Golden is getting a new boarding house. Yes, you read that correctly. And no, you haven’t accidentally time-traveled back to early 20th century. That’s the actual plan for the last remaining …
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Golden is getting a new boarding house. Yes, you read that correctly. And no, you haven’t accidentally time-traveled back to early 20th century.
That’s the actual plan for the last remaining development plan in Gateway Village, the 22-acre mixed-use development located at the meeting point of I-70 and Highway 40 that is already home to a Harley Davidson dealership and the Origins Red Rocks Hotel.
On March 9, the Golden Planning Commission approved Golden-based developer Confluence Construction’s plan to construct a four-story structure that will include retail space that will include space for restaurants and offices on the bottom floor.
The rest of the building will consist of living units that will include a private bathroom and kitchenette. Each floor will also include full kitchens that will be shared by residents and other shared common areas meant to facilitate a type of communal living environment similar to a college dorm.
“What we really want to do is to create this vibrant mixed-use area for the outdoor adventurer to live work and play,” said Confluence CEO Tim Walsh in a presentation to the planning commission.
The project makes sense, Walsh said, because it would it would provide a population base that will add both street vibrancy and a built-in customer base to the Gateway Village development which currently does not offer any residential living.
“It can’t be a village if you don’t have the people,” Walsh said.
The building will be just under 50 feet tall and span over a footprint of 31,004-square-feet. It will include 160 co-living units containing a total of 204 beds. Walsh said the average rent in the building will be $1,184 a month for a 12-month lease. A room in a three-bedroom pod would be $900 a month. As a boarding house, tenants will have the option to sign leases as short as 30 days.
That ‘boarding house” designation is also important, Muriby said, because it means the development will not be require housing allocations under Golden’s 1 percent annual residential growth limit. That limit pertains to dwelling units, which Muriby explained are considered self-contained units that contain a bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. A boarding house is therefore not considered a dwelling unit and subject to the restriction because the units do not contain kitchens.
Walsh said Confluence has also been in discussions with the Denver-based bicycle producer Alchemy Bicycles about locating a manufacturing facility and retail storefront to 8,000-square-feet of space on the bottom floor of the building.
In comments made during the March 9 meeting, planning commissioner Don Cameron praised the development as offering a creative solution to providing a place to live for temporary residents who are putting pressure on Golden’s older neighborhoods.
“I think this actually does the work of preserving the single-family home neighborhoods in the core while giving a place for those medium-term visitors of Golden a place to stay,” Cameron said. “To me it fills a niche for people that are part of our community a few months out of the year.”
Rick Muriby said the development is consistent with Gateway Village’s emphasis on walkability and cultivating a “vibrant street life.”
“It’s really arranged to be more like a mix-used commercial development you see more in the center of town,” he said.
Walsh ended his presentation to the planning board by criticizing what he said was their close-minded desire not to approve developments like the one proposed that he said are in the city’s best interest.
“If you vote against this project you are voting against sustainability,” he said.
The planning commission voted unanimously in favor of greenlighting the project, which Walsh said should take around 18 months to construct.
Boarding House vs. Dwelling Unit
Under Golden’s residential code, a boarding house is defined as “an establishment where, for direct or indirect compensation, lodging, without kitchen facilities in individual rooms or units, is offered for one month or more for one or more boarders or roomers.” Boarding houses are not subject to the 1 percent growth limit because they do not contain kitchens.
In contrast, a dwelling unit is defined as “a building or any portion of a building designed for occupancy as complete, independent living quarters for one or more persons, having direct access from the outside of the building or through a common hall and having living, sleeping, kitchen and sanitary facilities for the exclusive use of the occupants.”
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