Burlingame HOA board supports higher density
August 24, 2009
ASPEN – It appears some homeowners at Burlingame Ranch affordable housing are getting behind the city’s proposal to build more units there than originally planned.
Aspen Assistant City Manager Barry Crook said the board of directors for the homeowners association can support 258 units with 13 single-family homes. They will now work to convince other homeowners to back the plan before they vote on the matter, which is planned to be within the next 30 days.
“The board members are going to lead the effort to get the additional units out there,” Crook said.
The majority of Aspen voters last fall approved developing up to 300 units at Burlingame rather than the originally envisioned 236. To increase the density, however, the city wants a majority approval through a vote from the Phase I homeowners.
The vote among the 84 homeowners who live at the development, located across from Buttermilk off Highway 82, will be done through a proxy vote.
“They think that will be the easiest,” Crook said of getting participation from homeowners. “The board members of the association can then go around and have a conversation with their neighbors.”
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City officials have been in negotiations with the homeowners association board since January over the proposal to increase the unit count at Burlingame. The city had offered either 258 units with seven single-family homes, or 264 with 13 single-family homes.
However, through an advisory vote taken earlier this month, neither of those options got a majority among homeowners.
The city government is offering numerous concessions to homeowners in exchange for their blessing to build additional units. Officials say more housing on the site will reduce costs and maximize land that’s ready for development.
In exchange for hiking the project’s density, the city has offered to eliminate a $60 per month transit fee from homeowners’ assessments. The fee helps pay for bus service, a vehicle for a car-share program and cab rides. The city also is willing to forgive at least $65,000 in debt owed to the city in transit fees, which are currently being deferred, as well as increase the available parking from 1.67 spaces per unit to two spaces per unit, and turn the parking program over to the homeowners’ association.
All of the city’s offers would be withdrawn if the increased density proposal is unsuccessful.
Crook said having HOA board support is promising for moving forward with the final phases of the city-developed land.
“With the board pushing for that and with the benefits, we have a good chance,” he said.
The upcoming vote will be to change the HOA’s declarations so that it no longer requires 100 percent unanimous approval by homeowners but rather a two-thirds, or 67 percent consent, which is what Colorado state law stipulates.
If and when the declarations are changed, 67 percent of the homeowners would have to agree on more density, Crook said.
The city, which owns six single-family unsold lots, can’t vote on the density issue because it is the developer of the neighborhood, according to state law.
Crook said the city wants the density and the declarations decided by the end of September.
Once the homeowners vote, the city’s development team will finalize the design and drawings of the next phase. Conceptual and schematic design could be complete by the end of 2009, and will cost an estimated $1.5 million.
Because of additional costs added on during Phase I, as well as criticism over the city’s management of the development, several recommendations were made on how to improve future oversight by the government.
The new approach for Phase II will likely be what’s called an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), which entails hiring a program manager, a design team, a contractor and a commissioning agent.
Having a schematic design and a budget by the end of the year should be enough information to give to potential partners who have shown interest in buying into Burlingame to house their own employees. Those partners include Pitkin County, the Aspen School District, Aspen Valley Hospital, the Music Associates of Aspen, the Aspen Skiing Co. and the Aspen Art Museum.
Next year, city officials would complete the IPD process, get a bid for construction and go to voters to approve a multimillion-dollar bond in November.