City wants to fully utilize Truscott |

City wants to fully utilize Truscott

Sarah S. Chung

Aspen’s City Council agreed Monday to forego parking garages as part of the Truscott Place expansion, but to keep the option of building up to 108 new units in the first two phases of the project.Yesterday, housing office staffers were directed to bring back a design that offers the maximum density possible in a “livable” situation.”This is the one last good opportunity to take advantage of a site that can support this much density,” said Councilman Tom McCabe.”I don’t want to squander this opportunity,” Councilman Tony Hershey said.The range presented, and approved by council members, is a minimum of 92 new units with 108 bedrooms and a maximum of 108 units yielding 120 bedrooms. Truscott Place, currently a 96-unit affordable housing project, is located next to the municipal golf course.On the issue of garages, council members stood united in their resolve to keep them out of the plan.It was stressed, however, that parking structures beneath the proposed tennis courts and/or the main surface parking lot could be added at a later time in a separate application. They would cost an estimated $9 to $12 million.Focusing on the city Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendations for the project, the City Council agreed with the P&Z on about half the advisory board’s concerns.The council sided with the P&Z on pushing for maximum density and the need for a signalized intersection at Truscott’s entrance on Highway 82. But the council rejected several P&Z’s recommendations: to limit hours of operation for a proposed restaurant to serve the golf course, eliminate a community room and construct underground parking.Council members noted that it was probably ill-advised to jeopardize a future restaurant’s economic viability with limits on its operation. The council also unanimously agreed that a community room is important to current and future Truscott residents. And while conceding that underground parking could be vital in the future, providing remote parking for other projects, the council was unwilling to commit city funds at this time.A parking study will be conducted in the coming weeks. If it concludes there is a pressing need for the parking, a garage could be built before construction of the tennis courts is complete.The Truscott plans call for one surface parking space per residential unit.The council is expected to vote on the conceptual plan for the Truscott expansion on April 24.A timetable presented yesterday would allow construction to begin as early as this fall. But project manager Lee Novak told the council the schedule is “very tight . if there any major redesigns we will not have a fall start.”

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