Friday, November 5, 2004

Sun Villas returns to the table

Express Staff Writer

The hotly contested Sun Villas development project returns for design review consideration next week. The Sun Valley Planning and Zoning Commission will consider a downsized application for the project on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at their regular meeting. The revised plan is a scaled down version with fewer units and stories than previous proposals.

?We have made architectural and landscape design changes to further reduce building height and mass and soften the development?s impact on the adjacent Ridge, Sunburst, Indian Springs and Elkhorn Condominium units,? wrote Ketchum-based architect Michael Doty in a letter to the Sun Valley planning department dated September 1, 2004.

The project at issue concerns the 4.26-acre ?Sunshine Parcel? that neighbors Elkhorn Village. New York City-based Blackacre Capital Management is seeking to construct four multi-story buildings with residential and commercial space on the vacant property.

The Sun Villas project has been under review by the city for the last two years. Over the course of the applications the commission and neighbors of nearby properties raised objections to the mass, height and bulk of the project.

In 2002, the developer submitted the first Sun Villas proposal that requested a 111-unit development, later decreased to 105 units. A downsized application followed in September 2003 that called for 97 units.

The current application further reduces the number of residences by 15 units. The plan calls for 83 units, including four community-housing units. This is the first of the Sun Villas plans to provide community housing. Modifications also include reducing two buildings from five to four stories, which reduces the overall height of the project. Further adjustments include accommodation of 15-foot property-line setbacks and mature landscaping.

Additional changes to the project include adding a 4,403 square foot spa to the property. Previous applications did not seek development of commercial space.

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