Re-1 ups density request for teacher housing project in Carbondale |

Re-1 ups density request for teacher housing project in Carbondale

John StroudGlenwood Springs correspondentAspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE – The Roaring Fork School District Re-1 is asking for 31 additional residential units than originally requested in its proposal to build teacher housing on the former Carbondale elementary/middle school campus.The Carbondale Planning and Zoning Commission opened a public hearing Thursday night on a proposed amendment to the Carbondale Community Partnership planned unit development (PUD), which was originally approved by the town two years ago.The amendment would increase the number of allowed dwelling units from 89 to 120 on the 15.8-acre site that is now home to the Third Street Center for nonprofits and the Bridges Center.Re-1 is partnering with the Denver-based development firm Perry Rose LLC to turn the open athletic field between the two buildings and the existing bus barn into a mix of mostly deed-restricted, below-market housing for teachers and other public employees.A certain percentage of the residential units would be sold on the free market to offset the cost.In addition, the PUD amendment would:• Allow development of a public library at the corner of Sopris Avenue and 3rd Street; the Garfield County Public Library District has identified the location as its preferred site for a new Carbondale branch library.• Move parking to the rear of the Third Street Center along Highway 133, instead of along Capital Avenue; and allow development of some housing units on Capitol Avenue.• Change a requirement for providing a regulation size soccer field on site to providing a smaller youth soccer field and neighborhood open space on site.• Require a regulation size soccer field to be built off site on other school district property. The district is looking at building a soccer field next to the new Roaring Fork High School building.The new proposal would also give the school district up to five years to commence construction, instead of one year.A handful of adjacent property owners were on hand for the hearing Thursday. The overall density of the project has been an ongoing concern for some neighbors. An earlier proposal to build some units east and south of the Third Street Center, behind some existing townhouses on Second Street, was abandoned due to neighborhood concerns.Thursday’s meeting included a presentation of the proposed amendments and a conceptual site plan. The public hearing was continued until the Sept. 24 P&Z meeting.At an informal neighborhood meeting held in late May to update the proposal, Chuck Perry of Perry Rose LLC said the economics weren’t working to keep costs down at 89 units, and that the additional units would be needed to make the project financially feasible.The school district had originally tried to obtain two separate $2 million Colorado Energy Impact grants to offset help offset the cost of the deed-restricted units. When those grants didn’t come through, the option was to go for additional units as a way to absorb more of the cost, he said.”By distributing the costs over a larger number of units, it allows us to sell the houses at the prices we’re shooting for,” Perry said at the May meeting.The new library, part of the Garfield County Public Library District’s facilities plan, would replace what would otherwise be 12 townhouses on the school district site. Selling the 13,000 square-foot lot for the library would also help offset development

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