EAGLE COUNTY — White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams is well aware that hundreds of local residents are adamantly and vocally opposed to the proposed Berlaimont development north of Edwards.
But last week, he agreed to sit down with a small group of opponents who wanted to make a personal appeal.
Berlaimont Estates is a 680-acre parcel of private property surrounded by U.S. Forest Service lands, located north of Edwards and west of the Berry Creek drainage. Owners Petr Lukes and Jana Sobotova have proposed 19 units and nine accessory units on 35-acre or larger parcels in the area.
This proposed land use is a critical component of the Berlaimont plan. Under Colorado law, residential lots that equal or exceed 35 acres in size are exempt from subdivision regulation. Because the developers have the right to proceed with the plan they have presented, no public hearings about the land use part of the proposal were required.
But the location of the property has launched a public process. Because Berlaimont is an in-holding located within the White River National Forest, the developers must build an access road through U.S. Forest Service land. That road proposal has resulted in the presentation of three route options for a two-lane, paved drive from the valley floor through the Berlaimont property. The road development requires an environmental impact statement from the Forest Service.