NIMBYism wins in battle over Basalt affordable housing |

NIMBYism wins in battle over Basalt affordable housing

The town of Basalt and a major developer have been scrambling in an attempt to de-fuse a battle that is brewing over affordable housing.

Developer Michael Lipkin drastically scaled back his plans for a type of housing called accessory dwelling units at his Willits project, in large part to placate angry property owners there. The building area is located just upvalley from the El Jebel City Market.

Although development at Willits is just getting under way, about 18 owners of homes or property filed objections recently over Lipkin’s plans to add 111 accessory dwelling units in a single-family home neighborhood.

Lipkin already had approvals from the town of Basalt for 42 accessory dwelling units, known as ADUs. An ADU is an apartment of no more than 750 square feet that’s added to a home, often someplace such as above a garage.

Lipkin and his partners came under fire earlier this year from the Town Council for not including enough affordable housing in their project. In response, the developers came up with a plan that could create between 288 and 387 affordable housing bedrooms.

But in an effort to satisfy the town government’s concerns for enough affordable units, new concerns were raised by neighbors over the amount of housing. Foes said adding 111 ADUs would make their neighborhood too dense.

Some Basalt officials felt the foes raised legitimate points. They claimed that not all 111 additional lots proposed for ADUs were appropriate due to issues like size and location.

Town planner Glenn Hartmann said he and Lipkin went over each of the lots to determine where ADUs might work best. As a result, Lipkin is seeking approvals for 36 units in addition to the 42 already approved, for a total of 78.

That’s down about 50 percent from the original proposal of 153.

It’s unknown yet whether the revision will end the NIMBY fight. Foes of the ADUs made their objections via a form letter. They haven’t attended town government meetings on the issue.

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