Plans for a proposed six story apartment building overlooking the Arkansas River in Pueblo are nearing final approval

From variance application
Rendering of the west side of proposed Bluffs project building.

The developer of a proposed 98-unit apartment building overlooking the Whitewater Park on the Arkansas River in Pueblo is requesting several exceptions to the city's zoning codes.

The proposed development, known as The Bluffs, is near West 4th Street, not far from downtown in the Corona/Blocks neighborhood and above the pedestrian bridge and kayak put-in area at Pillars Park. 

The city’s zoning board of appeals will consider a request to allow some smaller setbacks. That affects how much space is required between the building and the property boundary, as well as the landscaping near the parking area.

City code calls for a 25-foot front-yard setback. If approved, the variance would allow that setback to be reduced to one foot. The developer said as part of its agreement with the city, the company has dedicated ten feet of the property to widen the adjacent Pearl Street. That, combined with the steep topography of the site, is the basis for the variance request. 

According to a city planning staff report, there could still be a six-foot wide sidewalk and space for the street widening work, even with a one-foot setback. The staff report also notes that many existing properties in the area also do not conform to the required 25-foot setback.

from variance application
Aerial view of the building site with a note about setback variance request provided by the developer as part of the variance application.

The developer is also asking to reduce the number of parking spaces required by code from 147 to 123 and to be allowed to have the landscaping around the parking area vary between two and ten feet wide in some sections. According to the variance application, this is due in part to the stormwater codes that call for a detention pond that will cut into the available space for parking and landscaping.

The plans for the proposed multi-unit building include studio, one and two-bedroom market-rate apartments. Estimated monthly rents for the units may be $1,900 to $2,600 according to a presentation given earlier this year at a Pueblo Conservancy District meeting.

The variance hearing is at 7 p.m.Tuesday, June 25 at Pueblo City Hall.

Shanna Lewis/KRCC News
Pillars Park in Pueblo as seen from across the Arkansas River in the fall of 2021.