Eagle County weighs development near Aspen that would add 43 deeded affordable units | SteamboatToday.com

Eagle County weighs development near Aspen that would add 43 deeded affordable units

Scott Condon/For the Aspen Times







— A development project in El Jebel that has proven controversial in the past is back before the Eagle County commissioners with some major revisions.

The Tree Farm proposal will go before the commissioners Feb. 21 in El Jebel.

Property owner Ace Lane and his development team have reduced the land area the project would cover, eliminated some townhouses and clustered most of the remaining residences closer to a major bus stop. The team is touting the project as a true "transit-oriented development" intended to get people out of private vehicles and into buses.

The challenge appears to be an ongoing concern among some residents over increased growth in the mid valley — leading to changes in character and worsening traffic congestion. The Roaring Fork Valley Regional Planning Commission voted to recommend denial of the project in November 2015. Woody Ventures asked for the project to be tabled before it went to the commissioners so that revisions could be made.

Editor’s note

As Steamboat Springs City Council, the Routt County Board of Commissioners and the board of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority consider late this winter how to respond to the findings of a citizens housing committee that calls for the creation of 700 new housing units in various market categories in the next four years, we think it's valuable to look closely at what governments in nearby ski towns are already doing to address similar challenges.

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In the case of the story by Aspen Times reporter Scott Condon, Eagle County is considering a permit for a 340-unit housing development that includes 43 dedicated affordable units in unincorporated El Jebel, 22 miles from Aspen on Colorado Highway 82.

The story was edited for brevity. The online version includes a link to the text of the Eagle County Affordable Housing Guidelines.

The average size of the residences will be 1,116 square feet.

Guts of the proposal

The revised plan proposes as many as 340 residences on 43 acres on the north side of Highway 82, across from Whole Foods Market. The project would include 43 units of dedicated affordable housing, meeting Eagle County's requirement.

In addition, Woody Ventures has committed to providing a 1 percent real estate transfer assessment to raise funds for Eagle County's affordable-housing program. That will raise an estimated $2.6 million for the county over the first 20 years.

A large part of the free-market housing is intended to be "attainable" for the Roaring Fork Valley's working class. There will be 180 apartments and 160 loft condominiums, according to Lane's team. The units will be small to keep prices lower.

The revised plan also includes a 60,000-square-foot hotel. A 100-room, extended-stay facility is being contemplated.

The latest plan has been reduced from what the planning commission reviewed. The number of residences was reduced from 400 to 340 with the elimination of 60 townhouses on the north side of the lake.

The total land area of the project was reduced from nearly 72 acres to 43 acres.

Editor’s note

As Steamboat Springs City Council, the Routt County Board of Commissioners and the board of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority consider late this winter how to respond to the findings of a citizens housing committee that calls for the creation of 700 new housing units in various market categories in the next four years, we think it’s valuable to look closely at what governments in nearby ski towns are already doing to address similar challenges.

In the case of the story by Aspen Times reporter Scott Condon, Eagle County is considering a permit for a 340-unit housing development that includes 43 dedicated affordable units in unincorporated El Jebel, 22 miles from Aspen on Colorado Highway 82.

The story was edited for brevity. The online version includes a link to the text of the Eagle County Affordable Housing Guidelines.

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