Chaffee County residents, the Planning Commission voted last week 5-3 to approve the Cool Clear Water townhome development, which will sit directly on the Arkansas River in one of the most rural areas of the river corridor.
This development now goes to the county commissioners on Oct 10. If approved, it will set precedent for the landscape of the river corridor, allowing townhome clusters from Granite to the Fremont County line.
On one hand the county commissioners talk about protecting rural Chaffee County with input from the community at roundtable events, like Together Chaffee. On the other hand you have the Planning Commission approving townhomes in a very rural neighborhood where ranchers still move cattle from one pasture to another down the dirt county road. There seems to be a disconnect here.
Mike Allen stated in The Mountain Mail last Thursday that this was a “different style and different density, but in his opinion the county needs these kinds of creative mechanisms for multifamily housing, which is important for workforce housing.”
Mr. Allen’s statement regarding workforce housing makes absolutely no sense.
The commissioners spent over an hour at the Planning Commission meeting discussing their concern that this development is designed to be marketed and priced as million-dollar short-term rentals, with a resort-style atmosphere, including a clubhouse with lots of amenities, with mechanical lifts bringing people down to the river’s edge.
Pure and simple this is a short-term rental resort, plopped on the banks of the Arkansas River in a rural neighborhood, and the developer does not disagree with this assessment of his project.
The developer presently operates two short-term rentals on his property that are doing quite well, which gave him the idea for this concept.
If you want to protect what is left of rural Chaffee County and our most precious asset, the Arkansas River, please attend the county commissioners meeting at 9 a.m. Oct. 10th or write to your county commissioners or Christie Barton, county planner, at email@example.com.