Following a special review, Parker Town Council approved an increase in density for a housing project proposed in downtown.
Council voted 3-1 during a July 14 meeting in favor of a use-by-special-review application submitted by Klingbeil Capital Management, which wants to build Victorian Flats, a 146-unit condominium complex, on 2.6 acres southeast of Pikes Peak Drive and Pikes Peak Court.
The density amounts to 56.8 dwelling units per acre. Existing guidelines for the Greater Downtown District/Pikes Peak Center Design District — which contains the site — allow for a density of 10 dwelling units per acre unless council grants an exemption.
The next step in the process will be a site plan review, which includes construction plans, traffic studies, drainage reports and the physical layout of the site, said Patrick Mulready, senior planner for the Town of Parker.
Several Parker residents and business owners spoke during the public comment portion of the July 14 meeting, with the majority expressing support for Victorian Flats. However, a few opposed the project because of concerns about inadequate parking, including John Diak, the only councilmember to vote against the request.
A total of 134 parking spaces, including 19 garage units, will be constructed for the 146-unit building. A town staff report, which recommended approval of the application, said additional parking is located on both Pikes Peak Drive and Pikes Peak Court. The report noted that there are no minimum parking requirements within the Greater Downtown District/Pikes Peak Center Design District.
Users of the Mainstreet Center, the site of theater productions and community classes, are worried that future residents of Victorian Flats will occupy its nearly-100 parking spaces directly across the street, potentially driving away audiences. Anne Grove, a frequent visitor at the Mainstreet Center, questioned the logic of ignoring the possible parking issue, given that the town is investing $1 million to upgrade the facility.
The town is also in the process of extending Pikes Peak Court — currently a dead end — through from Pikes Peak Drive to Pine Drive.
A handful of those who addressed council complained about the higher density and visual impact to the area, but business leaders and real estate developers from Parker touted the potential economic benefits of a built-in population in the downtown district. A few residents who attended the meeting said they would consider living in such a building because of its prime location.
Mark Mullen, chief operating officer for Klingbeil Capital Management, said he hopes to submit a site plan at the end of July. Ideally, construction would start in mid-September and end one year later, but the timeline depends on a number of factors, including reviews and approval, he said.
The company is studying on-street parking in the area and will include its assessment with the site plan.
"We listened intently at the hearing and we’re going to be good developers," Mullen said.