‘Casitas’ project may start this month

       Soon it appears there will be two residential developments under construction simultaneously at the intersection of King and 19th streets.
       Work has been continuing on the 43-unit Alta Mira subdivision at the northeast corner since June; late this month, ground may be broken on Indian Heights Casitas, a 15-lot subdivision on just under 2 acres at the southwest corner.
       Casitas developer Bill Skeele said in a recent interview that plans called for work to start by the end of this month or early November. The goal is to have units ready by “late spring,” he said.
       The development will be on a flat, mostly unvegetated property that has long been vacant. To proceed with the project, Skeele's group needed to obtain a change of zone from the city last August. It had been zoned commercially, to allow a shopping center. This dated back to the late 1950s, when a shopping center was planned there to serve the new homes that were then springing up in that area, according to City Planning comments in the Casitas plan file. Instead, the Uintah Gardens shopping center eventually went in at 19th and Uintah streets.
       Now, “staff believes this commercial land use is antiquated and unrealistic,” the file's planning comments state.
       The plan for the project is to provide a semi-gated community. Indian Heights Casitas will consist of single-family attached and detached homes. Access will be off 19th Street.
       The homes are intended to be amenable to elderly citizens. Skeele said the construction will have “finished floor elevations that are the same through the courtyard and garage. There will be no steps. It will be wheelchair friendly.”
       As a result of planning review and neighborhood input, extra parking spaces are provided within the development to mitigate against frequent cases of guests parking on 19th or King streets.

Westside Pioneer article