ASPEN CARBONDALE REAL ESTATE — The Bureau of Land Management, not Congress, will take up a Carbondale-area land swap proposed by billionaire landowners Leslie and Abigail Wexner, whose representatives spent more than a year butting heads with Pitkin County officials in an effort to win county support for the exchange.The proposed trade, sweetened with the addition of 117 acres used by mountain bikers at the base of the Crown, would convey 1,464 acres of BLM land into private hands and turn over 674 acres of private holdings to the public.Gone from new proposal, submitted to the BLM on Friday, is a previous offer by the Wexners to extinguish 72,500 square feet worth of existing development rights on their Two Shoes Ranch, located at the base of Mount Sopris, south of Carbondale. During negotiations with the county, the couple had offered to forego development of 10 homes (there are approvals for 27 homes at Two Shoes), a riding arena and other buildings. An offer to place more of the existing Two Shoes Ranch under a conservation easement, another enticement to gain county support for the land swap, has also been dropped.
By Janet Urquhart, Feb. 12, 2011 Aspen Times

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