Silverthorne considers taller buildings | AspenTimes.com

Silverthorne considers taller buildings

Nicole Formosa
Summit County correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

SILVERTHORNE, Colo. ” When the Silverthorne Town Council turned down two development applications proposed this year ” each requesting to exceed the town’s 35-foot height limit ” developers were confused.

Even though the town code caps buildings at 35 feet, the design standards for the Riverfront Mixed Use District, where both projects were proposed, says four-story buildings should be allowed on a case-by-case basis.

Developers wondered where exactly the town would consider more height, and some council members felt boxed in because developers weren’t using the correct development process to ask for a taller building.

“It kind of got a little bit messy there,” said assistant town manager Ryan Hyland, “and I think Councilman (Vince) Lanuza was the one really looking toward what heights are we going to allow (and) where, rather this general approach.”

Now, the town wants to clarify the rules by proposing new height restrictions in different parts of town as part of its comprehensive plan update.

The height limit for all commercial buildings in Silverthorne is 35 feet, although builders are given some leeway for architectural features. The new proposal would allow buildings up to 50 feet on either side of Interstate 70, where the La Quinta is already 76 feet and the Day’s Inn reaches 52 feet and around the Summit Place Shopping Center and the Red Village of the Outlets at Silverthorne.

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The two hotels are considered legal, non-conforming projects because town records don’t show how their respective heights were approved, according to town planner Mary Devlin.

The height limit would taper down to 45 feet around where the Silverthorne Pavilion is located, as well as the Blue Village of the Outlets at Silverthorne. The east side of the Blue River from Tanglewood Lane down to 6th Street would lower to 40 feet, as well as the commercial area west of Adams Ave. behind the Outlets’ Blue Village.

Most of the other commercial areas would remain at 35 feet and the residential height limit of 25 feet wouldn’t change.

Devlin said the proposed numbers came from the community development department, as well as suggestions from the town council, on where best additional height could be accommodated and still maintain the character of the town.

During discussions of proposed heights, an effort was made to preserve view corridors from residential areas to the town’s natural elements, such as the Blue River and the Gore Range, Devlin said.

The town is looking to hear from the community on the proposed changes and will hold one of several upcoming open houses on Thursday to gather feedback to be considered in future revisions.

Devlin said the work on the comprehensive plan, which is an advisory document that’s updated once every five years, should be completed by the end of the year.