The Mountain Village Town Council on Thursday unanimously approved the developer’s application for what now is being called Silverline 2, a project different in mass and scale and in public amenities from Silverline 1, which was once envisioned to house a community recreation center.
Silverline 2, which is being built by-right rather than as a planned unit development and therefore is neither seeking zoning variances nor providing community benefits in exchange for them, will have 44 condo units, 37 lodge units, 22 lodge efficiency units, and five employee units. Monument Realty agreed in the course of Thursday’s meeting to increase an initially proposed three employee housing units to five.
“We liked Silverline 1,” Monument Realty Executive Vice President Bill Krokowski said. “We spent a lot of time and money on it. Our options have led us to Silverline 2. Something to note is that we heard loud and clear the issues surrounding the last project. Even though we aren’t required to include hotbeds in this project, we have done it. Silverline 1 had 60 hotbeds [the sum of lodge units and lodge/efficiency units] and we have 59 in Silverline 2. We are also allowing all residents to put their units into a rental pool.”
Mayor Bob Delves told Monument officials that the project in itself is going to create a need for employee housing.
“I think you are creating housing needs in this project,” Delves said as council debated the approval. “I appreciate that it’s adding density and hotbeds, but what comes with that is an employee load. I would love to hear what’s the best you can do on housing.”
Delves echoed other councilmembers’ comments that the project needed to include more employee housing.
“I am disappointed that we have lost the affordable housing on Lot 161CR and that we lost $500,000 for affordable housing projects with the first project,” Councilmember Phil Evans said after seeing Monument’s presentation. “This is the last large parcel of land and to have the only benefit to the community be three affordable housing units and the warm beds is a huge disappointment.”
In a by-right development process, the developer does not ask for zoning variances, and therefore does not have to provide public benefits in exchange for them.
After hearing council and others urge a bigger dedication of employee housing, along with comments regarding the need for public restrooms, Monument representatives asked for a five-minute break to reconfigure their request.
“We believe this should be approved on its own merits,” Krokwoski said after taking the break. “Phil [Evans], I can’t agree with you more. It kills me to see that the public benefits were lost [Silverline 1]. We are the ones who stepped up to the plate to give those benefits. It didn’t happen, unfortunately. It is not really our fault. We would rather be under construction in the core right now. I think this increase in density is a benefit. We believe we comply with the density standards out there. How do you request that you make us comply any more?
“Having said all that, we have figured out how to do that and will provide five employee units and we will provide some form of public restroom on the Gondola Plaza level.”
Monument’s original plans for Lot 161CR, which were approved by council last February, were to have included the long-planned Family Adventure Center, but received sharp scrutiny from the public because the inclusion of the rec center forced the building to be larger. Council, because of the controversy decided to put the original project in front of Mountain Village voters, which ended in a dead-tie, 293-293.
The ultimate fate of the original Silverline project was to have been decided in another vote last November but days before the election Monument struck a deal with the Concerned Citizens Group (W. and M. Ache, Richard Child, A. and Z. Dahl, Brian Eaton, K. Hewson, R. Thorpe, and J. Vanek) to pull the Silverline 1 application. Councilmember Dan Garner told Krokowski that he was disappointed by the decision to reach that earlier agreement with the Concerned Citizens Group.
“The one thing I will say is that it was disappointing that you reached an agreement that didn’t allow the residents to vote on Silverline 1,” Garner said. “My feeling is that the density transfer is going to create housing needs.”
Last month, the Mountain Village Design Review Board approved the sketch plan for Silverline 2, which included a number of design variances, which can be granted at DRB’s discretion. They include allowing the driveway grades in excess of 5 percent within the first 20 feet of the public roadway; allowing for driveway access in excess of 10 percent at the garage ramp; allowing roof slopes of less than 6:12 and flat roof areas; allowing main roof forms that are not gable or hip; allowing for exterior wall material in excess of 20 percent wood; allowing greater than 20 percent glass area on north walls; omitting the requirement for window recess at the plaza level; and allowing greater than 16 square feet of glass area at the residential areas above the first floor.
Monument’s final step in the approval process for Silverline 2 will be consideration of final plan approval at the Jan. 24 DRB meeting.