HPC likes plan for Seventh and Main
The Seventh and Main affordable housing project received unanimous conceptual approval from Aspen’s Historic Preservation Commission Wednesday.All seven board members gave a thumbs up to the 11-unit West End project, to be built at Seventh and Main streets.”We’re very happy with the quality of architecture, the modern interpretation of the historic character of Main Street,” said Suzannah Reid, HPC chairwoman.Before submitting a conceptual application for the project, staffers at the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority asked the HPC, housing board, city Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council for input.In the project’s preliminary planning stage, there was some dispute over whether there should be a commercial store or another residential unit on the first floor of the structure.P&Z members and housing board members pushed strongly for 12 residences, but the City Council moved forward with a store in the plans.On Wednesday, the HPC sided with the council, agreeing a neighborhood store could really add a positive dimension to the project.”We felt it brought back a sense of really living in a neighborhood that’s been lost in the last 20 years,” Reid said. “We thought it was important to create a gathering place, a place to get to know the people who live around you. It’s already a fairly lively neighborhood year-round and the numbers could support it.”Planners at the Housing Authority will now submit a joint conceptual/final application to the city’s community development department for comment. The project will then make a second and final round of appearances before the housing board, city P&Z and the City Council.Project manager Lee Novak of the housing office anticipates the first meeting with the housing board will probably take place in early December.
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