March 28 DRB Meeting Cancelled
MOUNTAIN VILLAGE – Plans to redevelop the erstwhile Telluride Apartments into an affordable housing hub have been trimmed back once again, reflecting neighbors’ concerns about increasing density in the mostly year-round Mountain Village Meadows community.
An outcry from residents this week suggests that neighbors still may not be comfortable with the project.
Eastern Partners, the applicant for the Lot 640A redevelopment, submitted revised plans to Mountain Village last week decreasing the project’s overall density by just under ten percent.
This latest design represents Eastern Partners’ latest iteration of the plan to build a privately owned-and-managed rental affordable housing development on the Telluride Apartments site along Adams Ranch Road in the Mountain Village.
The 30-unit Telluride Apartments complex was condemned due to mold in 2010, and has been vacant since.
Eastern Partners purchased the property last year in hopes of redeveloping the site as an affordable housing nucleus, as outlined in the Mountain Village’s 2011 Comprehensive Plan.
Eastern Partners faced opposition from neighbors in the Meadows when they presented their first 149-unit plan, and later when they presented a 129-unit plan, a 116-unit plan, and the 99-unit plan submitted to the town in February. The revised plans reduce the density to 91 units, which is consistent with the development plans suggested by the Mountain Village Comprehensive Plan.
Mountain Village Meadows resident Neil Hastings echoed some of his neighbors, worrying that 91 units of affordable housing may be too many. “It keeps going down,” he said, of the density, “but still, anything over 50 units, in my humble opinion is overkill for the Meadows. However, I am… certainly open to the possibility of compromise; maybe 60 units,” Hastings wrote in an email distributed to DRB and some Meadows residents earlier this week.
Other residents expressed concern that the project would hurt the desirability of the town-owned-and-operated Village Court Apartments, resulting in lower occupancy and possibly presenting a financial burden for the town. Still others have said that adding more rental units would decrease property values in the Meadows area, and negatively impact town services like utilities and transportation.
One Mountain Village Meadows resident, who spoke anonymously, said: “It is hard enough to sell a home in the Meadows with the TMV deed restriction as it currently exists without this area becoming more of a ‘lower-income rental depot.’ I personally would rather see the Meadows become a more desirable locals’ neighborhood than a less desirable ‘rental’ neighborhood.”
The newest plans deliver a total of 202 bedrooms, broken down into eight one-bedroom units, 55 two-bedroom units, and 28 three-bedroom units. According to Eastern Partners’ Randy Edwards, the mix provides more larger-sized units that could attract more families looking for higher-end rental properties.
Assuming a maximum of two people per bedroom, the project could add a total population of 404 people to the mix; since the February DRB meeting, the plan has scaled back the number of bedrooms from 224 bedrooms (448 people) to 202 bedrooms (404 people), a theoretical population decrease of 44 people.
In reality the population would be less, since only one person would likely occupy one bedroom, versus the maximum of two people.
The gross floor area was reduced from the 110,866 sq. ft. in the February plans to 104,516 sq. ft., a reduction of 6,350 sq. ft. – and a 5.7 percent decrease in size.
Mountain Village Director of Community Development Chris Hawkins explained that the review process currently underway for the Telluride Apartments redevelopment is designed to ascertain what best meets the community’s goals and wishes, with the Comprehensive Plan – an advisory document designed to give basic guidelines for future development in the Mountain Village.
The Comprehensive Plan identified the Lot 640A site as a higher density employee-housing project to mitigate the impacts caused by overall development of the Comprehensive Plan, and create a more sustainable community by reducing the number of commuters into the Telluride Region.
“What it comes down to is what fits, and that’s what this whole process has been about: Getting this project to the right size,” Hawkins said of the development process.
The revised plans are available to view on the Mountain Village website at:
The next public discussion of Lot 640A redevelopment was scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 28. On Thursday morning, the Mountain Village Planning Department announced that the applicant has decided to provide an expanded legal renoticing to include all of the Meadows residents.
A new DRB public hearing will be rescheduled.