Burlingame RO: $600,000 cap | AspenTimes.com

Burlingame RO: $600,000 cap

Janet Urquhart

The most expensive homes at Aspen’s planned Burlingame Ranch employee housing development should be capped at a starting price of slightly less than $600,000, according to the Aspen-Pitkin County housing board.Asked to weigh in on a price cap for the RO, or resident-occupied, single-family homes at Burlingame, the housing board on Wednesday settled on $599,544 – $155,000 for the lot plus $444,554 for construction, including architectural fees and permits.The RO cap is 20 percent higher than the cost of a Category 7 home, the next most expensive category of home slated for Burlingame.The Aspen-Pitkin County housing guidelines establish prices for units in Categories 1-7, but currently contain no maximum sales price for RO units. The City Council turned to the housing board for a recommendation on a price cap for the planned RO residences at Burlingame, hoping to avoid a repeat of what occurred at North 40.The North 40 project was a privately developed housing project restricted to local workers, but it placed no cap on what lot buyers could spend building their homes. A handful of resales at North 40 have topped the $1 million mark, reflecting the cost of construction, the lot and 4 percent annual appreciation.The first phase of Burlingame Ranch, a city-subsidized project, is slated to include 86 units in various categories that will be constructed and sold to qualified workers. It will also include 11 lots – two priced at Category 6, three at Category 7 and six RO lots. The city anticipates selling the lots to local workers who will then arrange for the design and construction of their homes independently. “They [the City Council] are trying to figure out if this is doable and not have million-dollar ROs,” Assistant City Manager Ed Sadler told the housing board last night.Board members concluded RO buyers could build a home for roughly $200 per square foot, given the price caps they’re recommending.The board also suggested the RO homes be limited in size to 2,200 square feet, plus 500 square feet for a garage. The site does not lend itself to basements, said Michelle Bonfils, project manager for the city.The board was also amenable to RO buyers constructing an accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, on their properties, but that square footage will come out of the main residence. The ADU will be limited to 400 to 700 square feet. Homeowners don’t have to rent out the ADU, but if they do, it has to be rented to a local worker. Rent should be capped at the Category 2 level (currently $726 per month for a 400-square-foot studio apartment).The 2,200-square-foot limit on the RO homes will help keep the homes affordable, especially as they come up for resale when the original owner decides to sell, Bonfils reasoned.”If we let it get much bigger than that … for the second generation that moves into it, it’s a $900,000 house,” she said. “Twenty-two-hundred square feet is not small,” Bonfils added.The Burlingame Ranch property is located between the Maroon Creek Club and Aspen Business Center on the outskirts of town. The city has chosen a developer and hopes to begin home construction this year, though the project may face a challenge in the May election.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com

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