Council will consider housing resolution

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— Tonight the City Council will consider a resolution supporting the recommendations of the Two Plus Housing Committee, including the creation of a housing authority that has the power to levy taxes.

The resolution would endorse the five recommendations the housing committee made nearly 11 months ago.

The recommendations include creating a multi-jurisdictional housing authority, seeking an impact fee and mill levy, creating inclusionary zoning, forming a task force to remove regulatory barriers and eliminating an improvement district tax proposed for development in the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan.

In an Oct. 15 meeting with the County Commissioners, the council said it supported the committee's recommendations and directed staff members to come back with a resolution adopting the five-page document.

The housing committee formed in the aftermath of the city's failed tax initiative for affordable housing, and is made up of those who supported and opposed that tax.

City Manager Paul Hughes said tonight's resolution would tell the committee the council agrees with the recommendations, even if they are not quite ready to implement all of them.

"They already know that (the city supports them). What they will now have is the support of the city in certain, specific areas," Hughes said.

The resolution specifically supports the recommendation for a multi-jurisdictional housing authority, dedicated revenue sources and easing of regulatory barriers.

Hughes said the city has been doing its homework since the being presented with the recommendations 11 months ago.

The recommendations presented questions the city could not answer quickly, Hughes said.

"I'd have to say it is the same reason the county hasn't done it. It is a pretty aggressive recommendation involving specific timeframes," Hughes said. "(The committee) said take the whole thing or nothing. They did not want the city to cherry pick, and pick the pieces they liked."

Since the recommendations were given, the city has worked with the county and surrounding towns to form a multi-jurisdictional housing authority.

The city is also awaiting the results from today's excise tax ballot question, and needed time to form an advisory committee to eliminate obstacles in the planning and building process.

"That assumes a lot of things we haven't even begun to talk about," Hughes said about an advisory committee.

Another gray area in the recommendations is the committee's proposal to remove the general improvement district tax imposed on new development in the West of Steamboat Area Plan.

The committee believes the tax makes it too difficult to meet the city's affordable housing requirements for that area.

Hughes said the city would look at the tax, but did not say if it would be eliminated.

"Growth must pay for its impacts," Hughes said. "If we extend the city and extend services out to the area, it cannot be a drain on the people already living here. Everyone agrees with that. Saying we must eliminate the charge is oversimplifying the answer of that problem."

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