Basalt Pan & Fork developer says it won’t play games with plan | AspenTimes.com
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Basalt Pan & Fork developer says it won’t play games with plan

Scott CondonThe Aspen TimesAspen CO Colorado

BASALT – A representative of a nonprofit organization that plans to redevelop a Basalt trailer park told the Town Council this week that his firm isn’t playing the usual games that developers play.Roaring Fork Community Development Corp. President Michael McVoy claimed that the land-use proposal asks only for what the nonprofit developer needs to make the project financially viable. It didn’t ask for more in anticipation of the Town Council approving less, which is often the case with developments, he said.”We are going to give you exactly what we hope to see happen,” he said.McVoy made a brief presentation to the council members this week to kick off a review process that is expected to last throughout 2012.Two members of the council won’t participate in the review. Councilman Glenn Rappaport, an architect, worked as a consultant for the development corporation earlier in its planning. He recused himself Tuesday night. Councilwoman Karin Teague also recused herself because of consulting on the project by her husband, architect Harry Teague.McVoy proposed that the town and developer follow a “new model” while figuring out the redevelopment of the Pan & Fork. They need to work cooperatively to create a project that benefits the town, he said.”We’re not here to do something to Basalt,” McVoy said. “We’re here to help Basalt do what it really wants to do.”For example, the developer heard that town officials and civic leaders wanted more upscale lodging than is now available. Roaring Fork Community Development Corp. hopes to deliver. Its plan includes a proposal for a hotel of between 75 and 85 rooms and three floors of about 65,000 square feet.All told, the draft proposal is for 112,000 square feet of retail, office, residential and hotel space on 2.32 acres of land. Ground-floor retail shops are anticipated at the intersection of Two Rivers Road and Midland Avenue. The shops would be topped with offices and residences. Some of the offices are envisioned as home for nonprofit organizations.A space of about 15,000 square feet is envisioned as a possible site for Colorado Mountain College. An underground parking garage would be built for most of the project.Roaring Fork Community Development Corp. sold the town about 2.5 acres of the mobile-home park closest to the Roaring Fork River. The town plans to turn that space into a park.Nothing will happen if the developer cannot successfully build 38 affordable-housing residences to replace the 38 trailers on the site. Town code requires replacing the housing. Nothing in the code says the replacement housing has to be for the current occupants of the units that are being scraped.The developer plans to take the requirement a step further and find replacement housing for the individuals and families living in the 38 trailers. No specific plan has been announced yet.To accomplish the redevelopment, the developer is asking the council to approve a new type of zoning. That raised eyebrows among some council members. Councilwoman Anne Freedman said the development firm could simply propose a project as a special planned unit development rather than create a new zone district.”I hate to see the code get even worse than it is,” she said.”I have the general concern that Anne does,” Mayor Jacque Whitsitt said.The discussion is scheduled to continue May 8.scondon@aspentimes.com


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