Truscott expansion in hands of voters |

Truscott expansion in hands of voters

Sarah S. Chung

Voters will be asked next week to approve turning a “dirt storage area” into approximately 100 units of affordable rental housing.

The storage area will be used to expand the Truscott affordable housing complex next to the Aspen Municipal Golf Course – if voters give the idea a thumbs up on May 4.

“The question asks voters to approve turning a dirt pile into affordable housing. It’s really that simple,” said Lee Novak, project manager for the Aspen/Pitkin County Housing Authority. “It’s also important for people to know that the expansion will not cut into the golf course or affect golf course operations in any way.”

According to Novak, the expansion must be approved by voters because the 3-acre parcel was purchased with open-space funds along with the rest of the city’s public golf course in the early 1970s. But for at least five years, the proposed expansion area has been used for dirt storage by the city parks department.

If approved, the expansion of Truscott would add between 80 and 120 new rental units to the housing authority’s inventory. The expansion would also allow a redesign of the streets serving Truscott in order to provide “a more neighborhood feel,” Novak said.

“In any case the expansion would help address an obvious and strong need for rental units in the community as evidenced by the waiting list of a year-and-a-half to four years at Truscott,” Novak remarked. “It’s a great location that really lends itself to this kind of proposal.”

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