Property owners, city will work together on redevelopment plan
Several private property owners and the city of Aspen will get together to plan the potential redevelopment of a pocket of land between Main Street and Rio Grande Park.
Klaus Obermeyer, whose family owns several parcels bordered by Rio Grande Place and East Bleeker Street, petitioned the city to act as a partner in his redevelopment plans, since the city owns several slivers of land bordering his property.
The Aspen City Council agreed Monday to the joint planning effort, voting to use its COWOP review process to come up with a land-use plan for the area.
The COWOP process was established for use when the city is both an applicant and the body that must approve a development. Projects are eligible when they are reasonably necessary for the Convenience and Welfare of the Public – hence the COWOP acronym.
Obermeyer owns a light-industrial building and some funky houses that he has proposed razing in order to construct new affordable commercial space and housing. His project could include underground parking that could provide the city with some spaces it wants near the downtown core.
Three neighboring property owners whose parcels would be affected by the redevelopment have agreed to the inclusion of their parcels in the planning exercise. They include Robert Zupancis, Gailen Smith and Bill Murphy.
Murphy has already proposed the redevelopment of one of his buildings to create new affordable commercial space and affordable housing.
Most of the land to be studied is located in the city’s service/commercial/industrial zone, designated for service-oriented businesses. Half of the Zupancis property, a Main Street residence, has a commercial core zoning.
A COWOP task force was appointed with Monday’s council action to explore redevelopment scenarios for the combined properties. A final plan should be ready for a public hearing before the council in August, according to the proposed time line for the review.
The task force will be chaired by Julie Ann Woods, director of the city’s Community Development Department. Other members will include all the private property owners or their representatives, two members of the city Planning and Zoning Commission, City Councilman Tom McCabe, one Historic Preservation Commission member, a Pitkin County representative, a commercial tenant in Obermeyer’s building, a resident of the neighboring Concept 600 building and three citizens at large.
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