Eleven’s quest for domination continues
The potential expansion of commercial property in the Irwin area moved closer to reality last week as the Gunnison County Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend the Eleven company’s sketch plan for development to the Board of County Commissioners for approval.
In its recommendation, the Planning Commission listed 35 conditions to be met. County planner Cathie Pagano said this was not uncommon.
“Generally there are always conditions with a recommendation,” said Pagano, adding that some of the conditions will need to be addressed prior to Eleven taking the next step in the planning process.
The conditions for recommendation included:
• The development of a site plan showing the proposed and existing trails (on public and private land) on the subject parcels and surrounding the subject parcels.
• The development of a plan for events, traffic, and customers; this should include a description of how large events will be handled with respect to hours or operation, food/drink service, traffic, parking, noise, what number of people constitutes a “large” event, and any other relevant issues. This plan shall also address how potential customers will access/utilize amenities.
• The conduction of noise level testing.
• Cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service to determine the appropriate public process for the proposed realignment of the Scarp Ridge Trail, any changes to the existing access easement and any other impacts to other trails or public lands associated with the proposed project.
• The submittal of an application for a watershed permit from the town of Crested Butte.
“There were no substantive changes made to the draft sketch plan,” said Eleven’s representing counsel, David Leinsdorf. “I feel that the conditions they imposed were expected, reasonable and conditions that I think we can meet.”
Eleven is the corporation that owns Irwin, a “luxury, full-service adventure company,” and Scarp Ridge LLC. It also recently purchased the venerable Crested Butte Mountain Guides, and will be merging that company with its established cat skiing and guide operations.
As part of its efforts to turn its Irwin property into a year-round commercial resort, Eleven is seeking to:
• Update the old Irwin Lodge for use as a conference center and event venue
• Construct six new single-family residences on adjoining mining claims (already owned by the company)
• Construct a storage structure, overlook structure, and alpine hut;
• Add a roof deck to the existing parking barn
• Build an outdoor pavilion with a 170-person capacity
• Build new mountain bike trails, a zipline, and a kids’ village; and
• Reroute the Scarp Ridge Trail and construct a trail head with parking and vault toilets at the beginning of the trail.
All of this is detailed by the sketch plan, which has been working its way through the Planning Commission since last summer with mixed reactions from the public and private sectors.
One of the most controversial aspects of the plan has been the proposed relocation of the start of the popular Scarp Ridge hiking trail. The relocation adds some length and elevation to the trail, changes that many people have said will make it less accessible to visitors, children, the elderly and the infirm.
Other aspects of the development that have raised concern have to do with increased traffic, wildlife disturbance, noise, water pollution and wildfire.
According to the Planning Commission steps have been taken to manage for these concerns, and it is important that the community remember the “sketch plan is expected to evolve.”
If the Board of County Commissioners approves the sketch plan, Eleven will have one year in which to draft a preliminary plan and present it to the Planning Commission. At that point the review process will begin again, likely with an increasing focus on details and approach. The earliest the county commissioners will consider the recommendation is February 4.
To view all 35 conditions for the recommendation, and complete description of the planning process, visit the Gunnison County website at gunnisoncounty.org.