Spring Valley Ranch Development in Glenwood Springs Faces Skepticism Amidst Amended Plans

Stephanie Kroll

A proposed reimagining of the 6,000-acre Spring Valley Ranch in the hills southeast of Glenwood Springs has encountered a frosty reception from its neighbors. Storied Development, a Georgia-based firm seeking approval for a redesigned 577-home private golf community, faced concerns from approximately 65 attendees at the Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley campus.

Mark Enderle, a partner in Storied Development, expressed dissatisfaction with the existing approvals for the expansive property. The amended plan aims to cluster residential development, enhance open space, mitigate wildfire risks, and include affordable and worker housing. However, the neighbors voiced worries about water usage, traffic implications, wildlife preservation, and the substantial impact on the area's quality of life.

Water usage emerged as a primary concern, with residents fearing the potential impact on neighboring low-density developments' wells. Enderle assured a thorough study of aquifer connections by local consultants. Wildlife preservation also drew attention, with residents expressing worries about the impact on deer, elk, and other species. Storied Development's plan includes creating wildlife habitat reserves covering 1,110 acres.

The major complaint from neighbors centered around the scale of the project and its potential effect on the rustic, low-density character of the Spring Valley area. Residents were apprehensive about the construction of hundreds of high-end homes, citing concerns about diminishing their unique quality of life. Storied Development defended its focus on high-end development, emphasizing their identity as lifestyle developers rather than traditional subdivision developers.

Audience members questioned the existing infrastructure's capacity to handle the proposed 577 homes. A traffic study indicated a significant increase in traffic, prompting concerns about Red Canyon Road, a gravel route not currently improved due to landscape challenges. Storied Development acknowledged the need for improvements but assured compliance with county and state requirements.

Residents highlighted concerns about prolonged construction periods, potentially extending over several years. The development, planned in seven phases, raised worries about increased evacuation complexities during wildfires. The potential bottlenecks on mountain roads could pose serious safety risks.

Spring Valley Ranch received initial approval in 2007, with subsequent amendments in 2017, granting vested rights until 2032. Enderle made it clear that Storied Development won't pursue the project as approved, signaling a departure from the current layout. The landowner could potentially explore other options, including carving the ranch into 130 lots with minimal review under Colorado land-use rules.

The Spring Valley Ranch development faces a challenging road ahead, with a community skeptical about the potential impact on their water sources, wildlife, traffic, and overall quality of life. Storied Development's attempt to reshape the property will require careful consideration and collaboration with concerned residents to strike a balance between development goals and preserving the unique character of the Spring Valley area. As the project enters the review process, ongoing dialogue will be crucial to finding common ground and addressing the diverse concerns raised by the community.


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