P&Z tackles Truscott plans
Conceptual plans to expand the recreational and housing facilities at Truscott Place went to Aspen’s Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday for the first of several reviews.After months of preliminary discussions, the formal conceptual plan includes six tennis courts, a new recreational clubhouse, up to 141 new housing units and improved traffic circulation at Truscott, located near the city golf course.Last night’s session, the first of three before the P&Z, included a general overview of the project and identification of concerns to be addressed at later hearings.A number of key issues, identified in earlier meetings, include: pedestrian and vehicular safety, density, parking and impacts to golf operations. The P&Z added some new worries to that list, including construction impacts and the proximity of parking for the proposed new housing.P&Z members and members of the public agreed the timing of traffic improvements and impacts of construction on the public golf course need to be addressed.”I think before anything else is done, there needs to be an evaluation of the intersection onto [Highway] 82,” said Neil Ross, an Aspen resident and golfer.”That should be absolute, not debatable . because things are pretty dangerous right now without adding anything else.”Last May, more than 75 percent of city voters approved an expansion of housing at Truscott.The housing component of the project is proposed in three phases. The first two phases, totaling 101 units, will be built on the dirt storage lot between existing housing and the golf course. The third phase will be the replacement of the 50-unit former Red Roof Inn with a 90-unit apartment building.After the meeting, members of the public wondered if the expansion plan is too ambitious.”I think they’re trying to squeeze too much on the site,” said Aspen resident John Miller.”We need housing, yes. That’s a rhetorical question, but I’m concerned about the city’s fiscal responsibility or irresponsibility,” Ross agreed.At a separate City Council meeting last night, preliminary budget estimates for the Truscott proposal were discussed. The estimated cost of the additional housing plus a parking garage is $17.2 million. The cost of housing with just surface parking is estimated at $8 million.
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Fire activity in the Grizzly Creek drainage since Thursday has caused the Grizzly Creek Fire to grow by about 150 acres.