The bulk of the new housing is adjacent to the existing Two Rivers neighborhood and the new industrial lots are immediately west of existing light industrial lots on Vance Dr. One of the industrial lots is being given to the Telluride R-1 School District for a bus barn, in lieu of school impact fees.
The application by Lawson Hill developer Telecam Partnership, along with Kirk and Kathleen Alexander, went through a lengthy process before it was finally approved this week. That process included a recommendation of denial from the San Miguel County Planning Commission in June, and the remand of a "substantially revised" application by the San Miguel County Commissioners to the planning commission.
The crux of the debate was whether the new development sought by Telecam was justified in exchange for the public benefits of additional affordable housing and the protection of the Keystone Gorge, where the existing zoning permitted a 20-unit fishing lodge and two deed-restricted units.
The process was further prolonged by concerns raised by county officials that portions of the application were incomplete or inconsistent with the county land use code. The application was revised and resubmitted, however, and the planning commission unanimously recommended approval on Oct. 13.
The commissioners followed suit Wednesday, but not before another thorough review of questions ranging from setbacks from the San Miguel River to traffic impacts to the adequacy of drainage plans.
"I've had a complete turnaround," said Commissioner Art Goodtimes, who noted that he had been opposed to seeing the application again because it was so incomplete in its initial submission. The applicant, he noted, had come a long way.
While the county's action this week finalized zoning, additional approvals will be necessary for specific building projects on any of the new or newly rezoned parcels.