Rivercliff sketch plan approved by BOCC

By Lynda James

Correspondent

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

of Bailey.

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

legally divided.

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

common area.

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

plan.

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.

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