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CB Council approves money for 2019 affordable housing by Rainbow Park

Increasing density by Rainbow Park—but by how much?

By Mark Reaman

Moving toward developing more deed-restricted affordable housing units in Crested Butte, the Town Council agreed to spend $30,000 for beginning the process to develop Block 76 and the triplex lots on Blocks 79 and 80.

Block 76 is the large vacant lot to the north of Rainbow Park. Blocks 79 and 80 are located in the current affordable housing development in the northeast corner of town. In 2002 the original Paradise Park Subdivision platted 11 units for Block 76 and four of the lots were designated for single-family homes. Since that time the Town Council has instructed staff to look at how to get higher densities on that site.

The $30,000 will go toward the process of developing the property with a private developer. Willa Williford, a workforce housing consultant based in Crested Butte, will be hired to help facilitate the process.

The town will subsidize some developer design expenditures and pay for the title commitments and survey costs. The selected developer will need to assemble a design/build team and be responsible for getting the development through the Board of Zoning and Architectural Review (BOZAR).

The developer will be responsible for self-financing the eventual build-out of the project with the units being sold at the end of the build. The town is looking at having to use the property as collateral for a loan as part of the deal.

As part of the three-step initial process a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) will be released this June, with two or three finalists selected by the end of July. Council members Will Dujardin and Kent Cowherd will serve as council representatives reviewing the proposals.

In August, a “community charrette” will be held to discuss the project with neighbors, the council and potential residents. The discussion will center on issues expected to guide the specifics of the project, including density of the project, the relationship of the development to Rainbow Park and the types of units built.

“That will be an opportunity to hear from citizens what is acceptable and what is not,” noted town manager Dara MacDonald. “Citizens will be encouraged to speak out early.”

“The density will certainly be a topic of discussion,” added councilman Kent Cowherd.

After that discussion, the town will ask the interested developers to submit actual proposals to be considered in September. The council would then choose a developer by October who could begin the BOZAR review process and financing details. From there, it is expected that approximately 22 to 26 units could begin construction in June 2019.

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