City refines plansfor Burlingame
The “Living Machine” at Burlingame Ranch was killed Monday by the Aspen City Council. So was the orchard.The council waded through a list of options for the affordable housing project, deciding what amenities should be included, what should be left out and what elements they’ll consider later, depending on the price tag.Last week, the council selected a proposal from Shaw Poss DHM for the design and construction of Burlingame Ranch, but yesterday it quickly nixed some components of the winning design for the project.Members agreed the cutting-edge Living Machine – an organic system of treating wastewater for on-site reuse in irrigation – was too cutting-edge. City staffers questioned whether the state would even permit the system. Burlingame will be connected to the city’s sanitation system, the council agreed.The Shaw design also included a community orchard, but the council agreed to forego the fruit.”That assumes you’ve got a group of people who want to invest that kind of time and effort out there when the deer or the bears eat all of the apples,” said Mayor Helen Klanderud.A proposal for 12 “live/work” units as part of the first phase of Burlingame also got the ax. The development team proposed one-bedroom units with additional space where residents could work from home, or the extra square footage could be converted into an additional bedroom or two.Like the orchard, council members called it an intriguing, but unfeasible idea, voicing concern about single buyers winding up with extra bedrooms, traffic generation, subsidizing work space and regulatory headaches.”That opens up such a can of worms in a way,” said Councilman Tim Semrau.”This concept, I think, is fantastic, but with a subsidized project, I don’t think you can do it,” Klanderud said.The live/work units will instead be designed solely as residences.The council also agreed the rural subdivision should have streetlights only at intersections, but conduit should be installed to accommodate additional lighting later.Council members called for a public trail along the bluff that will overlook the Roaring Fork River and Maroon Creek, suggested a planned green space be large enough for a full-sized soccer field, and insisted on construction of a community center for the project in phase one. The design team had proposed the center as part of the second phase, but council members aren’t sure if or when phases two and three will be constructed.The transit plan for Burlingame remains unresolved. Buses will be purchased to serve the new enclave of homes, but council members disagreed yesterday on how to fund the service.Monthly homeowners’ dues should help support operation of the route, argued Councilwoman Rachel Richards. The Burlingame bus could also serve North 40 and other housing in the area, she said.”I can’t support making homeowners pay for this,” Klanderud responded. “I don’t think we do that anywhere else in this community.”Homeowners at Aspen Highlands Village pay into a metropolitan district that helps fund transit, Richards countered.Various other building options – primarily finishes within the units – will be priced for the council’s future review. They include providing washers and dryers with all the residences, installing the wiring for ceiling fans in the homes, tile in the bathrooms and kitchens, wireless Internet access in some areas of the neighborhood and that sort of thing.A contract with Shaw Poss DHM may be ready for the council’s consideration as early as next week. The pricing on various construction options will come back to the council on Dec. 13.The Shaw team has proposed 97 homes in the first phase of Burlingame, including 86 units and 11 lots. The housing site is located west of town, between the Maroon Creek Club and Aspen Business Center.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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