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Thursday, October 15,2009

Foes say makeover of Army Reserve facility isn't all it could be

By Jefferson Dodge

Revised plan

Four Star filed a revised plan with the city earlier this year, and although the Planning Board found it to be an improvement over the previous version, it still suggested making some design changes and adding some community benefits before beginning the formal application process.

The developer has asked for a change in zoning that would allow higher density, from RL-1 (low-density residential) to RM-1 (medium-density residential).

An alternate plan that would involve only 37 units would preserve a portion of the property as RL-1.

A Sept. 25 land-use review issued by city planner Karl Guiler calls for several staff-recommended changes to the plan within 60 days, everything from reorienting garages to relocating open spaces. But it doesn't indicate that there are any showstoppers that would prevent approval of the plan.

"Overall, staff finds that there are numerous aspects of the project (i.e., compact form, diversity of housing types, affordable housing, sensitive infill, etc.) that are consistent with the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan (BVCP) such that a change in land use from public to medium density residential for all or part of the lot would be substantiated," the review states.

One main area addressed in the review is access, circulation and transportation, and the anticipated increase in traffic is one of the first concerns mentioned by area residents. The review calls for revisions to the traffic impact study commissioned by the developer, using more recent data than the 2002 information cited in the study. It also calls for relocating a transit shelter and suggests procuring transit passes for the residents who will live at the development.

Stainton told Boulder Weekly that he is still in discussions with the city about the review and what accommodations can be made. "We're optimistic that we're going to be able to put together a project that city staff will support and that will be supported by the Planning Board and the community."

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