Sun Villas team
mulls major changes
Community housing, spa could be
By GREGORY FOLEY
Express Staff Writer
The development team proposing the
controversial Sun Villas condominium project is considering several
major modifications to its plans.
Howard Glatzer, owner of the
four-acre "Sunshine Parcel" in central Elkhorn, told Sun Valley Planning
and Zoning commissioners Tuesday, March 23, that he would modify his
application to develop the parcel if the P&Z essentially agreed not to
issue any additional requests to shrink the project.
"We have made some major
modifications to try to address most of the major issues of concern,"
The changes proposed include
reducing by 16 the number of residential units, including four
community-housing units and developing approximately 4,500 square feet
of commercial space as a day spa.
Glatzer asked the P&Z for an
understanding of "whether the commission is going to get behind this, as
we take it further down the road, or not."
He added: "The changes we’ve made
really represent the final massive changes that we will make to the
The comments came during a work
session for the P&Z and Sun Villas representatives to discuss
modifications to the plan that both parties might be able to agree to in
future project-review hearings.
At issue is a plan by Glatzer and
his partners to construct four multi-story residential buildings on the
4.26-acre Sunshine Parcel, a vacant commercial-zoned property
immediately north of the site of the former Elkhorn Hotel.
The Sun Villas project has been
under review by the city for approximately 1.5 years.
Glatzer in 2002 first proposed a
111-unit Sun Villas development, which was eventually reduced to 105
units before it was rejected by the P&Z in April 2003.
A revised application submitted in
September 2003 proposed a downsized project that would include 97 units.
None of the 2002 or 2003 plans
called for developing any commercial space or community housing as a
part of the project.
Several P&Z commissioners and
numerous neighbors of the parcel have voiced opposition to the proposed
project’s height and bulk.
This week, Glatzer said the
changes he is willing to make to the plans are designed to make the
project closely "match up" with a new set of regulations governing the
city’s commercial zones. The regulations were enacted in 2003 and do not
legally apply to the Sun Villas project.
Michael Doty, project architect,
told the P&Z that the proposed changes would make all of the four
structures four stories tall, with maximum heights of approximately 53
feet. The original proposal called for five-story buildings that
approached the 64-foot height limit in the commercial core of Elkhorn.
"Taking a floor out makes a
significant difference in this project versus the projects around it,"
Doty and Glatzer also proposed to
observe a 15-foot property-line setback for the entire project.
Because the changes have not been
formally incorporated into the Sun Villas application, the P&Z Tuesday
opted to delay their review of the plans to an unspecified date.
"I know that I could not give a
specific answer until I see the plans," said Commissioner Nils Ribi
Wednesday. "I still think they’re going in the right direction."