Burlingame homeowners, Aspen reach deal to add units
ASPEN – Homeowners at the Burlingame Ranch affordable housing development have agreed to allow more units to be built there in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of concessions.
The city of Aspen had been in negotiations with the Burlingame Homeowners’ Association for nearly a year in an effort to get more density in the neighborhood, located across from Buttermilk off of Highway 82. The city acted as the developer of the project, of which phase one was completed a few years ago. The second and third phases are planned for future years.
The city and the HOA announced Tuesday that they reached an agreement to increase the number of units from 236 to 258. Thirteen of those units will be single-family homes.
But in order to reach that agreement, it required a key vote by homeowners.
In a vote held Sept. 30, 94.3 percent of homeowners voted to temporarily suspend a section in the declarations that required 100 percent approval of all homeowners for any increase in the total unit count. That suspension allowed 67 percent of all owners to vote to approve the increase in units under an agreement with the city.
The second step of approval – a vote on the actual amendment to the declarations that govern total unit count – will come at a homeowner meeting scheduled for Oct. 28. The HOA board currently holds proxy statements approving that amendment by 93.4 percent – 85 homeowners voted in favor, two voted against, and four individuals didn’t cast votes, according to Assistant City Manager Barry Crook.
The Aspen City Council is expected at its Oct. 13 meeting to formally approve the changes to the HOA’s declarations.
“We have all worked very hard to create an agreement that allows the city to develop at a higher density and addresses homeowners’ concerns about the impacts of that density on our quality of life,” said Derek Brown, president of the Burlingame Ranch I Condominium Owner’s Association, in a prepared statement.
Brown added that board members, including Sam Ferguson, Nelson Bell and previous board president Diana Ettlinger, have met numerous times with city officials and homeowners over the past 14 months to arrive at an acceptable level of expansion.
City officials said the government will benefit by being able to construct 22 more units than it would otherwise have been permitted to build. The value to the city is that it can build more housing on land it already owns. By forgoing the need to purchase additional land, it’s estimated the city will save $150,000 per unit, or about $3.3 million.
“We are grateful to the homeowners for working with us to find common ground and approve these changes,” said Mayor Mick Ireland. “Now even more people will benefit from the city’s affordable housing program in the same way that current Burlingame residents do.”
In the coming months, the council will adopt a resolution memorializing the agreement with the homeowners. The city will then need to amend the various land-use approvals and other documents filed with Pitkin County.
As the changes wind their way from agreement with the HOA to entitlement approvals, city officials will begin their search for an owner’s representative, who will oversee the project. A request for proposals will go out to attract a suitable architect, and then design and planning will commence before a construction contract is signed.
“We’ll send it out for bid so we will know exactly how much it will cost,” Crook said, adding bond financing will have to be approved by Aspen voters to pay for phases two and three.
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