Affordable housing project gets approval | VailDaily.com

Affordable housing project gets approval

Vince Riggio's Trinity Development will build a 70-unit workforce apartment project on this parcel in Edwards. Construction could begin this fall or next spring.
Eagle County|Special to the Daily |

EAGLE — A 70-unit apartment project got the green light Tuesday, one of the first large housing projects since the recession.

The county commissioners on Tuesday approved the west Edwards project. Trinity Development hopes to start construction this fall or next spring, said Allison Kent, a planner with the Mauriello Planning Group that is handling the project.

WORTH THE TRADE-OFF

Tuesday’s meeting was the commissioners’ second look at the project. They expressed some concerns with parking, but after the developer reduced the number of units (78 to 70), increased the number of parking spaces to 147, the commissioners decided that adding workforce rental housing in a market this tight was worth the trade-off.

The 147 parking spaces are still 13 percent below what the county’s regs say they should be.

However, of the 70 apartments, 18 are earmarked as affordable housing. The project will remain rental units, Kent said.

The project will be located between the mobile home park on the south side of U.S. Highway 6 on 4 acres, between the Edwards Interfaith Chapel and Community Center and the Edwards mobile home park.

Trinity Development had to begin with having the zoning changed. The spot was originally zoned for low density residential in 1974, when Edwards was all ranch land. It was also a long distance phone call from Vail.

“There are a lot of things I like about the project. It could jumpstart redevelopment in a blighted area,” said Jill Ryan, county commissioner.

It also provides affordable housing at two times the county’s required rate, Ryan said.

“The need for rental housing is huge. That affects our workforce,” said Kathy Chandler-Henry, county commissioner.

The developer asked the commissioners to waive $54,000 in road impact fees. The commissioners said that while affordable housing is a noble cause, they weren’t inclined to do that, especially since they’ve never done it for anyone else.

The county’s housing needs assessment indicates that Eagle County could use 4,853 more affordable and attainable units this year. In 10 years, that number will increase to 9,593 units needed.

Jill Klosterman, Eagle County’s housing director, has said that in Eagle County, 99 percent of the available rental units are leased.

The property directly to the east is zoned low density. Other adjacent properties are the Edwards Design and Crac Center, and Fox Hollow, a Habitat for Humanity project.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.




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