaffee County Board of Commissioners reviewed and unanimously approved the sketch plan for the Vista Sawatch subdivision to be located at the northeast corner of U.S. Highway 285 and U.S. Highway 291 during their Sept. 11 meeting. The request to subdivide the 54.25-acre parcel into 11 lots and one out-lot was previously approved Aug. 20 by the Planning Commission, following a public hearing.

The rural-zoned property is currently vacant land and the property owner is known only as Edge Investments. The lots of Vista Sawatch subdivision would be accessed via a new road off CR 193 to be called the Sawatch Range Road. It would be constructed as a 40-foot wide, low-volume road right-of-way to be maintained by the owners of the subdivision.

When completed, natural vegetation will screen the subdivision from view from the two state highways. The properties are impacted both by natural drainage areas and a transmission line. Discussion centered on two areas: the use of the designated out-lot and the as-yet-to-be designated building envelopes. The subdivision contained no open space set-aside, but Jeff Post of First Colorado Land Office, who is representing the project, said the out-lot was intended to be excluded from lot development. “These aren’t mapped floodplain areas, so no open space is proposed for this.”

“We’re calling it an out-lot but it’s to be a vacant lot. It’s our goal to create it but not have it included in the residential covenants,” said Post. “It’s not to create a heavy commercial use. Someone might want to do a home there at some point, but it isn’t symmetrical to add the southern lot to the residential area. The next lot west of there is owned by the Chaffee County Fire Protection district.”

Commissioner Keith Baker made the motion for a resolution approving the sketch plan. It was amended and seconded by Commissioner Greg Felt. “I want to add we adopt the Planning Commission points as reference to make sure we say that building envelopes for lots 6 and 7 will be east of the transmission lines.”

Commissioners approved a request by Donna Rhoads, president of Salida Area Parks Open Space and Trails, to partner to finish the gap on the CR 120 trail it advocated for and saw built in 2017. The cost of completing the final portion of the trail would be $5,000, or $3,600 if the SPOT group does some of the work, leaving the paving cost to be funded.

“There was one gap we left on purpose that Tom Eve was going to finish … but the part that isn’t done is forcing people out onto the main road. Tom is willing to donate $500 for the road base, and Poncha has committed $1,000 to complete this. So we wondered if the county could help by applying for one of the COG mini-grants for the rest of the funding.”

Commissioners approved the request with the caveat that the extension be included in the existing maintenance agreement. Director of General Administration Bob Christiansen will coordinate the mini-grant request from the regional Council on Government.

In other business, the scheduled public hearing on the Van Deel Minor subdivision was postponed, and the Farrell boundary line adjustment at 33515 CR 373A was approved. Commissioners also approved a request from Colorado Mountain College to support the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative.

Commissioners deferred action regarding the Hecla Crossing minor Subdivision to Tuesday, Sep