News in Brief |

News in Brief

Aspen will drop the amount of parking it requires for new downtown development, but hike the price for developers who’d rather pay cash than build the spaces.

In the commercial core, the city will require one space per 1,000 square feet of net leasable space or $30,000 per space for those who’d rather pay than build parking. The City Council upped the cash-in-lieu price from $15,000 to $30,000 on Monday before adopting changes to the parking code. Members also cut the requirement from 1.5 spaces to one per 1,000 square feet in the core.

Councilman Tim Semrau suggested the changes, noting $30,000 per space more accurately reflects the cost of building a space downtown, where underground parking is typically necessary.

“We’re doing a little dance here where we don’t make this feel so unreasonable that no one can do it,” he said.

In addition, the code now allows the city to spend the money from developers who choose the cash route on more than just construction of additional parking. It can go to the city’s car-sharing program and the in-town bus system, for example.

The code also eliminates parking requirements for residential and lodging development in the commercial core and C-1 zone districts, as it has proven a barrier to those kinds of developments.

On-site parking requirements make privately built affordable housing in the core impossible, noted Chris Bendon, the city’s head planner.

Habitat for Humanity for the Roaring Fork Valley acquired a duplex lot in Carbondale that will allow for two housing units for low-income families.

The acquisition was a result of the Carbondale board of trustees’ approval of the Cleveland Place subdivision on March 22. A total of 31 homes on 2.7 acres are planned for the development.

The land donation helped Cleveland Place developers David Hicks, Bill Neel and Tom Neel, of 211 Eighth, LLC, fulfill Carbondale’s affordable housing requirements. The developer plans to build 11 single-family homes, plus 20 attached duplex units.

“It is a good fit,” said Neel. “We get to satisfy the requirements and help out the local Habitat affiliate.”

Ray Limoges, president of the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate, noted the units will likely sell for $90,000 each with an interest-free mortgage to qualified families earning between $18,500 and $32,000 a year, which is within 25 percent to 50 percent of the area’s median income.

For more information about the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate, family selection, volunteering, or donating money or construction materials, call 963-8555.

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