More units at Burlingame goes to a site plan
September 24, 2008
ASPEN ” A new design for additional units at Burlingame Ranch is under way, even though homeowners there and city voters have yet to approve the increased density.
The Aspen City Council on Monday approved a $202,252 contract with Carbondale-based DHM Design for site planning and engineering design services.
The result will be a conceptual plan on what 300 units would look like at the affordable housing development, located off Highway 82 across from Buttermilk.
Aspen residents will be asked this fall to increase the units at Burlingame from the voter-approved 236 to as much as 300. A panel of residents ” called the construction experts group that has been working for months on a new development plan ” has recommended 293 units. They would be stacked and built with modular construction practices as cost saving measures.
The increased density would lower the city government’s per unit subsidy because more units would be available for sale. More units also could mean lower dues for homeowners.
A state statute requires a minimum of 67 percent of the homeowners to change the
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number of units built at Burlingame. However, the subdivision declarations presently call for an unanimous vote of the homeowners to change the density. Those declarations can be amended by a vote of the unit owners.
As part of phase one, there are 84 units currently built at Burlingame, with seven single-family lots sold for a total of 91 homeowners. The city of Aspen owns the other 145 units that have yet to be built as part of phases two and three, and as a result, not yet sold.
The homeowners’ association has not decided when it will ask members to vote on the increased density but it will likely be after it hammers out issues with the city still left from the first construction phase.
City Council members voiced concern Monday night that spending money on design work before key votes on density could be a waste of time and money.
But city engineer Tricia Aragon and Chris Everson, who works in the city’s asset management department, eased those concerns by saying the majority of site planning would need to be done regardless of whether more units are approved.
Everson estimated that about 25 percent of the DHM contract is dedicated to site work contemplating additional units.
Aragon said the HOA wants more information on what additional units would look like.
Mayor Mick Ireland said it would be difficult to persuade homeowners to vote for more units without a detailed site plan.
City Councilman Jack Johnson reluctantly agreed.
“I’m not crazy about this but I can get behind it,” he said.