County building passes city muster on first reading |

County building passes city muster on first reading

The Pitkin County government’s proposal to build new offices on East Main Street scored City Council’s approval on first reading Monday.

But the scrutiny will intensify in the coming weeks as the approval process must be completed by May 18, 60 days after the county submitted its land-use application with the city.

By a 4-0 vote, the council approved the first leg of the process (Councilman Bert Myrin was out on vacation).

Mayor Steve Skadron said that at second reading, he will want clear details on the project’s overall height as well as its sustainability goals, traffic impacts, carbon use, design and affordable-housing mitigation.

Affordable housing also is a concern of the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority, which last week said it would require audits performed to examine the potential need for new housing with the development, Justin Parker, a senior planner for the city, told the council.

County officials are aiming to gut and rebuild the interior of 17,000-square-foot building at 530 E. Main St. They also want to erect a 23,000-square-foot building to the back of it and an 8,000-square-foot, 12-space parking garage underneath it.

The city also wants to see a larger setback between the new building and the Pitkin County Courthouse, a reduction in the mass and scale of the building’s north side and more architectural consistency between the buildings, among other recommendations.

Provided it secures approval, the $22 million project is scheduled for completion by fall 2017.

The county had said it needs the building to consolidate its operations in one location.

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