Minturn development granted early approval
By the numbers:
The following numbers are from the proposed plan from GPS Designs for 947 Main St.
11: Buildings on the 52,000-square-foot lot.
22: Units available.
63: Parking spaces available.
$360,000: Cost of one-bedroom unit.
$450,000: Cost of two-bedroom with a den unit.
$650,000: Cost of three-bedroom unit.
MINTURN — The Town Council on Wednesday gave the green light to a preliminary development plan in the south part of town because it meets the town’s goals of providing affordable housing, among other things.
Greg Sparhawk, of GPS Designs, presented his plan to the council at Wednesday’s meeting. The plan proposes 11 duplexes at 947 Main St., with prices ranging from $360,000 to $650,000 for units ranging from one to three bedrooms.
“If everybody hates the project, then I’m not going to do the project,” Sparhawk said, adding that he moved his family from Minturn to Seattle because of housing prices before returning recently.
Councilman Earle Bidez said his main concern is keeping the prices affordable, saying he’s seen prices go up after initial plans and surveying.
Councilman Harvey Craig said he was concerned about parking, as most units would have up to three parking spaces. He also said he was worried about space for snow removal and storage.
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There was also some concern about the density of the development, but Sparhawk’s design factors in the town’s desire for green space on the 52,000-square-foot lot.
After a productive back and forth, including supportive public comments, the council approved the conceptual development design unanimously, 6-0. Next, Sparhawk and GPS Designs will begin working on a preliminary planned unit development application for the council, an expensive process that includes planning and engineering.
“There’s a hunger for this type of thing,” Bidez said.
Former council member George Brodin spoke during public comment and said, “I think it’s a great project.”
The 11 duplexes would have a “suburbia feel,” Town Planner Janet Hawkinson said. Sparhawk presented an image of 11 duplexes with varying, “fun” colors, something some council members liked and others didn’t.
Council members also requested varied buildings, objecting to what they called the “cookie-cutter” examples presented.
Resident Kelly Toon has a degree in architecture and offered some advice about how to make small design changes to vary the looks while keeping the cost low.
Toon said he likes the idea of “keeping homes for Minturn folk.”
After meeting with the Minturn Planning & Zoning Commission on Aug. 10, Sparhawk took that board’s recommendations and adjusted his plan to include 63 parking spaces for the 22 units, well above the town’s code, Hawkinson said.
Every unit would have a garage.
A possible hammerhead — a turnaround for fire trucks — at the end of the street would help the issues of parking and snow removal, Sparhawk said.
The first phase of the project would include five buildings. The second phase would include six buildings.
While Bidez wants to ensure prices remain low, Sparhawk said that he would require pre-sales before digging any dirt, which would ensure the first phase is still considered affordable housing.
“I think it’s a great project,” Mayor Matt Scherr said. “It solves a problem in a creative and quality way.”
For more information, email Sparhawk at email@example.com.
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.