‘We all want this developed’: 13-acre property in east Avon rezoned for more residential
AVON — In an effort to reduce roadblocks to residential development, the Avon Town Council approved a rezoning application from Village at Avon owners on Tuesday, May 8.
The rezone applies to planning area F in the Village at Avon — a 13-acre property located at the northwest intersection of Post Boulevard and East Beaver Creek Boulevard — and will allow for more residential density, higher building heights and fewer commercial requirements.
In approving the rezone, council members Matt Gennett and Amy Phillips said they were appreciative of the fact that their concerns had been addressed. At a previous hearing on the rezoning application, Gennett expressed a desire for some commercial opportunity and Phillips wanted the building heights to start lower at the south end of the parcel and step up in height to the north end.
Village at Avon owners suggested the rezone include a 100-foot setback from the south end of the parcel before a building could reach the full height of 58 feet, with a 48-foot maximum for buildings built within the 100-foot setback. Property owners also agreed to a requirement of 1,000 square feet of commercial for every 150,000 square feet of residential. It’s significantly less than the maximum of 50 percent residential the current zoning allows, but a concession from the zero commercial requirement proposed at the previous hearing.
“Those convenient, commercial uses … are very important to be integrated,” Gennett said.
In motioning for the approval of the rezone, council member Amy Phillips received a suggestion from Mayor Protem Sarah Smith Hymes that the commercial requirement be eliminated altogether. Phillips was not agreeable to the suggestion, and the motion was passed 4-2 with Smith Hymes and Mayor Jennie Fancher voting against the motion with the intent of seeing the rezone passed without the commercial requirement.
Fancher and Smith Hymes looked to Wolf for support.
“I thought about it, and I’m with the commercial,” Wolf said.
Wolf and Megan Burch, in approving the effort to rezone, said their goal was to increase the chances of a development happening on the parcel.
“In ’98, the (planned urban development) was written, in 2001, Walmart opens,” Wolf said. “I don’t know if it’s normal to have that much time in between when a PUD was written and when something … gets proposed.”
Using that timetable, “one could say that the next time we get one of these would be 2038,” Wolf said.
‘PEOPLE WHO WORK HERE’
In considering Wolf’s comments, Gennett was specific in pointing out that before the council was simply a rezoning application, not a development proposal.
Even after approving the rezone, “understand that this could sit dormant for another 30 years,” Gennett said.
“Collectively, all of us, we want this land developed,” Gennett added.
Just what a subsequent development proposal could include, however, was a question on the minds of those who voted on the rezone.
The rezone also allows for a maximum of 22 units per acre, up from the 17 units allowed under current zoning.
Mayor Jennie Fancher said the density calculation was too vague for her, as units per acre could mean one-bedroom units or four-bedroom units.
“I think density is fuzzy to even try to think about,” she said.
If the rezoning does lead to development, then Mauriello said it’s unlikely that the residential units built there will be large, four-bedroom properties.
“You’re not going to build glorious penthouse apartments, quite frankly, in this location next to the interstate, next to Walmart, and expect that they’re going to be some luxury ski condos,” Mauriello said. “What is going to get built here is going to be largely occupied by people who also live here and work here.”
The valley’s commercial and residential property markets are similar in some ways — availability is tight and nothing is what you’d call “cheap.”