The Lake County Planning Commission voted to recommend approval to the Board of County Commissioners of a preliminary plan application filed by Alan Elias to build a gated subdivision, AngelView, in Twin Lakes earlier this week. The application was heard during the commission’s regular meeting on Monday.
Initially filed and denied by Lake County Building and Land Use in 2018, new application documents for the project outline plans to develop 17 three-acre lots on just over 54 acres of land off Colo. 82 in Twin Lakes.
Elias will not build homes on the property. Instead, future property owners are expected to build their own homes with AngelView-approved contractors. Plans for other structures at AngelView include a 2,500-square-foot community center and a less than 3,000-square-foot chapel, although plans for the chapel will require further approval from the county.
In addition to these residential and commercial structures, AngelView is proposing to build 3.7 acres of road on the property and a soft surface walking path that will meander through treed and wetland areas. AngelView is also hiring two Twin Lakes locals to serve as “adventure concierges” in an effort to increase landscape appreciation and environmental stewardship among residents.
In 2018, Lake County Building and Land Use raised a variety of issues with AngelView’s initial application, including geological problems and landscape instability, inconsistencies with the Lake County Comprehensive Plan and AngelView’s sketch plan, and violations on certain lots of development requirements. AngelView was proposing to build 45 homes on the property at the time.
In Elias’ most recent application, the developer is proposing to develop only 17 lots after hearing pushback from Twin Lakes residents on plans for the high-density development. Elias has also been working with CTL Thompson, Inc., a geotechnical engineering firm out of Breckenridge that said there are currently “no geologic hazards” on the property “that preclude development.”
To protect against the threat of a wildfire that Elias said is inevitable in the area, the developer also mapped out a wildfire protection and hazard plan in conjunction with Adam Moore of the Colorado State Forest Service. Outlined in the plan are one or more 10,000-gallon cisterns on property, sprinkler systems on all structures and a loose proposal for an emergency service center.
As part of the proposal for an on-property emergency facility, Elias is offering to give a small portion of AngelView’s land to Lake County for the purpose of developing emergency services. The lot would be deemed public land within a gated community and would allow Lake County to build an emergency facility at the location. Elias added that the facility would serve not only AngelView, but Twin Lakes as a whole.
During Monday’s Lake County Planning Commission (LCPC) meeting, Commissioner Kayla Marcella said she is doubtful that the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) can take on such a project, and that the county’s priority lies with the southern fire station. Several Twin Lakes residents applauded Elias for his plans, stating that a emergency facility in Twin Lakes would be more beneficial than the southern fire station.
“I strongly encourage an emergency service center in Twin Lakes,” said Andrew Williams, a Twin Lakes resident who spoke during the public input portion of Monday’s meeting. Williams added that a local emergency facility would protect the community against more than just wildfires.
As per the recommendation of the BOCC to table the conversation of an emergency service center at AngelView, LCPC voted on an additional condition of approval that Elias’ team hash out a more detailed plan for the development of the facility.
Several other Twin Lakes residents who spoke during Monday’s meeting expressed concern with AngelView’s water plans. Currently, certain aspects of the project are under review in Colorado State Water Court.
John Kerts, a Twin Lakes resident, stated that he is worried about development along Bartlett Gulch, which borders AngelView, and that the riparian habitats along the river could be disrupted. Other residents asked what the impact would be on existing wells in the village, and how the developer’s plan to routinely refill ponds on the property would play out for neighboring property owners.
Craig Lis, a water engineer who presented on behalf of AngelView on Monday, said only 1.46 acre-feet of the estimated 546 acre-feet of groundwater beneath the AngelView property will be used annually. Lis added that there will be no impact on the area’s already existing septic systems as the subdivision is separated from the village by Bartlett Gulch, and that the development’s septic density will be less than in Gordon Acres or the village.
Despite a few dissenters, the majority of Monday’s public participants voiced approval for the project, referencing economic benefits and the overall perceived integrity of current plans. Following LCPC’s recommendation for approval, the project will sit with BOCC for final building consent at the board’s Monday meeting.