Affordable housing on agenda

Two-hour talk precedes council meeting

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— The Steamboat Springs City Council has set aside two hours before tonight's meeting to discuss affordable housing.

Chris Cares of RRC Associates consulting firm will be on hand to discuss issues including the need for affordable housing in Steamboat, the number of employees generated per square foot of residential and commercial development, seasonal housing, and fees paid by developers in lieu of providing affordable housing units required by the city's inclusionary zoning ordinance.

Brian Berndt, assistant director of city planning services, said the discussion will examine the city's goals regarding affordable housing and how city officials can strategically reach them.

"This will be about where we want to be, and how we can get there," he said. "We're trying to cover all the bases with affordable housing."

Also on Tuesday's agenda is a review of the city's environmental policies, a discussion of "linkage" between housing and commercial development, updates on Main Street and the city's sustainable management plan, and a pre-budget review of needs for the city's parks, recreation and open space department.

The City Council is conducting similar reviews of financial needs with all city departments, looking at "wish lists" to guide decisions about next year's city budget, which must be finalized in December.

The last item on the council agenda is an ordinance to create a mail ballot issue in November, asking voters living near the base of Steamboat Ski Area whether to create a taxpayer-funded General Improvement District, or GID, for the area. A GID would fund infrastructure maintenance and upgrades in the area.

Although the council approved a resolution Aug. 8 that allowed for the mail ballot procedure, City Clerk Julie Jordan said the ordinance would allow for the ballot question should enough signatures be submitted for a successful petition.

- To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203

or e-mail mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com

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