Fourth Street North development nears final approval
If Silverthorne Town Council approves final plan for the project next week, development of the downtown area could begin this year
Silverthorne’s planning commission discussed and approved the final planned unit development of the Fourth Street North project, which will implement part of the town’s vision for the downtown area. Now, it goes to Silverthorne Town Council for final approval.
Located on the west side of Colorado Highway 9, between Fourth and Sixth streets, the proposed development would have 111 residential units, 11,185 square feet of retail space, a 111-key hotel and a 196-stall parking structure. The residential units would be restricted as workforce housing rentals, and two executive suites in the hotel would be turned into condominiums.
Fourth Street North is being developed by Milender White, the same firm that has been constructing the Fourth Street Crossing development. That development includes Bluebird Market, a food hall that opened earlier this year, and the Hotel Indigo.
Lina Lesmes, planning manager for the town of Silverthorne, said that 60% of the bedrooms in the development will be lowered to a rate that is 60% of the area median income for a one-person bedroom. This means 60% of the bedrooms will be priced for a person making $40,380 per year in Summit County.
According to the latest data from the Summit Combined Housing Authority, affordable rent for a person making 60% of the median income is $1,009 for a studio apartment and $1,081 for a one-bedroom apartment.
The approval from Town Council will be in next week’s council agenda, Lesmes said. The planning commission is a recommending body for the town, but Town Council will have the final say about whether or not the project can begin. If council members approve the planned unit development, developers can begin their project as early as this summer.
“Town Council has to approve the planned unit development, the PUD,” she said. “It’s a zoning application, essentially. They are required to approve that with an ordinance, and each ordinance requires a first and a second reading. So it’s a little confusing because the council reviewed the first reading of the PUD ordinance last week, whereas the Planning Commission reviews the entire package at once — the entire land use package — as one.”
Because the project is so large — it encompasses eight buildings across an area larger than a city block — several years of discussions have gone into the planning and approval of the development. The town, which was incorporated in 1967, was created in order to house workers that were tasked with constructing the I-70 tunnel and the Dillon Dam. Because of that, Town manager Ryan Hyland said Silverthorne does not have a traditional or historic downtown area like other municipalities.
“Back in about 2008, I think was the first time that there was a conversation with the council in the community about kind of changing the zoning and the feel of rather than one long linear commercial district throughout town — identifying that Third, Fourth, Fifth (and) Sixth streets area that could really be that town core,” Hyland said. “That was really the first part, making some changes to the comprehensive plan back in 2008.”
In 2011, Downtown Colorado Incorporated, a nonprofit, came up with different concepts that the town could use that didn’t involve solely fast food or long strips of only retail shops. Hyland said two years after that concept was born, Silverthorne established the Urban Renewal Authority to look at not only the visual aesthetics of the area but the foundational issues and infrastructure as well. Then, town leaders worked to change the zoning of the area — from just commercial to a town core designation. This allows developers to build all the way out to a property line and whatever else they need to have a downtown-style development.
“We were looking to bring vibrancy, places to gather — that traditional downtown feel —to that block,” he said. “And so that’s what Milender White and the town have been working on.”
In January 2021, Town Council approved the preliminary site plan for the development under 22 conditions, which included restricting the rentals to only be for the local workforce and additional information from a parking study that justifies the amount of parking for the residential structure. In March, a restrictive housing covenant approving the workforce housing aspect was approved.
“It takes a long time to put it all together. I’ve always said that our community has been very patient in waiting for a downtown, and I think we’ve got great amenities, a great community, all these wonderful things, and our downtown just didn’t match up to that,” Hyland said. “It’s exciting to be able to have something that matches the quality and the character of the rest of the community.”
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