Living Wisdom Village - Elders creating Community
by Tom deMers
(Article in Crestone Eagle February 2020)
Affordable housing for seniors in Crestone, also known as Living Wisdom Village (LWV), took several important steps forward in January. On January 6 the Town of Crestone Planning Commission unanimously approved the preliminary plan for a Planned Unit Development (PUD) application. The PUD is an approval the project must have before the LWV land, now under contract, can be purchased. The PUD is actually an application process created by the town which allows it to incorporate developments outside the scope of residential homes. The process has two parts. Phase One is a preliminary approval whereby the scope and nature of the concept are approved. In effect, the town says “Yes, we agree this project would be good for Crestone.”
Phase Two includes the final design plan and comes after architects and engineers have been engaged to provide specifics. Its focus is the physical reality of the developed property, things like storm water drainage, septic and electric lines, parking areas, dwelling types and dimensions, etc. Phase Two assures the Town that the project’s footprint and construction specifics have been properly addressed. The PUD application was submitted by Crestone Peak Community Housing, the local non-profit that proposes to build and operate Living Wisdom Village.
After the Planning Commission recommended approval, the application was forwarded to the Town Trustees who are responsible for giving it final approval. At their January 13 meeting the Trustees received the application, and after a brief discussion set it for a public hearing at their next meeting, February 10. The PUD regulations stipulate that a public hearing be part of the application process. CPCH board director Kirsten Schreiber urges all interested parties to attend the February 10 hearing which is scheduled for 1 PM.
Donations to purchase the land came in steadily over the holidays, and the total is rising; the board thanks everyone who contributed. As of this writing, $19,000 has been made or pledged, an amount that includes a donor match that multiplies all donations up to $10,000 by three. CPCH hopes someone will push that limit and is happily accepting donations of any amount. There is still plenty of time for you to help raise the monetary temperature on the fund-raising billboard! You can see it on the fence in front of the Crestone firehouse!