As an April 1 deadline approaches, developers seeking to launch the Gateway Village development project will be required to submit an application to extend the process or re-start the process from the beginning.
The Gateway Village development plan, a proposed housing and commerce development located near the intersection of U.S. 24 and Colorado 91, has been in the works in a variety of iterations since 2008.
In Feb. 2019, the Board of County Commissioners approved the initial phase of the Gateway Village development plan with 35 conditions attached. These conditions included re-evaluating parking in the development, including an eight-foot wide path for bicycles and pedestrians along Colo. 91, and the necessity for developers to design the proposed visitor center to allow for its use as an emergency shelter.
In April 2019, Gateway Village got approval to move into the preliminary plat phase with the 35 conditions attached.
The deadline for meeting the conditions and moving into the final phase of approval is approaching, and Gateway Village is coming to the end of the time allotted for the second of three approval phases, Paul Clarkson, Lake County director of building and land use, said.
If the developers behind Gateway Village don’t fulfill the requirements of the second phase of approval before the April 1 deadline, they will be required to either submit and justify a request for an extension of the deadline, or begin the approval process anew from phase one, Clarkson said.
The Herald Democrat spoke with Steve Smith, principal owner of Evergreen Land Company, in February, and at that time developers had addressed about half of the 35 attached conditions required to move on to the next and final phase of approval, Smith said.
In an effort to address the 35 attached conditions, density has been reduced and small adjustments to the sketch plan have been made, Duane Cozart, developer behind the Gateway Village project, said in an email.
Currently, developers are still determining the mix of apartments and town homes and the numbers of each that will be included in the final design, Smith said.
Throughout the planning and approval processes, developers have emphasized the goal of providing affordable housing as part of the Gateway Village development.
A wide variety of figures, ranging from 40-120 percent of the area’s median income, have been used as the benchmark for what qualifies as affordable housing for the development. The Herald Democrat was unable to confirm these numbers with Smith, Cozart or Clarkson.
There is no code or enforcement in Lake County that determines pricing or enforces affordable housing standards, Clarkson said.
“We don’t get to dictate to an applicant, yet, what degree of affordability he must meet,” he said.
“We tell them what we consider to be affordable housing, but we don’t get to enforce it,” he said.
The developers have been notified of this deadline and the need to apply for an extension barring completion of the required steps, Clarkson said.