School district moves forward with housing plans in Woody Creek
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado
ASPEN ” The Aspen School Board today will discuss a more detailed plan for a controversial proposed expansion of its West Ranch teacher housing site in Woody Creek ” and how it conforms to local community plans.
The expansion would provide needed teacher housing, but outside the county’s urban growth boundary. The plan’s current draft, as written by Crested Butte-based Elk Mountain Planning Group, proposes four additional duplexes on the site ” or eight units ” in addition to the 10 already there. That number is down from the 12 units the district originally wanted to build on the site.
In addition, the draft plan proposes that the entire West Ranch site be improved with amenities requested by existing residents. Two carports, possibly with “green roofs,” would be built for each unit, in addition to an additional uncovered parking space.
The draft plan also suggests covering the parking lot with asphalt, adding two new bear-proof trash cans and recycling enclosures, drilling an additional well and expanding the existing septic system.
It also proposes replacing some landscaping with native plants and instituting a greywater irrigation system to “recycle” water for irrigation purposes. West Ranch has been found to be utilizing a significant amount of water on the site “presumably for purposes of irrigating lawns, gardens, etc.,” says the draft plan.
The housing and improvements would be built with roughly half the $12 million bond sale authorized by voters in November.
Once the school board approves the plan, it will present it to the Pitkin County Planning Commission. The presentation of a written plan is the district’s next step in a process outlined by state statute, Superintendent Diana Sirko has said.
According to state statute, upon receipt of the plan, the county can request a public hearing ” but it has no power to require changes to the plan.
The county, however, has questioned whether the statute in question can be applied to district buildings that are not schools.
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