Truscott housing plan advances |

Truscott housing plan advances

It was standing-room only at Monday’s work session on expanding housing at Truscott Place, but that didn’t keep the project from moving forward.

The Aspen City Council gave staffers enough direction to submit a conceptual application, which keeps the project on schedule for a construction start in the fall of 2000.

However, judging from attendance at this preliminary stage of planning, public officials will be hearing an earful from users of the city golf course as the project advances.

The city is looking at adding 100 more housing units at Truscott, along with traffic improvements, additional parking, more tennis courts and a new golf clubhouse.

Two alternatives were presented last night, but council members liked components of both options and also saw drawbacks in the two proposals.

“I’m not jumping up and down over either site design,” said Mayor Rachel Richards. “I think a likely outcome will end up being a hybrid of the two.”

In May, about 75 percent of city voters approved building additional housing at the “dirt lot” between current Truscott housing and the public golf course.

But the majority of those who spoke at Monday’s meeting had reservations about the impact of doubling the number of units already at Truscott. Many who spoke were members of the Golf Advisory Committee. Their concerns include visual, noise and traffic impacts that could come with more housing at the site.

Golf course architect Rick Felts noted that “from a pure golf course design standpoint” one of the proposed alternatives was actually an improvement visually, in that it gets “rid of the dirt lot.”

But Felts’ comment did little to assuage a general feeling among many course users that 100 more units is simply too much density.

“We’re incrementally destroying our open space,” said Don Wrigley of Aspen.

In response, Richards noted that one of the most uniformly supported positions during both the May election and the countless meetings on the Aspen Area Community Plan was to have more affordable housing closer to the city core, particularly at Truscott.

One thing everyone agreed on is the need for a better left turn into and out of the Truscott/golf course complex. Residents and council members alike described the situation as impossible at best and a “death trap” at worst.

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