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S’mass voters approve housing

Aspen Times Staff Report

Voters in Snowmass Village Tuesday approved a special election question for 16 units of affordable housing by a margin of 227 to 95.

With 1,855 registered voters in Snowmass Village, it was a small turnout, and even smaller than the last special election in October 1999, when 391 voters went to the one polling place in the village.

Voters may soon get used to special elections in Snowmass Village. New legislation requires the town to seek voter approval to proceed with any project worth more than $3.8 million.

The town now has the authority to move forward on the $6 million deed-restricted housing project known as Parcel N. No doubt the project will gain a more poetic name in the near future as construction plans move forward.

Parcel N consists of 10 three-bedroom units and six two-bedroom units that will be priced between $190,000 to $250,000. Under the town’s affordable housing guidelines, employees living in Snowmass Village will have the best chance of purchasing a unit, followed by employees living outside the town but still in Pitkin County.

The units will be built at the bottom of Faraway Road, across from the new Timbers luxury time-share project now under construction. The town bought the 3.45-acre parcel for $350,000 in 1999 in order to build housing. With a steep embankment on one side and a creek on the other, the site is not ideal, but it will do.

“We are going to build two less units than what we originally thought,” said T. Michael Manchester, mayor of Snowmass Village. “But it still provides some very necessary housing in a good location. We look for new locations all the time and there aren’t any.”


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