By Matt Kroschel

EDWARDS, Colo. (CBS4)– There is growing opposition to a proposed 2-lane road for a new subdivision that environmentalists say will damage important deer and elk habitat.

Developers are asking the US Forest Service to construct a paved, 32-foot-wide road to reach the proposed “Berlaimont Estates” subdivision in the back-country near Edwards.

berlaimont Wildlife At Center Of Debate Over Paved Road For New Subdivision

(credit: Berlaimont Estates)

The sprawling 680-acre site is completely surrounded by Forest Service land. Currently it is accessed by Forest Service roads, but those roads are not sufficient for the number of vehicles expected on daily basis.

development debate 5pkg frame 102 Wildlife At Center Of Debate Over Paved Road For New Subdivision

CBS4’s Matt Kroschel interviews Bill Heicher (credit: CBS)

Berlaimont Estates is proposed for the north side of Interstate 70, six miles from the town of Edwards.

development debate 5pkg frame 654 Wildlife At Center Of Debate Over Paved Road For New Subdivision

(credit: CBS)

Bill Heicher lives in Eagle County. He is retired state wildlife biologist and has serious concerns with the plan. Members of the group Wilderness Workshop, based in Carbondale, flew over the site Thursday to inspect the area. They have a very public campaign gaining support to oppose the road.

berlaimonte Wildlife At Center Of Debate Over Paved Road For New Subdivision

(credit: Berlaimont Estates)

They claim the road would have negative impacts on winter habitat for one of the state’s largest deer herds.

development debate 5pkg frame 728 Wildlife At Center Of Debate Over Paved Road For New Subdivision

(credit: CBS)

If approved the new road would allow the 19 proposed large homes in the subdivision to gain access.

development debate 5pkg frame 539 Wildlife At Center Of Debate Over Paved Road For New Subdivision

(credit: CBS)

“This is urban sprawl through sensitive wildlife habitat,” Wilderness Workshop writes.

But developers say they are committed to suitability.

berlaimont2 Wildlife At Center Of Debate Over Paved Road For New Subdivision

(credit: Berlaimont Estates)

Berlaimont Estates firmly commits itself to principles of sustainable development. By leveraging extensive development experience and collaborating with local experts, professionals and community stakeholders, Berlaimont Estates strives to protect the environment within the development as well as in the surrounding areas in order to conserve and enhance recreational opportunities within the neighborhood. Berlaimont Estates focuses on reduced density, various mitigation measures such as the Wildland Fire Mitigation Plan, strict adherence to construction and design standards, CC&R and the Homeowners Association governing documents. Diligent planning and oversight will allow Berlaimont Estates to create a unique low-density development and minimize its resource impact,” reads a statement posted on the project’s website.

development debate 5pkg frame 0 Wildlife At Center Of Debate Over Paved Road For New Subdivision

(credit: CBS)

LINK: US Forest Service Takes Comments on Berlaimont Estates

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to mrkroschel@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

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