After reading the BARC letter to the City Council and the Pilot & Today's editorial on base area redevelopment, I feel that a number of key issues and points were missed.
Payment in lieu is not a right, but an option. The present council recognizes the inadequacy of this method and that on-site affordable housing is far more effective. The present calculation of the payment in lieu is totally inadequate to provide land and units within the urban growth boundary.
The inclusionary zoning ordinance is still a work in progress. There are several proposed rules that are still being discussed and debated to get it right. This is also true of the operation and maintenance responsibilities that the city, the URA and the private property owners can't agree upon. Even within some of these three groups there is disagreement.
The discount proposed by Wildhorse Meadows to pay all the payment in lieu money upfront was so unrealistic that the city's finance officer rejected it. The council did not support One Steamboat Place's affordable housing payment in lieu proposal because it is inadequate. Furthermore, the council was concerned about the negative impacts of traffic, sprawl, segregating the community and increased financial demands.
Because of the lack of available land and the extreme cost of available land within the urban growth boundary, the money offered by the payment in lieu option is a drop in the bucket for the city and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority. The only reason why the Housing Authority has been successful in the past was because land was made available to it at a discounted price.
RRC Associates have said over and over again that houses and land are what you want. Payment in lieu money does not buy much to solve your affordable housing problem.