housing

The Telski-owned lots in Ilium Valley. (Courtesy image)

The San Miguel Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) held a public hearing to discuss a new affordable housing proposal Wednesday. County Planning Director Kaye Simonson presented the resolution, a substantial plat and PUD amendment to the PUD Development Plan Land Use Matrix. The plots in question are located in the Two Rivers Drive residential area in Ilium.

The amendment would modify the lines between several lots in the Affordable Housing PUD Zone District and would alter the permitted uses for certain lots, including allowing the creation of duplexes. Currently, only single-family units are permitted. The changes would affect the Two Rivers, Sunshine Valley and the Q Lots subdivisions.

The land was originally platted in 1996. Since then, there were numerous replats; the most recent in 2006. On Sept. 18, 2017, the BOCC and the San Miguel County Housing Authority passed an exception agreement and affordable housing covenant — amended March 25, 2019 — that permits Telski to possess and develop three Sunshine Valley lots and several designated Q Lots in Ilium.

Under San Miguel County regulations, Telski developments do not qualify as affordable housing. The exception agreement, however, permits Telski to build affordable housing for its employees and other “qualified employees.”

The new proposal would replat 23 development parcels and four open space lots. Lot 13 in Sunshine Valley would be transferred to the Two Rivers Homeowners Association (HOA) to be used as open space. There will be 27 units in Q Lots 4 in Sunshine Valley.

During Wednesday’s meeting, Simonson recommended that the language be changed from the open space to “outlots” with the purpose and use of the given outlots to be identified in the plat notes. This modification came after an earlier request by Nate Smith, who represents the Two Rivers and Sunshine Valley HOAs. In San Miguel County code, open space has a very specific definition, whereas outlots are more broadly defined.

Simonson explained that outlots can include trash disposal, parking and other storage facilities, as long as the spaces are not used for dwellings.

“It can be anything that serves the development in general,” Simonson said.

Currently, there are 38 dwelling units, but the plat and PUD Amendment would reduce this number to 31. As a result, the population zone would decrease from 107 residents to 100. Telski will have the right to compensate for the population loss of seven people by adding up to 4,500 square feet of associated floor area that can be transferred to a different property zoned as Affordable Housing PUD. Any floor area transfer will require San Miguel County review and approval.

Simonson explained that there is a precedent for population and floor area transfer in San Miguel County. Previously, in Lawson Hill people have been transferred around within the Lawson Hill PUD in order to accommodate residents building onto their homes.

“It’s like toothpaste. You squish it around. The transfers have worked in the past,” Simonson said.

Simonson recommended that all transfers be limited to within the Affordable Housing PUD zone district. At the end of the presentation, Simonson offered a sample motion to approve the Telski substantial PUD and plat amendment and the change the lots currently “identified as Open Space” to outlots. As part of the proposal, Simonson suggested that there should be specific areas designated for snow storage.

“This can include, but is not limited to outlots,” she added.

During the public hearing, Smith said that the Two Rivers and Sunshine Valley HOAs are in favor of the Telski PUD and plat amendment.

“The homeowners associations both support the proposal and sample motion. That’s all the comment we have today,” Smith said.

Previously, the Ilium Park Property Owners Company had requested that final plat amendment not be recorded until the water and sewer service will-serve letter is submitted. Simonson pointed out that the Ilium Park Property Owners are not a party to the agreement.

Simonson does not believe there will be water issues with the new Telski PUD and plat amendment.

“I am confident we will be able to provide the quantity and quality of water needed,” she said.

Commissioner Lance Waring made the motion to approve the proposal, which passed unanimously.