Seventh & Main housing plan is beginning to take shape |

Seventh & Main housing plan is beginning to take shape

Sarah S. Chung

The housing board agreed with the city Planning and Zoning Commission last night that the Seventh & Main affordable housing project must fit into the design of the neighborhood.That means there likely will be more density, no commercial space, and less parking.”The site’s too small to have everything, and if we have to give up something, parking seems like the good way to go,” said Bob Helmus of the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority board.The consensus among the board members and the Planning and Zoning Commission is to aim for up to 14 units. But they must be built in a manner that is both livable and doesn’t jar the atmosphere of the immediate area, the board said.One issue housing board members were adamant about, however, was that if parking is reduced to less than one space per unit, an alternate site must be found to make up for the loss.”The reality at Marolt is a fiasco. People have cars, that’s the reality,” said board member Jackie Kasbach. “We can discourage use with a good transit system, but we can’t discourage ownership.”Housing authority project manager Lee Novak suggested that street parking might be sufficient. But board members wanted some additional assurances in place.Some proposed alternatives are to use extra spaces at Benedict Commons or perhaps add some spaces in the plan to expand the Truscott Place housing project.The board also said that, although it wants a fairly dense project, taste should not be sacrificed in that pursuit.”We always hear that everyone wants more units, but look at Centennial. There are a lot of units there, but it’s ugly and that’s all you hear about it,” said board member Cari Britton.

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