Adieu to fee-in-lieu?

Council to reconsider controversial housing policy

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Thanks from Holly

The Steamboat Springs City Council received a thank-you letter last week from the eastern Colorado town of Holly, which was devastated by a tornado in late March. City Council President Susan Dellinger said the city sent $500 to help the town with rebuilding and restoration efforts. "As a small municipality, our financial need is great," reads the letter from Holly town officials. "Please be assured that your donation will aid the Town of Holly in its course of recovery."

— City officials will reconsider a controversial housing policy next week.

The Steamboat Springs City Council voted, 4-3, Tuesday to place further discussion of fee-in-lieu payments on the council's June 19 agenda. Fee-in-lieu payments allow developers to pay the city instead of providing affordable housing units required by the city's inclusionary zoning and linkage ordinance. The decision came one week after the City Council approved that ordinance, which regulates how the city provides affordable housing.

While the approved, revised ordinance allows fee-in-lieu payments as an option for developers, City Council President Pro-tem Steve Ivancie moved to reconsider that decision, citing a need for further public comment and review of the fee-in-lieu policy that has spurred debate for months.

Councilman Ken Brenner seconded Ivancie's motion, with an amendment ensuring any changes to fee-in-lieu policy would involve only the city's inclusionary zoning regulations, not linkage regulations that address a different segment of the housing market.

Council members Towny Anderson, Paul Strong and Loui Antonucci opposed placing fee-in-lieu policies on next week's agenda.

"My concern is that we go backwards," said Anderson, an outspoken supporter of fee-in-lieu policies. "I'd like to think that if this comes back for further review, the discussion will be how we're going to use (fee-in-lieu), rather than whether we're going to use it."

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority also expressed support Tuesday for allowing fee-in-lieu payments.

"Building affordable housing is one option; payment-in-lieu of affordable housing is another. Including both assures that affordable housing will be built," wrote Mary Alice Page-Allen, president of the Housing Authority's board of directors, in a letter to the council. "Including both also broadens the opportunities for creative and flexible answers to the issue."

Strong said the reconsideration of fee-in-lieu policies came as "no surprise" to him.

"As soon as it was adopted, I had a feeling we would be back here," he said.

Strong also lamented the City Council's need to already review part of an ordinance it approved June 5, saying the council "shoots itself in the foot" by appearing indecisive.

"We've done a lot of really good work,' Strong said. "It's unfortunate that this is what will be remembered."

The entire inclusionary zoning and linkage ordinance is scheduled to become effective June 20, because the City Council tabled action on associated housing guidelines until the council meeting June 19. That meeting now also includes a fee-in-lieu discussion and possible vote.

Comments

another_local 7 years, 2 months ago

Paul is right, this is what will be remembered. Council does not "appear" indecisive, it IS indecisive.

Another moving target for people and businesses trying to plan.

Time for a change!!

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JustAsking 7 years, 2 months ago

Apparently they got together and decided that they didn't have any plan to sucessfully spend fee-in-lieu funds to further their goal of giving away housing on the mountain and didn't want to be accountable?

Doesn't this group realize that NEITHER the "affordable" candidates or the monied supporters of the local economy have NO desire to live side by side?

Isn't is obvious that lending support to a plan to develop rentals and lower priced homes on the west end would be a lot more productive than trying to lay all the burden on the very developements that drive the economy?

Is this council ever going to realize that trying to legislate utopia is impossible and that the free market is really the only long term solution? Here's reality: Socialism ALWAYS FAILS!

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JQPUBLIC 7 years, 2 months ago

JustAsking... what makes you think this council will ever be productive? Developing rentals on the west end makes too much sense, and letting a handful of families hit the housing lottery at everyone else's expense is inane. And the answer is no, the council is never going to realize anything, I mean, they think they've done a lot of good work and now they're worried about how they will be remembered.

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rw1963 7 years, 2 months ago

Forcing people to pay for and build housing for others is enslavement and robbery. This is an immoral and illegitimate misuse of government force against the individual rights of the citizens. The proper role of government is to protect individual rights, not to violate them in this manner.

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Richard Levy 7 years, 2 months ago

Council was indecisive. Only it occurred when the chose to change Payment in Leiu on June 5th. Less than 1 year ago Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance was adopted without PIL. It has been working just fine, so why change it now?

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