Dercum Dash rezoning gets review tonight
KEYSTONE – Snake River planning commissioners are scheduled to decide at 5:30 p.m. today whether to recommend a rezoning request for 42 houses on 21 acres below Keystone’s Jones Gulch, for what would be called the Dercum Dash neighborhood.
The forested, sloped acreage between the Snake River and Jones Gulch is owned by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).
Developers want the USFS to swap the 21-acre parcel for the undeveloped Chihuahua backcountry townsite in the backcountry Peru Creek drainage.
Keystone resident Gary Miller and partners own the Chihuahua townsite, which they claim is still incorporated even though the mining town hasn’t existed since the late 1880s. Actually, they own mining claims under the townsite.
If the swap goes through, Miller wants the county commissioners to transfer some of the Chihuahua zoning density to the USFS site at Keystone.
If all of that is approved, they plan to build the new houses at the base of Jones Gulch.
Keystone neighbors are challenging Miller and his partners because they don’t want the development on forest land. The neighbors say developers cannot prove they have property rights in Chihuahua to transfer, in the first place.
Meanwhile, Keystone Resort postponed its application to the USFS for a Jones Gulch chairlift. The lift would give Keystone a third base for skier and snowboarder access, in addition to River Run and the Mountain House bases.
Keystone put its expansion plans on hold until U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologists complete a lynx habitat study in several years, said Keystone spokesman Mike Lee.
Any rezoning of the 21 acres below Jones Gulch would be contingent upon the USFS land trade, which might take awhile.
County planner Lindsay Hirsh is recommending that Snake River commissioners vote in favor of the rezoning for the 42-unit development.
The Summit Board of County Commissioners would eventually make the final call on the rezoning.
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