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‘Village’ developer offers new land swap

The proposed Village at Wolf Creek has taken on another possible form, this time with a modification of the sought-after land exchange with the U.S. Forest Service.

The current proposed land swap, for just under178 acres of Village-owned land around Alberta Park and the lower half of the waterfall area (an area of wetlands and skiable terrain) for the same amount of USFS land northeast of Alberta Park with U.S. 160 frontage, is a lesser amount than originally proposed.

“We made a few minor changes to our land exchange, where we’re not giving away as much land as we formerly were,” said Dusty Hicks, a broker involved with the development planned by Billy Joe “Red” McCombs.

Originally, the land exchange sought by Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture proposed an exchange of 207 acres of Village-owned for 207 acres northeast of Alberta Park with U.S. 160 frontage.

The change would adjust the southwestern boundary in order for the Village to better work with existing Wolf Creek Ski Area lifts and new plans for future lifts, Hicks said.

The development has plans for a lift that would connect the development with the ski area.

“The ball’s in the Forest Service court,” Hicks said.

The smaller Village plan contingent upon a land exchange calls for 497 units in phase one, with growth tied to the capacity of the ski area, meaning if the ski area does not expand, the Village development would remain at its initial size.

The San Luis Valley Public Lands Center is currently conducting a feasibility study to determine if the proposal will be accepted.

Should the exchange not be granted, Hicks said the Village would move forward either in its old, larger form with less density than originally planned, or in another modified form which uses only the currently owned Village land.

Hicks said the new modification was a combination of the original plan and a portion of the plan that was proposed with the land exchange.

randi@pagosasun.com