Snyder Park just about ready
Local officials are expecting unprecedented interest in the new, 15-unit Snyder Park affordable housing project, which could be ready for a lottery as early as next month.If the Aspen City Council approves the sale prices for the deed-restricted units today, the long-awaited Snyder Park lottery could be held as soon as Dec. 20. That would mean lucky owners of the units could be moving into their new digs by mid-February.The 15-unit, east side project, which features a mix of sale units and park-like green areas with ponds, is nearing completion after a lengthy planning process. The complex was designed and redesigned during a time-consuming give-and-take to come up with a project acceptable to neighbors, and then delayed when housing and city officials decided to rebid its construction.But last week, the final budget and sale prices for the project were unanimously forwarded by the housing board. City Council approval is all that remains before the units are advertised, open houses are organized and a lottery is held.”It’s a lovely property. I just wish there were more units. I wish it was twice as big,” said Jackie Kasabach, chairwoman of the housing board.”I’m really satisfied with how it turned out,” said Housing Authority project manager Lee Novak. “We’ve created a wonderful product that’s going to be a really nice place to live.”Housing officials expect plenty of other people to feel that way, too. In fact, housing office employees are predicting a record number of participants for the Snyder Park lottery. An office pool has bets on up to 500 applications for the Snyder lottery.”We think it’ll be huge, considering the demand and the positive response from the public,” Novak said.The Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority expects to market the units for three weeks, beginning Wednesday, which would mean applicants must have their paperwork in by 4 p.m. on Dec. 15 to participate in the lottery. Open houses are planned Dec. 2 and 9, at noon and 5 p.m. both days.The total cost to build Snyder Park was $5.6 million. Proceeds from the sale of the units are projected at $2,342,494, leaving a final subsidy of $3,264,781.The sale prices for the units, as recommended by the housing board, are:-One Category 2 one-bedroom unit for $78,300;-Four Category 3 one-bedroom units for $120,800;-Four Category 4 one-bedroom units for $196,000;-One Category 2 three-bedroom unit for $100,300;-Two Category 3 three-bedroom units for $143,000;-Three Category 4 three-bedroom units for $219,500.Aside from a final budget approval from the City Council, however, there still remains a question on how to choose the future resident of a unit fitted to American Disabilities Act specifications.The housing board has recommended holding a separate lottery for the unit. Still under debate is whether to hold the separate lottery for everyone who meets the ADA definition of disabled or to narrow the field to those who specifically need the specific features of the unit, which will be wheelchair-accessible and offer other features for the mobily disabled.In previous discussions, housing board members leaned toward simply using the broad ADA definition in considering an applicant pool for the unit. That definition encompasses “any physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities,” including afflictions such as heart disease, emotional illness, drug addiction and alcoholism.
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I’m writing in strong favor of the affordable housing project that is under discussion with the county, and feel that Mick Ireland’s commentary Feb. 22 in the Daily News of hit the nail on the…