Start Bus Housing Plan Moves Forward Despite Opposition


Jim Stanford, who is running for re-election to the Town Council, as well as Commissioner Paul Vogelheim stood in the way of a proposal to create 23 housing units at the START Bus facility.


Vogelheim said he was concerned that the project wasn’t paid for, though the request that was only for design guidance. Planners for the proposal noted that none of the funding for the project was secured.


The transit department of the town and county asked the joint meeting of the town council and county commission to give direction on whether or not the plan for housing bus employees could be expanded from 11 units to 23 units, or something in-between.


While Commissioner Mark Newcomb proposed supporting the 23-unit plan, Stanford said he would not support the plan. “This feels rushed,” Stanford said. “We have an already massive building that hasn’t been exactly warmly embraced by many people in the community and now we’re talking about putting four stories adjacent to it,” Stanford said, “I am not fully persuaded of the wisdom of that.”


Councilman Don Frank said, “We have, as a collective body, committed to housing and transportation as our priorities and this is a unique situation. We own the land and I do think it is incumbent on us to use this opportunity because anything we don’t build or any density we leave on the table is a lost opportunity, and we won’t recover it.”


Commissioners Natalia Macker and Smokey Rhea both supported the motion as well as Newcomb, and all councilmembers besides Stanford did a well – and it passed, minus votes from Vogelheim and Stanford.

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