Aspen’s Burlingame homeowners to vote on density in August |

Aspen’s Burlingame homeowners to vote on density in August

ASPEN, Colorado – Homeowners at Burlingame Ranch will vote in August on whether more units should be built at the affordable housing development on the outskirts of town.

The homeowners association board and the Aspen City Council agreed Monday to send ballots via mail to the 84 homeowners on Aug. 6 and give them a week to vote on two proposals, one that includes 258 units and the other that contemplates 264.

The majority of Aspen voters last fall approved developing up to 300 units at Burlingame rather than the originally envisioned 236. To increase the density, however, the city wants a majority approval through an advisory vote from the Phase I homeowners.

City officials have been in negotiations with the homeowners association board since January over the proposal to increase the unit count at Burlingame. The city’s latest offer is either 258 units with seven single-family homes, or 264 with 13 single-family homes, according to Jim True, special counsel for the city.

“The numbers are based on what would be acceptable to the homeowners and what the city thinks is appropriate,” True said.

Elected officials are considering asking voters for a multimillion-dollar bond in 2010 to pay for the second and third phases of the development, located across from Buttermilk and off Highway 82.

While board representatives have said in the past that most homeowners are against increasing the density, city officials are offering numerous concessions to residents in exchange for their blessing to build additional units. Officials want more units built there in an effort to reduce costs and maximize land that’s ready for development.

Once the homeowners vote, the city’s development team will finalize the design and drawings of the next phase. Conceptual and schematic design could be complete by the end of 2009, and will cost an estimated $1.5 million.

Because of additional costs added on during Phase I, as well as criticism over the city’s management of the development, several recommendations were made on how to improve future oversight by the government.

The new approach for Phase II will likely be what’s called an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), which entails hiring a program manager, a design team, a contractor and a commissioning agent.

Having a schematic design and a budget by the end of the year should be enough information to give to potential partners who have shown interest in buying into Burlingame to house their own employees. Those partners include Pitkin County, the Aspen School District, Aspen Valley Hospital, the Music Associates of Aspen, the Aspen Skiing Co. and the Aspen Art Museum.

Next year, city officials would complete the IPD process, get a bid for construction and go to voters for approval in November.

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