Aspen council decides to ‘call up’ projects |

Aspen council decides to ‘call up’ projects

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

ASPEN – With little discussion, the Aspen City Council voted unanimously, 4-0, on Monday to “call up” three development decisions approved by other city review boards.

Under the city’s “call up” provision, the council exercises its option to temporarily freeze a development application after it has been approved by the city Planning and Zoning or Historic Preservation commissions. The applicant is prevented from moving through the land-use review process and submitting an application for final approval until council members address the concerns that led to the “call up.”

For example, during last year’s controversy over the proposed demolition of the Little Annie’s restaurant building, council members planned to “call up” the issue following the Historic Preservation Commission’s endorsement of the plan. However, following substantial public outcry over the possible loss of the restaurant, the developer decided to negotiate with the city over ways to save the building, resulting in the council’s decision not to utilize the “call up” procedure.

Monday’s “call up” applies to three projects:

• 534 E. Cooper St.: The owner of Boogie’s restaurant and retail building is proposing to add a third-floor free-market residential unit and to expand its second-floor restaurant space. The Historic Preservation Commission denied a request to increase the project height from 38 feet to 42 feet for portions of the third-floor unit and also rejected a proposed chimney. Still, on July 11, the commission recommended approval of project designs by a 4-0 vote.

• 601 E. Hyman Ave.: The two-story building housing the law offices of Garfield and Hecht would be torn down to make way for a three-story structure topped by a free-market condominium. The Planning and Zoning Commission on July 3 voted 4-2 to approve the design.

• 602 E. Hyman Ave.: A third-story addition and remodel are requested for the two-story building that houses Chaffin and Light real estate offices. The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the design by a 5-0 vote on June 19.

Through the “call up” provision, council members can choose to accept the other review board’s decision, remand it back to the review board for reconsideration or continue the discussion while asking for new evidence, analysis or testimony needed to conclude the “call up” issue.

During Monday’s meeting, council members offered few details of their reasons for the three “call ups.” Discussions and public hearings on all three “call up” issues are scheduled for the council’s Aug. 13 regular meeting.

In other business:

• Council members voted 4-0 to approve a plan by the owners of the Aspen Athletic Club building, at 720 E. Hyman Ave., to transform office space into residential units. In addition, the project involves the creation of a rooftop deck with skylights.

• Council members agreed to a two-year “rolling” extension of vested rights of a South Aspen Street townhome project approved in 2003. The rights expire in March. The developers of the project asked for the extension so that they would have a backup entitlement while exploring the council’s desire for a new lodge on the site.

Councilman Derek Johnson was absent from Monday’s meeting.

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