Dillon buildings can reach new heights
DILLON – The Dillon Town Council approved a 10-foot height change to buildings in its downtown core, despite arguments against the ordinance from a handful of community members and one council member. Currently, the maximum height is 40 feet for buildings in the town’s downtown core, which is bordered by LaBonte Drive, Lake Dillon Drive and Tenderfoot Drive.The town code also allows eight feet for non-habitable architectural elements, such as a chimney, an air conditioning unit or an antenna.The approved change will reflect a 50-foot limit, keeping the extra eight feet intact.
Town officials look at the opportunity to add an additional floor as a way to rejuvenate outdated properties and increase activity in the town’s quiet downtown core, but others say the town’s view plane is threatened.”I don’t know if you are really visualizing how big of a building that will be,” argued James Adams, manager of the Dillon Plaza. “It’s great for the developer of one lot, but it’s going to block everyone behind them.”Dillon resident Steve Wakefield agreed that there will be a “severe impact on views” and expressed concern that the town is setting a dangerous precedent with the approval.But the town agreed with the planning and zoning commission that the benefits outweigh the risks and approved the ordinance, 5-1, with councilman Johnny Younger dissenting.”I don’t like the whole thing,” Younger said. “I’d like to see it back to 30 feet where it originally was.”
Councilman Ben Raitano voted in favor of the project but was worried about the potential of 58-foot-tall buildings with flat roofs popping up in the future.After a lengthy discussion on whether or not to require pitched roofs on buildings higher than 40 feet, the council compromised and opted to attempt the process of changing some wording in the town code.Right now, the code states that pitched roofs are “strongly encouraged,” but the council would like to see if it can get the wording changed to buildings “shall” have a pitched roof.That process entails an approval by the town’s planning and zoning commission, which town planner Matt Thompson said he will discuss at the next meeting.The impetus for the height change is the extensive remodel of the Dillon Center, which houses the town’s bowling alley, pool hall and several other businesses.
The developers, Abbas Rajabi and John Barna, asked for a height variance to accommodate an extra four feet they need to build 38 townhomes on top of the existing building. Original plans called for 40 townhomes, but developers reduced the number to add two three-bedroom units.Denver based DCB construction plans to break ground on the parking structure next month, with units for sale by this summer.Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 229 or at email@example.com.
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