City approves Fox Crossing |

City approves Fox Crossing

Janet Urquhart

Fox Crossing, a new subdivision that will transform a funky section of Aspen’s northeast side, won City Council approval Monday after yet another lengthy public hearing.”I think you guys have done a great job … I’m sorry if you feel like you’ve been through a bit of grilling these past few weeks,” said Councilman Tim Semrau.”This is a large project. It certainly changes the neighborhood,” added Mayor Helen Klanderud, explaining the council’s critical look at the project and its impacts on the neighborhood.The council voted 3-0 to approve the free-market development; Rachel Richards and Terry Paulson, residents of the nearby Hunter Creek Condominiums, recused themselves.Fox Crossing will bring up to 19 homes in a combination of single-family residences and duplexes to an area bounded by Lone Pine Road, Walnut Street and Race Alley, south of the Hunter Creek Condominiums.Developer Walnut Properties LLC, represented by Camilla Auger, will preserve nine acres near the mouth of the Hunter Creek Valley as part of the deal. It will become part of about 40 acres of open space at the popular access point to the valley, said Stan Clauson, the developers’ planning consultant.”There’s a huge benefit there in terms of continuous open space,” he said.The development rights gained by preserving the open space equal three lots and a total of about 5,400 square feet in the subdivision, according to Chris Bendon, the city’s head planner.The proposed density in Fox Crossing, however, doesn’t exceed what’s permitted by the existing zoning, Clauson noted. The open space deal does exempt the added development from the city’s growth regulations.The gaining of development rights through the conservation of open space troubled the council in its deliberations two weeks ago. Members suggested access to the landlocked parcel, provided by Auger, facilitated its development potential and therefore the need to acquire it as open space. Some council members referred to the deal as a “sleight of hand.”Last night, city and county open space officials lauded the opportunity to place the property into conservation. In addition, the development will also restore the dilapidated, historic Griffith home and the meadow next to it. The meadow will become a city park and the home will see an addition behind it. Two other cabins, known as the Line Shacks, will also be preserved and incorporated into a single-family home.Traffic circulation and parking were among the big concerns for neighbors of the project. Narrow Race Alley will become a one-way, northbound street as part of the subdivision approval.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is

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