Burlingame transit won’t be cheap | AspenTimes.com

Burlingame transit won’t be cheap

Janet Urquhart

A $2 million influx of housing funds has been proposed to help provide mass transit to Aspen’s planned Burlingame Ranch employee housing.The recommended transit plan to serve the new neighborhood outside town requires the purchase of buses and vehicles for a car-sharing program. In addition, a “mobility allowance” of $1,000 per household is proposed for the purchase of scooters, bicycles or other acceptable modes of transportation, along with fees for households that want more than one parking space with their residence.Various transportation options for the housing project are outlined within an analysis of the fiscal impacts associated with Burlingame. The report will go to the Aspen City Council for consideration Monday. The analysis is required for the proposed annexation of land associated with the housing development.With the exception of transportation services, the city’s finance director has concluded the cost of providing city services to Burlingame can be accommodated within the city’s long-range financial plans.Mass transit to serve Burlingame – a 236-unit project to be constructed in three phases – could also significantly improve transit service along the Highway 82 corridor west of town, according to the city’s Transportation Department.About 1,100 residents of employee housing, including the projected 300 residents in phase one of Burlingame, could make use of the additional bus service proposed for Burlingame, according to a Transportation Department memo.The recommended transportation plan for Burlingame requires $1.1 million in start-up costs and $528,196 in annual operating expenses, according to the memo. (The operating costs include $20,000 to serve the Aspen Business Center).It suggests a $2 million contribution from the city’s housing fund to subsidize annual transit service to Burlingame through 2009.Transportation staffers are proposing three new buses, providing service to Aspen every 30 minutes between 6 and 9 a.m. and 3 and 6 p.m., spring, summer and fall. In the winter, buses would provide the peak service, plus run hourly at other times, until 2 a.m.On-demand taxi service would supplement the bus service in the spring, summer and fall, since buses would only run during peak hours in those seasons. The city, Burlingame homeowners and riders would share the estimated $46,000 annual cost of the taxi service, according to the plan. Also recommended is a car-sharing program at Burlingame, with three vehicles provided for phase one’s 97 residences. All households would be assessed $10 per month for the program, under the proposal.The transportation staff has also suggested an allowance of $1,000 per residence for the purchase of scooters, bicycles and such, or the neighborhood’s purchase of a bike fleet or vanpooling vehicle, for example. The staff is suggesting the allowance be provided every four years, or to new residents when they move into Burlingame.The staff has also suggested a fee for any household that wants more than one parking space. About 145 spaces are proposed in phase one; if the extra 48 spaces were available for a $75 monthly fee, $43,200 would be raised to help fund transit to the development.The city hopes to begin construction of Burlingame this spring at a site north of the Maroon Creek Club and east of Deer Hill, across Highway 82 from Buttermilk. The council will hold a public hearing and could give final approval to the annexation of the housing site on Monday.Also on Monday’s agenda is a public hearing on the free-market development that is a companion piece to Burlingame Ranch.The Zoline family’s adjacent Bar/X Ranch, the subject of one annexation hearing, contains some of the land slated for the employee housing. In addition, the family is seeking approval for 12 luxury homes, a cabin, and a cultural facility – the exact use of which is yet to be determined. A ranch manager’s home and existing ranch compound are also part of the plan for the Bar/X.A preannexation agreement between the city and Zolines outlines both the employee housing project and the free-market development.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com


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