Aspen planners want significant redesign of Hotel Lenado proposal |

Aspen planners want significant redesign of Hotel Lenado proposal

Karl Herchenroeder
The Aspen Times
This image shows a conceptual rendering of the proposed Hotel Lenado.
Courtesy image |

Reductions in mass and height as well as a redesign to better fit the surrounding neighborhood were among city planners’ recommendations Tuesday for the Hotel Lenado redevelopment project, which went before the Planning and Zoning Commission.

As proposed, the 17-room lodge would be demolished in favor of a mixed-used structure containing eight lodge units, three free-market units and two affordable-housing units. The structure would increase from about 9,500 square feet to 14,600 square feet, which conforms to the mixed-use zone district. While allowable height is 28 feet, the applicant is asking for special review to build to 32 feet.

The lodge units are proposed at an average size of 578 square feet. The three free-market units would range in size from 1,750 square feet to 1,900 square feet.

While the parking requirement for the proposed redevelopment is 9.5 spaces, the applicant, a Dallas-based limited liability company, is requesting to provide two spaces. The rest would be provided through cash-in-lieu payments of $30,000 per space or special-review reductions. The application also includes multiple setback variations.

Planning deputy director Jennifer Phelan recommended “substantial” renovations to the project. She also recommended against allowing special review that would enable 32 feet in height and an increase in floor area.

The lodge was opened in 1983 by Woody Creek resident Daniel Delano and partner Frank Peters. Delano sold the property in May to DCBD2 LLC for $11.88 million.

In terms of design, Commissioner Ryan Goode said he would like to see something more in line with the lodge’s Victorian surroundings. He also noted that parking mitigation has been widely discussed in the community as a growing issue and asked the applicant to provide another solution in that respect.

“It seems that we see property after property that cars are supposedly not needed, and the neighborhood eats it, and we hear it time and time again,” Commissioner Jasmine Tygre said. “People are going to use their cars no matter what incentives you provide.”

Looking at the building’s conceptual design, Commissioner Kelly McNicholas said she has a hard time imagining the proposed structure sitting on the existing lot. It appears the applicant is seeking to maximize the lot’s “squareness,” she said.

“I see a building that’s out of character with the neighborhood,” Commissioner Skippy Mesirow said, adding that he finds it difficult to support the applicant’s setback-variance requests.

Board chairman Ryan Waltershed concluded the discussion by saying parking is a confusing issue at the moment. While the Aspen City Council has discussed eliminating the town’s reliance on parking spaces, Waltershed said he doesn’t think that’s realistic.

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