GHM revised plan to council Sept. 27
After revealing a revised proposal at a neighborhood meeting Sept. 8, the Gold Hill Mesa development group announced that it will now take those plans before City Council Tuesday, Sept. 27.
The meeting was the developers' second with its residents since deciding to delay its city request, which had been set for a council agenda in late August. The meetings were held after several residents objected to the initial plans because of their increased emphasis on multifamily homes at the expense of single- family.
The new plans still show about 10 percent more multifamily than in Gold Hill's 2009 city-approved concept plan; however, the lots that would allow such construction are spread around the development more, rather than concentrated in areas such as Favorite Street - an unpopular aspect of the August version.
Lead developer Bob Willard said that the one-month delay cost the project $15,000, but that it also allowed the creation of a more “diverse” layout, more in keeping with the Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) style that Gold Hill has sought from the beginning.
The 210-acre development east of 21st Street is conceptually approved for about 1,000 homes; it now has about 100 households.
Some of the 50 or so people at the Sept. 8 meeting thought the revisions didn't go far enough, but Willard said he has contacted many residents who didn't come to the meeting and believes that the “vast majority” agree with his approach.
He also pointed to the success of the development to date. “We're holding value better and we're selling better than any other development in town,” he told the throng.
A sticking point was that some residents at the meeting wanted assurance that the development's concept plan won't change from what they bought into. But Willard, supported by planning consultant Tim Seibert, pointed out that it's sometimes necessary to respond to public buying demand and that TND means smaller properties, smaller yards and generally higher density than typical developments.
Willard also noted that when houses were first going in about four years ago and there was only one builder (John Laing Homes), buyers had a better understanding of the TND philosophy. But after Laing went bankrupt and several other builders came on board, the TND message has not gotten across as well, to the point where some people seem surprised when any multifamily goes in, Willard said.
According to Seibert, Gold Hill Mesa's chief reason for submitting any plans to the city at this time is to get approval for the Filing 3 development plan, which would allow construction of 20 lots and a new entry from 21st Street onto what is now the temporary access for Gold Hill Mesa Drive. But to get that plan approved (because it's different from the current concept plan), an amended concept plan is needed also.
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