Preserving the Integrity of RVR

River Valley Ranch

The Current Situation

The Owner Developer

The golf course owner/developer (an investment group called Crystal Outdoors LLC) has implied they want to build a boutique hotel, and/or high-density housing where the driving range exists. They have approached the Town of Carbondale in an attempt to change how a Planned Unit Development (PUD), like RVR, can be altered under the Town’s Unified Development Code (UDC).

The Law

The current law says the owner must get approvals from at least 50% of all property owners within a PUD before submitting a rezoning application AND owners of at least 50% of all property in a PUD. The developer is looking to amend this important requirement. Note, this change would apply to all PUDs in Carbondale, thus the impact would extend well beyond RVR. 

The Town of Carbondale “Rules”

  1. “Unified Development Code is enacted to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare and to implement the policies of the Town of Carbondale Comprehensive Plan and adopted area plans…” As mentioned, the UDC clearly states PUD rezoning applicants must have at least 50% approval from real property owners within the PUD to initiate zoning changes. 

  2. The Carbondale Comprehensive Plan is an officially adopted policy document that establishes the town’s goals for the future and provides direction for decisions affecting the use and development of land, preservation of open space, transportation systems, partnerships with other organizations, economic growth, the expansion and maintenance of public facilities and services, and the relationship between land use patterns and fiscal policies.

    This plan designates RVR as a “Developed Neighborhood” with the “intent to protect existing zoning/approval and quality of life” within the Developed Neighborhoods and for “continuation of the approved/existing uses. 
    Note: the plan is undergoing an update process that began in early 2021.

Original RVR Intention + Development Requirements

In June of 1994, the 520-acre property (now known as RVR) was annexed to the Town of Carbondale and zoned as a Planned Unit Development (PUD) with the intent of developing 542 home sites with a host of amenities for first and second-home owners. The Annexation Agreement entered between the Town and the developer has the following legal requirements:

  • Golf course, driving range, clubhouse, and related facilities shall be privately owned but open to the public at all times. 
  • Maximum of 685 residential units 
  • 250 acres dedicated to open space and recreational use 
  • Resubdivision, splitting, or condominiumization is not allowed 

These requirements, covenants, and restrictions on land use are incumbent to the property. They are binding for all future owners, including Crystal Outdoors LLC, the current owner.

All parcels within the PUD are subject to these requirements including Parcel 6 (driving range). 

August 26th Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting

At this meeting, we believe the applicant (Crystal Outdoors LLC) will make a presentation for their proposed UDC amendment, followed by a presentation by Town staff and public comment. The Planning and Zoning Commission will most likely make a decision whether to initiate the requested amendment before the meeting concludes and would then direct Town staff to initiate changes. P/Z meetings are from 7-9 pm on Thursdays.

Next Steps

Our intent is to build a grassroots opposition within RVR and the Carbondale community that will culminate at the August 26th meeting. 


Please Email Us with Questions or Concerns:

Key Dates

October 1995
Preliminary plans for RVR were approved 

June 2018
The golf course owner, Dale Rands Group, proposed changing the driving range zoning to high-density housing – requesting the code requirement for 50% approval of property owners only pertain to the owner of the golf course rather than all of RVR. 

The Town responded with documentation of original development requirements and the prohibition against rezoning except as provided for in the Town’s development code. 

August 2018
RVR submitted a letter opposing the developers changes and restating the development requirements are covenants running with the land and are binding on future property owners.

Janet Buck, Town Planning Director, then wrote Dale Rands Group’s attorney a letter stating the Town’s position that approval of 50% of all the property owners within RVR would be required for the proposed PUD amendment to allow residential development on the driving range parcel.  

The developer filed a notice of appeal of this determination, but never followed through with an appeal. 

November 2018
The golf course was purchased by the current owner for $3.5 Million (from Garfield County Assessor public records) 

Early 2020
The Town amended the development code to make it more clear that at least 50% approval from all property owners in a PUD is required for an application to amend the PUD.