Planning for the future: Snowmass Town Council visits Coffey Place, mulls future developments
Snowmass Village’s master housing plan identifies potential workforce housing opportunities
Town Council caught a glimpse at both the present and the future of workforce housing in Snowmass Village at a site visit to Coffey Place and subsequent master housing plan update at a work session April 12.
Council members joined Housing Director Betsy Crum, Town Manager Clint Kinney and construction and design teams for an April 12 tour of each of the five types of units in Coffey Place as the single-family homes and duplexes near completion.
Some of the 15 units close next week and the rest by mid-May, and soon-to-be residents who won the lottery for the deed-restricted homes can move in as early as the homes close, Crum wrote in an email.
Of the new units, one is a three-bedroom, ADA-accessible single-family home, six are two-bedroom duplex townhomes, six are three-bedroom single-family homes (half of those have slightly more square footage) and two are three-bedroom single-family homes with a finished basement.
Some homes looked nearly move-in ready during the tour, others still require a few more finishing touches before they can welcome residents. And all have come a long way since last summer; homes that nine months ago were just taking shape on a hard-hats-on, structural level are now close enough to completion that visitors had to take off their shoes to enter.
The homes neighbor the existing Rodeo Place workforce housing community near Town Park and are named in honor of Joe Coffey, the town’s first housing director who served in the role for nearly four decades.
“I do think about Joe Coffey — I think he would have been proud of this,” Crum said after the tour.
Council was by and large impressed with what they saw, several members said.
“I think they put a lot of thought into these units,” Councilwoman Alyssa Shenk said. She noted that features like abundant storage space in the units suggested that designers listened to and heeded community feedback.
“They’re beautiful, there’s no doubt about it,” Councilman Tom Goode said. Many of the units boast sweeping views of the ski area and wetlands (and, in some cases, the tennis courts, skate park and rodeo grounds in Town Park); expansive kitchens come equipped with stainless steel appliances.
Goode did note — as he and others have pointed out in the past — that there’s also a higher price to the well-appointed homes; units sold for between $495,000 and $835,000, a number that isn’t attainable for some of the community’s workforce. A number of other deed-restricted units in the town’s inventory have recently sold in the $300,000 ballpark, according to sales data from 2019, 2020 and 2021.
For Crum, the completion of these units is the culmination of a yearslong project to bolster the town’s workforce housing inventory.
“I am really glad that council got to see this,” Crum said. “It’s been a vision for a while — I’m glad to see it come true.”
The 15 units help chip away at the town’s goal to add 200 new units to its inventory; once completed, the town will have 185 to go. (The town currently manages about 175 deed-restricted units and 300 rental units, according to an agenda summary for the master housing plan.)
Just how those remaining units will come to fruition hasn’t been finalized yet, but a preliminary version of a master housing plan presented at the April 12 work session proposes several viable options.
A “Suitability Sustainability Matrix” included in the plan weighed 21 spaces based on nine suitability categories (including vehicular access, density potential and community impact) to identify the most workable choices.
Five spots scored the highest on the matrix: the land behind Town Hall, the Snowmass Inn, numbered lots 10 to 12 on Carriage Way, numbered Lot 1 and the existing Carriage Way Apartments building, and a small plot next to Public Works on Owl Creek Road.
That plan is largely “conceptual” at the moment, Crum told council — a preliminary “road map” of sorts that can help guide the town toward future workforce housing opportunities. Council will continue to weigh the pros and cons of each opportunity in the coming weeks and months as they consider factors like parking, construction impacts and the distribution of for-sale to rental units.
“We are still primed for input and that’s why you’re seeing it at this level,” Kinney said. “We’re looking for that big-picture feedback.”
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