The suit also claims the city improperly awarded affordable housing credits to the developer. Those credits, which the developer would be able to sell to other developers or businesses in need of affordable housing, are under the jurisdiction of the P&Z, which reviews projects before they get to City Council. The project changed significantly at the council table, where it was reduced in size, therefore, the suit argues, the approval of the credits is invalid and negates the entire ordinance.
ASPEN REAL ESTATE – Neighbors opposed to the Boomerang affordable housing project have appealed the city’s approval with a lawsuit.The suit, filed by attorney Lance Cote on behalf of neighbors Daniel Verner, Staspen LLP and the Christiana Aspen Condominium Association, claims the city “abused its discretion and exceeded its jurisdiction” in upzoning a half block of West Hopkins Avenue to make way for the employee housing project.The Boomerang project — on the site of the 1960s ski lodge of the same name that was demolished in 2007 — was approved as a new condominium hotel in 2006. However, the developer — Aspen FSP-ABR LLC, which is tied to East Coast real estate investment firm Alex Brown Realty — lost its financing when the recession hit and the site has sat idle for years. In 2010, the developer sought to change the approval from a lodge to affordable housing, which required the blessing of the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) and City Council.
By Curtis Wackerle, August 26, 2011