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Friday — March 26, 2004


Sun Villas team
mulls major changes

Community housing, spa could be included

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," Glatzer said.

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 plan."

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 said.

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."


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