Landowner can’t say if he has renewed interest in golf course
SUMMIT COUNTY – Steve Fausel wouldn’t say Wednesday that he’ll reintroduce plans for a golf course on his Lower Blue property. He also wouldn’t say he won’t.
The Summit Board of County Commissioners’ vote Tuesday to disallow a ban on golf courses in the Lower Blue opens the door for a potential golf course development there, something Fausel proposed in November.
Lion’s Gate, a private course surrounded by 263 homes, was vehemently rejected in November by the Lower Blue Planning Commission and neighboring homeowners – so much so that Fausel abandoned the idea.
Instead, he submitted this spring a plan for 75 single-family homes on his vast ranch north of Silverthorne. That plan was set for a discussion next week with the Lower Blue Planning Commission; it’s now been continued to an unknown date.
“Right now, we’re sort of stepping back to try to figure out what we may or may not want to do with the property,” said Fausel’s attorney, Mark Thompson. “We’ve been in the process of re-evaluating the whole thing since December. I think that process is continuing. I don’t think (Tuesday’s BOCC decision) ruled anything in or out. Everybody’s made golf a huge issue relative to that land. We thought about doing it before. We may still do it. We may not.”
The revised Lower Blue Master Plan covers a broad variety of development issues, but it had proposed a ban on development of golf courses and ski areas. Two of the three county commissioners couldn’t go for that, and Fausel doesn’t know where that leaves him.
“I’m not sure anything changed after that meeting,” Fausel said. “Sure it has some affect on us. On the other hand, the current plan we have in (for 75 homes) fits under the old rules and the new rules.
“Probably the greatest thing (Tuesday’s decision) does in our particular situation is it allows us to take another look at the entire thing, to see what’s best for the county and what works for the neighbors. If that means we tweak something, maybe we do, maybe we don’t. We’ll consider any option that’s viable and doesn’t take away (my) rights and works for us.”
Fausel said he opted to continue the discussion of his current plan because “we don’t want to do something in a rush.”
“We want to do something that is the best possible scenario for as many people as possible,” he said, “knowing that this is not a project we’re doing for the fun of it. This is a realistic, economic project.”
The one thing he does know is he will develop his property.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I think a lot of folks have said to themselves, “If they can’t have golf they won’t do anything.’ And that is not the case.
“I’ve had this ranch for over 15 years. I’m here to tell you when it’s done, whenever it is, I don’t want to have some sore thumb sticking out there. On the other hand, I’m a Republican who believes in property rights and I’m going to fight for them.”
Fausel owns the vast majority of the 1,315-acre ranch; Randy Winegard owns a small portion of the area proposed for development. The property is bordered by Maryland Creek Ranch to the west, Pioneer Creek Ranch to the east and Acorn Creek Ranch Estates and Blue River Highlands to the north.
Jane Reuter can be reached at 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at email@example.com
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