Basalt project inches toward approval |

Basalt project inches toward approval

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT ” A development proposal that would add 171,000 square feet of commercial space and at least 40 residences to Basalt’s South Side moved closer to approval Tuesday night when the Town Council raised no flags.

A team headed by longtime Basalt developers Paul Adams and Clay Crossland proposed the project on a 9-acre piece of ground along South Side Drive, between Big O Tires and the Basalt High School. They want to build nearly 81,000 square feet of mini-storage space, 20,000 square feet for offices, and 70,000 square feet of light industrial. Forty residences will be mixed in with the commercial space.

The developers also reached a prior agreement with the town to donate a 1.3-acre parcel earmarked for development of housing for teachers. The number of homes hasn’t been determined and it is uncertain whether the town, Roaring Fork School District or some partnership would fund construction of the homes.

The development firm meets its obligations by donating the property.

The Town Council reviewed the project Tuesday night and raised no specific concerns. No decision was sought from the board because the town planning and legal staff are still negotiating details with the developers’ team.

One topic still to be worked out is the amount of affordable housing and housing overall at the project.

The master plan identifies the site as suitable for 33 units. The developers proposed 40. Town planners and the Basalt Planning and Zoning Commission contend that all units in excess of 33 should be affordable housing, with income restrictions on buyers and limits on resale prices. The developers contend that prior agreements with the town don’t require them to build any affordable housing as long as they provide land for teacher housing.

Jody Edwards, the attorney for Crossland and Adams, proposed compromising by allowing construction of 41 units ” with the excess eight units divided between free market and deed restricted housing. Town officials didn’t immediately respond to the proposal.

The developers’ team also suggested the site might be appropriate for even more housing because it is within the town’s identified urban growth boundary, served by existing infrastructure and close to a major bus stop.

The council directed its staff to engage in more talks over the housing issues. The proposal will come back to the council in February for possible first-round approval.

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