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."
Steamboat Springs 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.