city hall

The Aspen Planning and Zoning Commission will meet via WebEx today for a discussion on the city’s residential building proposals. The commission will provide feedback before Aspen City Council votes on Ordinances 13 and 14. 

Before Aspen City Council has a chance to hear a first reading of a proposed ordinance to regulate residential development by the end of the moratorium period on Aug. 8, city staff will bring their proposals to the Planning and Zoning Commission for discussion today. 

The commission will be asked to provide feedback and comments that staff can forward on to the city council and possibly make a recommendation on the proposals. Staff will be presenting two ordinances — Ordinance 13 contains changes to the land use code such as demolition, affordable housing mitigation and a review process, and Ordinance 14 applies to a proposed increase to the affordable housing fee-in-lieu

Most of the staff's proposals will fall under the Growth Management Quota System in the land use code, which currently allows 19 allotments for residential development. 

“Central to staff’s proposed response to concerns about the pace and scale of single-family and duplex development is the use of the long-standing GMQS allotment system to regulate projects that engage in the demolition and redevelopment of a property,” Principal Long-Range Planner Ben Anderson wrote in a memorandum. “The proposal is to now include redevelopment scenarios within this system and assign a portion of this total number of residential allotments to projects that trigger demolition.”

On May 23, staff asked the city council members how many demolition allotments they would like to establish per year, to which six became the agreed-upon number. Staff expects the commission to make a recommendation to council on this topic. It was also left unclear at the May 23 meeting how the city would plan to limit demolition allotments to six each year, and more discussion is expected from both boards. 

Demolition projects would also be subject to a number of standards during the demolition and for the new home including appropriate waste diversion, embodied carbon, energy reporting, building energy performance and electrification and stormwater. 

Staff is also expecting the commission to make comments about the affordable housing mitigation proposals, which would include basements, garages and other currently exempted areas into the calculation of affordable housing mitigation requirements. The city is also working to eliminate the credit for existing floor area in demolition and redevelopment scenarios. However, the expectation is that the council will make changes to the code.  

Ordinance 13 would also seek to remove unnecessary and unpredictable review processes for projects that are otherwise compliant with the land use code. Affordable housing projects that are otherwise fully compliant with the land use code are subject to administrative review. Under the changes, to qualify for administrative review, these projects would be compliant with the use and dimensional limitations of the underlying zone district, Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority regulations related to the size and qualities of the units, parking requirements and residential design standards. The commission may make further comments about this today.

City council will hear the commission’s comments at the first reading of Ordinances 13 and 14, scheduled for June 14. The second reading — as well as the second reading of Ordinance 9, which regulates short-term rentals — is scheduled for June 28.  

The commission will meet today at 4:30 p.m. via WebEx, and the meeting is open to the public. A link to the meeting can be found in the agenda packet at cityofaspen.com