Back to the drawing board

 Uncategorized
Nov 282010
 
Authors: Erin Udell

In July, a field on Centre Avenue near the Gardens at Spring Creek was slated to become the new home of “The Grove,” a housing complex proposed by the North Carolina-based company, Campus Crest.

But after the city’s most recent Planning and Zoning Board meeting, the project’s progress was halted after the Board denied Campus Crest’s development plan.

During an Oct. 21 meeting, the Planning and Zoning Board originally approved two modifications put forth by Campus Crest, including the realignment of Rolland Moore Drive. But because the Board did not support all of the modifications, the project was brought back before the board on Nov. 18, where it faced considerable opposition.

“There were just too many problems, and even if they dealt with them singly they felt that they couldn’t approve the project as a whole,” said Barbara Smith, a member of the Spring Creek neighborhood of the Nov. 18 meeting. “That means at the present time Campus Crest has put forth some modifications in the designs and they’re starting all over to request to build this.”

As a former student and professor at CSU, Smith understands the need for student housing but expressed apprehension about the new development because of the poor ratings of other Grove complexes.

With an “F” rating through the Better Business Bureau of the United States, The Grove complex in Evans, Colo. has many Fort Collins residents, like Smith, concerned about the quality of Campus Crest’s developments.

“(Fort Collins residents) are concerned about the quality from the criticisms that they’ve read,” Smith said. “And their concern is that it’s a quality that’s not complimentary to the campus, the neighborhood and the city.”

According to City Manager Darin Atteberry’s monthly report, the project would consist of 224 dwelling units in five 12-unit buildings, five 24-unit buildings, two 18-unit buildings, a clubhouse with eight dwelling units, a hospitality center, study lounge, café, game room and fitness center.

Around 550 parking spaces and 133 bike parking spaces would also be included.
With neighbors strongly opposing the project’s development, others see a need for the complex.

“There’s a tremendous need for additional housing,” said Chase Eckerdt, associate director of community affairs for the Associated Students of CSU. “It’s right down the road from school, people can bike there and that land has basically been slated for development.”

Campus Crest now has the option to appeal the Board’s decision before the city council by Dec. 2. If the appeal is not filed, the project will be denied. As of Friday Nov. 26, no appeal had been filed, said Steve Olt, the city’s project planner.

If Campus Crest decides to appeal the decision, the city council will review it in January.

“The council has three options: to uphold the Planning and Zoning board decision, to upturn the decision and approve the plan or remand it back to planning and zoning for further decision,” Olt said.

City Council Beat Reporter Erin Udell can be reached at news@collegian.com

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