Concerns over school district housing | AspenTimes.com

Concerns over school district housing

Dear Editor:

As members of the board at the Fairway Three Townhome Owners’ Association it falls upon us to convey to you the concerns of the Fairway Three townhome owners and our concerns (as the managing board) regarding the proposed school district project next door.

Our primary concern is the school district’s use of a state statute (written to help build schools in communities) to evade the normal planning processes. I believe that the district thinks of this project as the building of “Teacherages.” It is not. As you are aware, teacherages are buildings which house the teacher’s living quarters and classrooms, or a teacher’s home in which he holds classes.

I do not think this is the intended use by the school district. I realize that this may be a tall order, and realistically impractical, but the school district needs to be told (by persons in authority) that what they are doing is wrong and they need to conform to the town’s zoning and building codes.

Please be aware that we are not against the project, and we are not advocates of NIMBYism. We feel fortunate to be able to live where we do and would not begrudge anyone the opportunity to have housing in the valley; however, the project must conform to town regulations. That being said, the following are some of the concerns that we have come across in our talks with our owners:

• Density of the project – the proposed 15 to 22 units is too dense for the area. 8-10 units would be a more realistic number.

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• Height of the buildings – these should conform to town codes.

• Proximity of buildings to Fairway Three buildings: It is our understanding that the district is proposing that no building will be nearer than 29 feet to a Fairway Three building, which seems acceptable but obviously the greater separation, the better for all concerned.

• Protection of trees on the west side of the Fairway Three property – there are several mature cottonwood trees that would have to be removed should the district maintain the 29-foot separation between buildings.

• Use of Fairway Three property for parking spaces – the district plans to culvert a perennial stream on the property and add three parking spaces above the culverted area on property belonging to Fairway Three townhomes.

• The overall impact of up to 20 families accessing the Fairway Three driveway and Owl Creek Road

The following may be addressed through the managerial process, but are nonetheless concerns expressed by our owners:

• The use of Fairway Three open space by district employees and the potential associated liability issues.

• The issue of the project being all rental units.

• Will there be an onsite manager to oversee rules and regs?

• The addition of possibly 20 pets in the area (getting owners and renters to clean up is a never-ending issue).

• The encroachment of district employees on Fairway Three property for parking and access (taking shortcuts and moving furniture in and out of their units).

We would like to thank you for your time in hearing our concerns. We will be happy to assist in any way possible to see that the project is done correctly. It is disappointing that the district feels the need to circumvent the normal processes. Not only does it set a bad example for the community in general, but also for the very students whom they educate to be future leaders.

Fairway Three board of managers

Snowmass Village