Hilltop duplex project gets height 'relief,' will demolish house from 1905
Construction on the ¾-acre site at 2226 Glenn could start within about two months, according to Scott Schuster of Echo Architecture, the project designer for what's being called Glenn Heights.
However, a for-sale sign was recently placed on the site, and Schuster clarified that's because the property owner - Richard Hoag of Louisville, Colorado - wants to see if selling is a better option, now that the project plans have been approved.
One building is on the site now. It's a one-story house, built in 1905, according to the County Assessor's website. It is vacant and will be demolished for the project, Schuster said.
(For an idea of the location and the Glenn Heights plan, see the photo at the top of this page and the drawing at left.)
The Glenn property is surrounded by single-family homes to the north, west and east - while south of it, on the other side of the cul-de-sac, is the two-to-three-story, 80-unit Stepping Stones condominium site.
“Due to its diversity, the existing neighborhood lends itself to additional, responsible, attached or detached residential housing and will absorb infill housing units without adverse impact,” reads the Project Statement that Hoag included with his plan application to the city about a year ago.
The Glenn Heights size meets the density regulations for the residential (R-2) zone it's in. However, an “administrative relief” decision was needed from staff to let the two units in one duplex building stand nearly 3 feet above the zone's 30-foot height limit.
Hannah Van Nimwegen, the city planner assigned to the project, explained in e-mail exchanges that staff uses specific criteria in determining any kind of administrative relief. For Glenn Heights, based on an "averaging" formula which is part of that criteria, the building height "is in line with" what's "permitted by right in the zone district," she summarized.
The submittal by Hoag (through Echo Architecture) also asked for approval of a preliminary and final plat, which legally defines the layout of the lots and where buildings will be placed on them. Van Nimwegen approved these too. The process included consideration of unique drainage and access issues and the demoliton of the old house.
Glenn Street runs between 19th Street at its east end and 23rd Street at its west end. Glenn's high point is at a cul-de-sac type of layout at the driveway into Stepping Stones.
Connecting to 23rd Street and passing just north of the duplex property is a narrow dirt path. According to Van Nimwegen, before anyone can live in the duplexes, this "private drive," as it's called in the plans, will need to be upgraded in two ways, These are:
- To carry stormwater coming down the hill above the property over to 23rd Street.
- To allow two-way access from 23rd to two of the duplexes. "The Fire Department reviewed the roadway during the review of the preliminary and final plat, and will review specifics when the applicant submits their construction plans for approval," the planner said.
Going forward, the private drive must be maintained by Hoag (or whoever owns that property in the future), acccording to a legal easement that allows the access. It was signed last year by two property owners on either side of the drive.
The other two duplexes in the project will face toward Glenn and be accessed from that street, plans show.
For parking, each duplex building has a “garage and driveway space,” Van Nimwegen said, adding that off-street parking is available nearby, though not in the cul-de-sac.
The Glenn Heights duplexes' exterior design will differ from that of nearby homes - most of them built in the 1970s and '80s - in terms of a boxier appearance and the use of metal siding. Asked about this contrast, Van Nimwegen replied that “City Planning staff does not regulate architecture beyond height and the historic preservation overlay area, and the City of Colorado Springs does not have a design review board."
She added that "the opportunity for review was during the review of the project following the initial public notification. Staff only received a couple of letters of concern following the notification of the preliminary and final plat application and of the administrative relief application, and none of the concerns were regarding the building's architectural style.”
Westside Pioneer article