Residential propety

Aspen City Council moves forward with limits on residential development

Aspen City Council took a step closer on Tuesday to limit the number of residential properties that can be demolished to six per year, and when redeveloped, new homes must meet higher construction and energy performance standards than those currently in force.

With little discussion, the council passed Ordinance 13 in first reading at its regular meeting.

The ordinance has been in the works for six months after elected officials passed an emergency moratorium that halted all new residential development until August 8.



The moratorium is in response to unprecedented growth over the past few years, with council members citing massive quality of life impacts on traffic, affordable housing, environmental conditions and other issues that are detailed in the Aspen Area Community Plan, which is a guiding document on which officials base their decisions.

The main policy change is the use of the city’s growth management quota system to limit the number of demolitions and provide criteria for approval of demolition and redevelopment of single-family and duplex residences.



“From a staff perspective on the residential building side, on the built environment side, this is the biggest change of anything we do,” said Ben Anderson, the city’s principal planner. “We use the growth management allocation system to try to put limits on the pace and scale of development.

“In the opinion of the staff, demolition and redevelopment projects based on (input) from the community have a considerable impact in many ways.”

Under the new order, land use applications would be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and entered into the queue when deemed complete.

Applicants should submit a land use application requesting a demolition and redevelopment allotment. Once determined complete, applications would be queued for administrative approval, according to Anderson.

This queue will reflect the order of applications submitted and deemed complete.

“You’re not online until your application is complete,” Anderson said. “It is not our intention at this stage… to put projects on a waiting list; follow that, fairness of that, etc. poses certain difficulties.

Allocations for each year will be available for application from the first business day following January 1 of each year.

Allocations for 2022 would be available for application on August 8.

Approvals are good for three years, meaning the project should be submitted for demolition and planning permission within that time.

Approvals would be conditional on the redevelopment standards that are included in the order.

These standards include waste diversion; report on the carbon consumption of the construction process and materials for a project, as well as the future energy consumption of a house; ensuring homes are designed and built for potential future 100% electric conversion and accommodation of on-site photovoltaic and battery storage systems.

Projects would also be subject to higher expectations of contributing to local water quality through the implementation of non-structural best management practices.

Anderson said it should be noted that while the initial set of standards proposed for adoption indicate a significant step forward in project performance requirements during demolition and in new building, the amendment process is intentionally designed. to be able to respond to new best practices and community expectations that may emerge over time.

The new order also addresses the mitigation of affordable housing for residential development and increases the amount of replacement fees developers must pay.

Another change is the inclusion of basement areas, garages, and vertical circulation in the construction zone that counts for mitigation, and the removal of the exemption for existing floor area in building scenarios. redevelopment.

These changes are supported by a new study on the generation of residential employees, conducted by consultancy RRC and Associates, in an update of work last done in 2015.

The council is expected to hold a public hearing and vote on the ordinance at second reading on June 28.

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