November 9, 2017 Roaring Fork Club Team

Basalt P&Z signs off on Roaring Fork Club expansion

The Basalt Planning & Zoning Commission voted 5-0 on Tuesday to approve a development plan submitted by the Roaring Fork Club (RFC) that calls for 13 new cabins, one single-family home site and a total of 43 employee housing units, 21 of which would be new, while the remaining 22 would replace existing employee housing units that would be razed to make room for the new construction.

According to the staff memorandum submitted to the P&Z Commission, this is not the first time the RFC sought new land use approvals from the town.

“The applicant has proposed several different development programs over the past 10 years,” the memorandum states. “Initially the applicant received sketch plan approval in 2008 for a development program that consists of eight cabins, three single-family residential lots, a fitness facility, kids’ camp and a new administration building. Subsequently, the original approvals were amended in 2010 and most recently in 2012. The 2012 approvals have been extended several times.

“Since the 2012 approval, the applicant has modified the proposed development program,” the P&Z memorandum continues. “The applicant received an amended sketch plan approval for 13 cabins and 17 additional employee housing units and one single-family housing site.”

The original plan was for the RFC to pick up and move its existing employee housing units, which include a total of 36 bedrooms, and move them to the southwest corner of the new development site. When that was deemed impractical, the RFC opted to amend its application one more time with a proposal to demolish its current employee housing units — which are occupied by a combination of workers from the RFC and the town of Basalt — and construct a new employee housing village near the 13 new cabins.

According to RFC chief operating officer and general manager Geoffery Hasley, the new employee housing stock will exceed Basalt’s requirements for employee housing by about 5 percent.

The new cabins — which will be between 3,200 and 4,000 square feet and will cost in the neighborhood of $5 million a pop — will add a new wrinkle to the RFC’s current stock of 51 on-site cabins.

“When the club was built in the late 1990s, parents and their children first started coming here,” said RFC development manager Dennis Carruth, who has been with the RFC for nine years. “That was a big part of the initial conception. We are now seeing the third generation of residents. We realized we lacked the ability to absorb multi-generational residents into the club. Our original cabins are all about 2,400 square feet. That’s not big enough for extended families.”

Most of the 13 new cabins, which mainly will front RFC’s Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, are already reserved, according to Carruth.

The RFC will handle the construction. The new cabins will be placed upon lots measuring 95-by-95 feet.

The designs have come from Poss Architecture + Planning and Interior Design, the architects for the original RFC cabins, golf course pro shop and members’ lodge.

There will be three cabin designs with options covering four or five bedrooms, or four bedrooms plus a den. Two interior designs are available — cabin rustic and mountain contemporary.

The new employee housing village will be comparable in architectural style to the current village. Because construction of the new cabins will occur in a sequential manner, displacement of people currently living in the RFC’s employee housing complex will be minimal. Carruth said the RFC has established an arrangement with the Element hotel in Willits for temporary accommodations for any employees who might be displaced during construction.

The RFC development proposal also calls for the construction of additional parking for the employee housing village, new maintenance facilities. Parking for the new free market units will be centralized in one location and the homes themselves will only be accessible via golf carts.

“That is part of our original green vision,” Carruth said. “Automobiles are intercepted and parked at a community parking garage.”

In addition to the 18-hole golf course, the RFC, located on about 300 acres, also offers members a four-season family club, fishing on the Roaring Fork River and tennis courts.

The RFC’s development application will now go before the Basalt Town Council.

Hasley and Carruth said they hope to present their proposal to the council next Tuesday and again on Nov. 28. They further hope that their plan can be approved on first and second readings Jan. 9 and 23.

“We hope to begin construction in March,” Carruth said. “It will take about two years for the cabins to be completely finished.”

“We have had nothing but positive experiences working with the town,” Hasley said.

Read the original story at Aspen Daily News.