Condo project proposed for downtown

Density would exceed guidelines for area, special review required

A developer is proposing to build a 146-unit building on less than three acres of land in downtown Parker, a move that would exceed the allowed number per acre by 46. Council will make a decision July 7 after a special review. Courtesy
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A proposed condominium project could far exceed guidelines for the number of units allowed per acre in the Pikes Peak district of downtown Parker.

Klingbeil Capital Management, Ltd., a San Francisco-based real estate investment company, wants special permission from town officials to build Victorian Flats, a 146-unit condominium complex, on 2.6 acres southeast of Pikes Peak Drive and Pikes Peak Court.

Parker Town Council was originally set to consider the “use by special review” June 16 during a meeting at town hall, but the applicant did not properly complete noticing requirements and the hearing will be bumped to July 7.

The density would amount to 56.8 dwelling units per acre, dwarfing the existing density of 10 dwelling units per acre allowed under zoning district requirements for the Pikes Peak Center Design District.

One of the town's requirements in a use by special review is that the proposed project “will not result in an over-intensive use of the land,” according to planning documents.

Klingbeil Capital Management, Ltd., responded by saying that the “site is ideal for the proposed use given its immediate proximity to the heart of the town center. When viewed against the provisions of the master plan and the desire to create compact and walkable developments, the density achieves this goal and, correspondingly, allows Parker to maintain its overall rural character by avoiding the overdevelopment of outlying parcels.”

Town staff found that the proposed density of 56.8 dwelling units per acre is “certainly an intense use of the land” and “the proposed use is critical in an assessment of whether this density is over-intense,” the documents say. Pikes Peak Center zoning documents include wording that expresses a “desire to not have a single building dominate an entire block.”

Victorian Flats, which is named “Parker Flats at Old Town” in conceptual artist renderings, would be built behind the existing Victorian Peaks building on Pikes Peak Drive and adjacent to the Sulphur Gulch Trail. The renderings show three-story buildings.

The density of the rental condos is not the biggest issue for nearby businesses. Tina Long, owner of Parker Day Spa, said she is most concerned about an increase in traffic. Long, a former town council member said she has been unable to convince town traffic engineers that there is a need for stop signs at Pikes Peak Drive and Pikes Peak Court, which is now being extended east to Pine Drive.

“We can't get out now without almost getting hit (because of traffic on Pikes Peak Drive),” said Long, who referred to herself as the “ringleader” for other businesses that want the town to address traffic congestion. “The town usually tries to take care of things ahead of time. For whatever reason, I'm not getting anywhere with this.”

Town planners acknowledged that 146 dwelling units will generate “some increase in traffic volumes in downtown Parker,” but the “increases will not cause undue traffic congestion or hazards.”

Long said she is glad the land is being developed and understands “growing pains that come with development,” but worries that more vehicles — possibly two per household — might make it near-impossible to turn onto a road in which traffic has the right of way. The application asks for 134 parking spaces and 19 garages.

The business owners plan to address council July 7 about the potential issues if it is not resolved beforehand.

If approved, Victorian Flats would house roughly 200 residents and include a clubhouse and pool. Town staff said the proposal is consistent with guidelines for the Pikes Peak Center Design District, Greater Downtown District and Parker's master plan. The density-increase request would “result in a diversification of the type and style of residential development in Parker,” town staff said.

The Parker Planning Commission recommended May 22 that town council give the project a green light.

More information can be found by visiting www.ParkerOnline.org and finding the packet for the May 22 planning commission meeting.