Changes approved by city zoning board for six-story apartment building overlooking the Arkansas River in Pueblo

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

Variance requests for the Bluffs multi-family building project in Pueblo were approved by the city’s zoning board of appeals on Tuesday night. If it ultimately gets final approval, the proposed six-story apartment building would overlook the Arkansas River near the white water park. 

A couple of nearby property owners were on hand during the public meeting to express their concerns about parking and traffic. The developers and city planning staff said that one of the adjacent roads will be rebuilt allowing better traffic flow than currently exists. They also noted plans to mitigate the reduced number of parking spaces that included, among other things, offering a set number of so-called tandem stalls where two cars from a single household can be parked one behind the other.

The 98-unit building is slated to have studio, one and two-bedroom market-rate apartments. The term market-rate is used to refer to non-subsidized housing, and does not indicate average or median apartment rates. That's in contrast to the term affordable housing which may have income limits or other government benefits for residents.

The project is also part of a Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority designated redevelopment area. The authority has approved a 25-year, $7.8 million tax increment financing reimbursement or TIF agreement with the developer.

This means that the authority will reimburse the developer for expenses for specific improvements such as road improvements, sidewalks, utility tap fees, as well as safety and environmental items.

The reimbursements are based on how much the assessed value of the property increases from an original base value. The developer can request 88 percent of the increase in value up to $7.8 million total during the 25 year period.

According to the Pueblo Regional Building Department website as of June 27, the project was still pending approval from various city agencies and Pueblo Water.