A View from the Board
The following is the latest in a series of monthly messages from the RVR Master Association Board, called “A View From the Board.” The messages summarize recent Board decisions and discussions, and are designed to bring RVR homeowners up to date on issues important to the community.


It’s been nearly three years since the RVR golf course caused community consternation, by threatening to shut down if the Master Association didn’t come to its rescue. The owner at the time demanded that we buy the course, subsidize its operations, or support his efforts to develop the driving range.

Since then, much has happened with the golf course – most of it good. There’s been a change in ownership, a new operator, and a feeling of: “phew, problem solved.”

One of the problems is solved: the golf course is operating nicely, hosting record numbers of golfers. The restaurant, now known as The Homestead, is enjoying a renaissance. As we’ve discussed in previous notes to the community, you can thank golf course operators Red Cunningham and Julie Warren for keeping the golf course an asset to our community.

The problem that is not solved, however, is the golf course owner’s ongoing desire to develop the driving range, and perhaps other pieces of the course. Last week, the owner took a meaningful step in his efforts to change a significant piece of real estate within our community.

This month’s “View From the Board” will provide an update on what the owner is doing, why he’s doing it, what the Board is doing in response, and why you should care.


The Town of Carbondale has a
Unified Development Code (UDC) that controls development within the town. The UDC is designed to encourage the most appropriate uses of land throughout the town.
One of the functions of the UDC is to regulate Planned Unit Developments, such as River Valley Ranch. The UDC states that any changes to a PUD are subject to input by the property owners within the PUD. More specifically, it says that “all PUD amendment applications submitted by a property owner shall be signed by at least 50 percent of the owners of the real property within the PUD that is directly subject to or affected by the proposed amendment to the PUD, or their designees.”

This provision is important to RVR because it gives a voice to all 550 property owners within the community regarding any possible zoning changes in RVR.

The owner of the golf course has said he’d like to rezone the driving range to accommodate either a boutique hotel or high-density housing. Under the UDC, the owner must first get signatures of at least 50 percent of RVR property owners, before submitting a rezoning application to the Town’s Planning and Zoning Commission.

The bar for submitting an application to change the zoning within a PUD is set intentionally high.

Those are the rules. You have a voice.

But the golf course owner now wants to change the rules, to take away your voice.

In a
draft letter to the Town of Carbondale on June 8, the owner – through his attorney – is asking the town to remove the provision of the UDC that requires 50 percent of RVR property owners to sign his rezone application. Instead, he wants the provision of the UDC changed so that only the owner of the affected parcel – in this case, the driving range – needs to endorse the requested change before putting it in front of the Planning and Zoning Commission.

In other words, with such a change to the UDC, no other property owners in the River Valley Ranch PUD would be deemed to be directly subject to, or affected by, the proposed zoning change.

This appears to be the starting point in the owner’s efforts to rezone the driving range – and change its use from golf, to hotels or housing.

The golf course owner says he is taking this step because the current 50 percent requirement makes it “… impossible to comply with such a requirement thereby prohibiting an owner of land within a PUD from ever applying for an amendment of any nature.”

The Town of Carbondale is still processing this application, including setting meeting dates for consideration. The Board will provide an update to RVR property owners once that information is available.


For the past three years, the RVRMA Board has had the following goals regarding any possible changes to the golf course:

· Ensuring RVR’s long-term sustainability

· Preventing development that changes the nature of the RVR community

· Preserving our property values

We always assumed our homeowners would have a voice in whatever changes were proposed by the golf course owner. Now, that concept is potentially under threat.

Why should you care? What can you do?

You should care because any change to the golf course has the potential to alter your community, increase density, and affect your property values. You should care because our system of government is based on the idea that we all have a voice in matters that affect us, and your voice is at risk of being silenced.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Be aware – Stay up to date on this issue. The Board will communicate any new developments to you as we become aware of them.

  • Be involved – Let the Town know your thoughts about the possibility of being removed from the decision-making process. The Board will help those of you who want to be involved by providing contact information at the Town. We’ll let you know how and when to make your voice heard.

  • Be prepared – It’s possible the Town could hold public hearings on this issue. If it does, and if you care that your voice could be silenced, you should be prepared to participate in these hearings.

    Here’s what the Board is doing: We plan to take an active role in opposing any effort to take away your voice. We plan to be engaged in supporting our long-held objectives of ensuring RVR’s long-term sustainability, preventing development that changes the nature of our community, and preserving our property values.


    If you have questions on the golf course issue, or any other matters concerning our community, please contact us at: boardofdirectors@rvrcommunity.com

    The next RVRMA Board meeting is
    Wednesday, June 23, at 5:30 pm. The meeting will be held virtually, by Zoom videoconference. Hope to “see” you there.

    On behalf of your volunteer RVRMA Board,

    Cathy Cooney & Gary Lesser

    Board Co-Presidents

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