City looks for missing link

Council members investigate employee housing program

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The Steamboat Springs City Council is moving forward with research on an employee housing program.

The council on Tuesday directed city staff to work with consultants from the firms RRC Associates and Rees Associates to research options for housing linkage in Steamboat. Employee housing linkage is a program that acts on the link between new development and the employee demand it creates.

On Tuesday, the consultants presented a nexus study, which demonstrates the relationship between the need for affordable housing and the number of employees generated per square foot of residential and commercial development. Governments often have nexus studies completed because they help support employee housing linkage programs in court, if the programs are challenged.

The consultants presented the council with three calculations: one for commercial linkage, one for residential linkage and one for fee in lieu. When fees in lieu are available, developers can pay cash instead of providing employee units.

City staff is expected to help the council with some of the specifics that go into creating a linkage program. Those include: whom to target, what programs to implement, how and where to target the programs and legal considerations.

The council has taken one step toward providing attainable housing in Steamboat Springs. In February, council members passed an inclusionary zoning ordinance that will require developers to provide a certain percentage of affordable units within projects.

In other business, the council:

Heard reports about intergovernmental services, planning services and Interim City Manager Wendy DuBord.

Considered a resolution adopting the city's Sidewalk Master Plan. The council members approved the resolution on the condition that they would see a document containing all of the changes from the draft version of the plan.

Tabled until May 16 a resolution approving the contract for new City Manager Alan Lan--ning. Lanning is set to begin July 3.

Made a proclamation recognizing Millie Beall, the retiring executive director of the Routt County United Way, for her service to the community. Another proclamation the council made recognized May 2006 as Historic Preservation Month; it was presented to James Crawford and his family.

Approved the development plan and final development plan for a project called Montenero at Steamboat Springs. The proposal was for a 17-unit townhome development between Mount Werner Road and Rockies Way.

Approved on second reading an ordinance amending the code to reduce the membership of the Board of Adjustment from seven regular and three alternate members to five regular and two alternate members.

--o reach Dana Strongin, call 871-4229

or e-mail dstrongin@steamboatpilot.com

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