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Front Page » December 6, 2007 » Local News » Planning board weighs proposal for condominium project ne...
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Planning board weighs proposal for condominium project near Scofield

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Sun Advocate reporter

Developers are seeking to create a condominium project on six acres of property near the Scofield Reservoir.

Developers looking to build a condominium project near the Scofield Reservoir headed back to the drawing board after Tuesday's Carbon County planning board meeting.

Burke Priest and Justin Jones presented preliminary plans to create a community of 45 small affordable vacation units to the board on Dec. 4.

The duo had already scrapped plans for 40 plus trailer type structures and scrambled to come up with a new design before the planning board meeting.

"We are envisioning a unique, quaint community with a circular drive and walking paths," said Priest.

The project deemed Scofield Shores is proposed to be 15 triplexes separated into three complexes of five structures.

Each of the complexes would have a common area that might include a hot tub and a fire pit, according to Jones.

The key word in the men's presentation was "affordable."

In their original vision, Priest and Jones priced the one bedroom units at $79,000, the regular two bedrooms at $89,000 and the deluxe two-bedroom model at $99,000.

Each of the 15 structures will include two 780-foot units and one 600-foot structures, the project also calls for each unit to have a separate detached garage and overflow parking areas all set on approximately six acres close to the reservoir.

With the initial concept laid on the table, the board members presented the men with a basket full of considerations and concerns about everything from drainage to fire protection to the financing options.

Carbon Commissioner Mike Milovich wanted clarification on actual structures being proposed.

"Are these modular units?" asked Milovich. "Because if they are, you are going to find that buyers will have problems getting them financed."

Priest explained that what he and Jones are looking at are single level factory homes that come in two pieces that are assembled at the site.

Dave Levanger, county director of planning, assured the board that the proposed units meet the building codes and requirements.

"We won't do a product that isn't fully financiable," said Priest.

The plethora of questions and issues raised at the meeting were perhaps in part due to the fact that the proposed Scofield Shores development project is the first of its kind to come before the county planning board.

"They are blazing new trails here," said Gayla Williams, the county's zoning administrator. "The board has never had to consider a condominium project before. This is the first one in the county to come before the commissioners."

It seems that the thorough review and discussion left the developers with a few gray areas to address.

Milovich, who has a vacation home in the Scofield area, had some suggestions based on his personal experiences.

He told Priest and Jones that they might want to consider restricting access to the roads in the community.

"If you don't, you get all the looky loos driving around the area all the time," pointed out Milovich.

As it were, Priest and Jones also have places in Bolotas, an old subdivision/camping-type area near the reservoir.

The developers, too, had personal experiences with their vacation properties that they said opened their eyes to what they shouldn't do in building the proposed condominium project.

In addition to road access and financing options for the structures, the planning board members addressed water, sewer connection issues, which it seemed the duo had already taken care of.

In particular, the board members raised concerns about the potential cost of pumping water to the homeowners.

Priest told the commissioners that he and his partner had already struck a verbal agreement with the Town of Scofield for both services and that the water issue didn't appear too daunting.

"The town's water line runs right in front of our property," said Priest.

While the developers did come to the meeting with the water, sewer and drainage issue already addressed, they listened intently as the commissioners presented them with the variety of what ifs.

A motion on the proposal was then tabled as Priest and Jones were asked to review their project and make any changes they found necessary, given the discussion.

The developers were also asked to come back before the planning board with both changes and written agreements from the Town of Scofield for the water and sewer.

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