Breckenridge mulls limits on house size
July 22, 2009
BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. – Proposed home-size restrictions for Breckenridge are up for public comment Wednesday at Town Hall.
The latest plan is the conclusion of a task force aiming for a balanced scheme toward long-term preservation of town character.
It calls for set ratios – varying by subdivision – of lot size to the proposed home’s square footage, as well as square-footage caps.
“It is a lot more lenient than the last proposal,” town planner Julia Puester said. “The task force was made up of citizens who were on both sides of the issue, and this is the recommendation they came up with.”
A proposal in February had suggested capping new home sizes at the 80th percentile of existing homes – meaning a new home would have to be smaller than 20 percent of the others in that neighborhood. But a wide majority of residents from about 25 town neighborhoods disagreed on the grounds the proposal was excessive.
The latest proposal calls for maximum home sizes ranging from 4,000 square feet in Warrior’s Mark subdivision to 9,000 square feet in Gold Flake and parts of the Highlands subdivisions.
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Floor-area-ratios range from 1:2 to 1:20. Subdivision-specific ratios, as well as more of the proposal’s details, are available at http://www.townofbreckenridge.com under “Projects and Issues.”
The proposal also includes a 900 square-foot garage exemption, which could accommodate an oversized two-car garage or a three-car garage, according to the town.
Puester said the response to the latest proposal has been positive.
“I haven’t heard anything negative at this point,” she said. “But I’m sure there will be some people who are concerned, and we want to hear those concerns at the open house.”
The policy would only apply to homes outside the Historic District, in subdivisions without platted building or disturbance envelopes. Single-family residences and some duplexes are the only structures with no square-footage limits in the town’s development code.
The concept of a neighborhood preservation plan was first brought before council in September 2007.
“An example of this concern is subdivisions that have been experiencing tear-downs, additions and new construction that is larger than the character of the neighborhood,” according to http://www.townofbreckenridge.com.
Puester said neighborhood preservation policies have been adopted in Pitkin and Boulder counties, as well as others.