Tuesday, November 19, 2002
Steamboat Springs The City Council withdrew a resolution Tuesday that would have supported the affordable housing recommendations made by a group of local residents.
The council has voiced support for the majority of the recommendations made by the Two Plus Housing Committee, like creating a multijurisdictional housing authority that could levy taxes, instituting inclusionary zoning and forming a task force to remove regulatory barriers.
However, what the council was not ready to do was lift the general improvement district tax imposed on development for the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan.
That sticking point had the council withdraw the resolution at Tuesday's meeting and will give the community a chance to take a second look at the West of Steamboat Plan.
The West of Steamboat Plan was passed in 1999 and allowed for the creation of up to 2,600 new dwellings and required one affordable housing unit for every two built.
But so far, nothing has been built and the Two Plus Housing Committee said that with the general improvement district tax, the mandatory affordable housing is not feasible.
Councilman Paul Strong, who recommended tabling the resolution at the Nov. 5 meeting, said he was disappointed with the Routt County Commissioners' decision to approve the West of Steamboat Plan's intergovernmental agreement but exclude the section of the agreement concerning the general improvement district tax.
"I am a little disappointed that they passed an IGA without having to deal with these issues," Strong said.
The tax would offset the cost of the city annexing the area in the West of Steamboat Plan, Strong said.
Without it, the city would be subsidizing the cost of building and maintaining infrastructure in the West of Steamboat area.
However, he said the removal of the tax would not impact the county.
Strong also said there should be community input if the plan changed.
The plan took 100 public meetings and 17 draft documents before it was approved. Since then, the two governments have worked on an intergovernmental agreement but have not signed it.
Strong passed around the chapter of the West of Steamboat Plan addressing the tax and said it would be discussed at the next Area Plan Coordinating Committee.
The council has also talked about including the recommendations while community members work on the Steamboat Springs Community Area Plan Update.
Earlier in the meeting, Councilman Bud Romberg told the council he was working with County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak on a document about a multijurisdictional housing authority.
The document will be presented at the Dec. 9 joint meeting.
"It is to set up what questions need to be answered and what things need to be discussed," Romberg said.