Commissioners review base area project |

Commissioners review base area project

Dana Strongin

City planning commissioners reviewed on Thursday night a project they thought had improved, but some were still hesitant to provide much comment.

The hesitancy was there because the project, proposed at the current Ptarmigan Inn site, is at the ski base area. City Council placed a moratorium on accepting applications for development review within the urban renewal authority, which includes the ski base area, until Nov. 30.

By Nov. 30, city officials hope to have in place updated plans and standards to regulate development. Until then, the project they reviewed Thursday cannot move forward.

A few commissioners said they would have preferred to review the project after the moratorium ends.

“I’d like to know why we’re doing this now,” Commissioner Dana Stopher said. “I feel like we’re kind of spinning wheels here.”

Commission Chairwoman Kathi Meyer agreed.

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“It’s only appropriate for us to give so much comment because things change,” she said. “I feel a little hesitant in giving a lot of feedback.”

Eric Smith of Eric Smith and Associates, the architect for the project, said, “We are not here in violation of some rule or procedure.”

The project, called Aspen Ridge, replaces Ptarmigan Inn with a condominium project of about 86,500 square feet and 38 units. The project also includes five housing units for employees that work in the building and 57 underground parking spaces.

The project originally included 60 units. A few of the commissioners said they liked the new plan better.

“This seems to be a more sensitive use of that property,” Commissioner Tracy Barnett said.

Commissioner Dick Curtis said he was glad that the applicant presented, despite the moratorium.

“I’m glad you presented this project. The more times we take a look at it, the better it is,” Curtis said.

However, Curtis said, he would rather see affordable housing units than employee units.

“We need affordable units that are deed-restricted and income-restricted. Period,” he said.

Commissioner Steve Lewis also said he was glad to see the project update.

“I have more sympathy for you than for us,” Lewis said. “I appreciate the presentation.”