Rivercliff sketch plan approved by BOCC
By Lynda James
FAIRPLAY, Colo. -- On Feb. 19, the Board of County
Commissioners approved a minor subdivision sketch plan
and preliminary plan for the Rivercliff Ranch on CR 68 south
The 156-acre ranch was divided into five three-acre parcels
in 1978 without going through the county approval process.
Fifty percent of the property is held in common ownership.
Houses now exist on four of the lots.
The current property owners need to upgrade their septic
systems and cannot obtain permits until the property is
Suzanne Van Hall, who represents the landowners, said prior
to 1978, the property was a fishing club and was placed on
the National Register of Historical Places. Hall said the
applicants plan to place a conservation easement on the
Conditions placed on the approval include a final Subdivision
Improvement Agreement, common land placed in one
ownership, upgrade of all septic systems and submission of
a water quality sample.
The BOCC continued discussion of a conditional use permit
for an outdoor ropes challenge course near Guffey until
March 4. The 84-acre agricultural property is known as the
Rim Rock Ranch on CR 102 east of Guffey. The BOCC
continued the application until a site plan and building
envelope is developed.
Jerry Crosslent, who represents property owner Catherine
McLaughlin, said the ropes course would be constructed in
the trees. Plans also include a small pavilion with a picnic
area and employee housing for three staff members. He
stated a maximum of 24 people would use the facility at one
time due to a state regulation that requires one facilitator
per seven participants.
Recommendations from the Planning Commission included
no overnight camping or lodging, operational hours from 8
a.m. to 5 p.m., applicant upgrading Owl's Nest Road to meet
county standards, no outdoor lighting and submission of a
sanitation plan and solid waste plan.
Crosslent said McLaughlin could not afford to bring the 10 to
20-foot wide road up to county standards of 24 feet. He
asked to keep the width to 12 feet and add road base.
Park County Road and Bridge Field Operations Coordinator
Rob Vance said the road is soft and rutted with boggy areas
in some places. He recommended installing culverts and a
French drain to improve drainage before laying an adequate
road base. He also said that the road could be widened to 20-
22 feet without much construction.
Several adjacent property owners objected to the conditional
use due to increased noise and traffic and visual impact to a
residential area. They also were concerned about at-risk
groups using the facility.
Crosslent said at-risk groups would not use the ropes course
because the facility did not have trained counselors on staff.
Adjacent property owner Fay Plucker stated that six earthen
dams, Four-Mile Creek and an agricultural irrigation ditch
contribute to the boggy condition of Owl's Nest Road. She
said the homeowners' road committee had been in touch
with the Natural Resources Conservation Service regarding
previous flooding across the road. The committee was told
that any changes to the dams or irrigation ditch must be
engineered by NRCS.
Park County Attorney Stephen Groome asked for
documentation of the deeded access easement for Owl's
Nest Road. He said the width of the easement could be a
factor in widening the road.
The BOCC encouraged Crosslent to discuss the plans with
adjacent property owners during the development of a site
In other business:
Robert and Laurie Wilcott received a rezoning from
Conservation Recreation to A-35 for 60 acres they own on
CR 68. The property was part of the 1999 Estabrook land
exchange by the U.S. Forest Service. A conservation
easement was placed on the property last year; a grazing
lease on the property will expire in 2006.
The Colorado Department of Wildlife encouraged continuing
an agricultural use of the land.