Land run begins

First units available under ordinance

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This building at the Sunray Meadows development will house seven affordable housing units to fulfill the Atira Group's mandated contribution.

— Seven condos in south Steamboat Springs have made Curtis Church a very busy man.

"My phone has been ringing off the hook since Monday," the interim executive director of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority said.

The reason? Last week, development firm The Atira Group put seven affordable housing units on the market. The units, located in the Sunray Meadows condominium complex off Village Drive, are the first units to hit the market since the Steamboat Springs City Council adopted a new affordable housing ordinance in June.

Garrett Simon of The Atira Group estimated the condos would sell for about $500,000 on the open market. But to satisfy the city's housing laws, the condos - which average about 1,100 square feet - will start as low as $150,000.

The first step to owning one of the affordable condos is approval from the Housing Authority. Only people who earn less than 120 percent of the "area median income" - $61,800 for a one-person household - may purchase one of the units. The condos' prices are geared for the 80 to 120 percent range, but people who earn less than 80 percent of the area median income - or $41,250 for a one-person household - are not excluded from purchasing one of the units.

"I've probably already qualified in two to three days close to 30 people," Church said Thursday. "There's a lot of interest. Unfortunately, there's only seven (units). The number of phone calls I've received underscores the fact that affordable housing is a hot commodity in our community."

Simon said Atira bought one of 15 buildings in Sunray Meadows to satisfy its affordable housing requirement for the Edgemont development at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area. That project currently is in the city's approval process. The Steamboat Springs Planning Commission recently voted to deny the latest plans for Edgemont, but Simon said Atira will move forward with the affordable units regardless of where Edgemont stands. The units should be ready for occupancy by the middle of November, Simon said.

"By doing what we're doing, we're delivering this more than two years earlier than would have been possible on site," said Simon, who called the Sunray units a creative solution to Edgemont's affordable requirement. "It doesn't always make sense to construct it on site. We don't know if it's appropriate to be in the most expensive real estate in the valley."

City Planning Director Tom Leeson said under the city's new housing ordinance, developers will normally have to pay a hefty premium - 25 percent more units - to construct their affordable housing requirements offsite. Leeson said the point of the ordinance is to create integrated communities and not have affordable housing units all clustered in one area.

The area immediately adjacent to the ski area, however, is exempt and can provide units offsite or pay a fee to the city in lieu of the units. Simon said Atira is paying the city $280,000 in lieu of three units.

"It generally meets the spirit of the ordinance," Leeson said of Atira's affordable housing plan.

Simon, Church and Leeson all said that Atira's approach to affordable housing will provide a valuable learning experience for future developments.

"They're the first developer to be required by inclusionary zoning," Church said. "I don't know if this is the best answer because we're working through the kinks."

Simon has some problems with the current housing legislation, believing it unfairly excludes people outside of the 80 to 120 percent range of area median income.

"We personally feel one deed-restricted unit doesn't fit all," Simon said. "You hate saying 'no' to someone when it's such a great opportunity."

Theoretically, the "linkage" fee requirement of the city's affordable housing ordinance will aid people who earn less than 80 percent of the area median income. Linkage fees collected so far have not yet been put to use by the city, Leeson said. He said the city most likely will use linkage fees to create public-private partnerships and provide affordable rental housing.

But while linkage fees may eventually cater to the lowest-income residents, Leeson admitted that people making more than 120 percent of the area median income are increasingly excluded from the market.

"That's something we're going to have to look at," Leeson said.

Comments

Zalobar 6 years, 6 months ago

Yes Me again.

Posted on 11/5/2003 10:55:30 AM by Tammie Delaney

http://yampavalley.info/forum.asp?ft=17

Let me share with you where I got this idea on the Single worker. Note this was posted back in 2003. In the community forum of the www.vision2030routt.org site. Tammie thanks for the inspiration to try to keep this topic alive. City council seems to be getting IT by utilizing the Iron Horse for the single / seasonal worker.

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Zalobar 6 years, 6 months ago

Correction, That was

Kay Sieverding,

I need to learn to read.

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Zalobar 6 years, 6 months ago

After reading the Boat Biz from Fri.s Today and esp. the interviews with candidates for council. I find it a matter of concern that the area south of town has never been mentioned or asked about. The west of SS has been getting all the attention for years, expansion etc. has had the west in the spot light. South of town we have some great communities all of which contribute to our economy and in a big way. But point of justice. If there will be a property tax to reduce the dependency on sales tax. The anexation of areas west of SS is probably a good idea to spread the tax burden. To be fair, The anexation of everything south to Rabbit ears pass and to and including Sydney peak ranch should also be considered. This would also include. Dakoda rg. Stmbt Pines, Country Green, Emerald Meadows, Getting the BIG picture? If we are going to spread the property tax burden west then we must also spread it south. OH and North. Strawberry Park has a HUGE untapped property tax base. Since ALL of these people use City ammenities streets etc. Why leave them out of the property tax burden being proposed on the properties lying within the city limits? Just because they arent hooked up to city water and sewer services doesnt mean they are not a demanding part of the CITY of Steamboat Springs for services and infrastructure.

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Zalobar 6 years, 6 months ago

Sorry for the rant unrelated to the article above. Housing, All the ideas being bantered about on housing and its atainability for the working class all the focus seems to be about families. One of the candidates was critical of the Iron Horse purchase by the City. I think it is about time the City take the lead in providing housing for its employees. ESP. The seasonal service sector workers. Bus drivers, snow removal etc. What kind of seasonal city services could we expect if we dont attract seasonal workers to fill these Ciry positions? The Ski area has Walton pond that serves the seasonal worker. Another sector that gets no attention is the single person living and working in this valley. There are very few if any proposals for the opportunity for a single adult to establish residence here as a contributing member of our society. Sure live 4 to a 1 bedroom condo at Walton village. Cheap is the key word. But this is not a life style we should expect the single worker to get used to. The construction industry has left behind the development of high density yet private accomodations Like Walton Village, Chaparrell, Park meadows, Pines. The greater part of our work force comes from single people who are just out of high school or college. Also single adults of both gender who choose the single life style and desirve as much consideration in the need for housing as the growing Family does. They have no voice.

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inmyopinion 6 years, 6 months ago

I commend Atira for purchasing 'off site' affordable housing.

I also have to ask this to our City Council;

If a developer must market affordable housing on a scale of AMI, from 80% to 120%, what precludes a developer from only accepting contracts to buy from those folks in the 120% bracket?

Using Sunray Meadows as an example (sorry Atira) a family making 80% AMI could purchase one for 162k and a family making 120% AMI could purchase that same unit for 283k.

If I were a developer, I'm pretty sure I would only accept offers from those in the higher AMI percentiles.

Afterall, with all the money that these ordinances would be costing me, I would have to recoup it some how...

If you could get back to me, with an answer, before election day, that would be great.

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bigboat 6 years, 6 months ago

inmyopinion

The housing guidelines require that the units average 100% AMI. The developer cannot only sell to 120% AMI. They have to spread the units out between 80% - 120% AMI and average 100% AMI.

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another_local 6 years, 6 months ago

Zalobar,

We could only hope that the purpose of property tax was to reduce the dependancy on sales tax. It is not. The purpose of the proposed and recently passed property taxes has been, in every case, TO INCREASE TAXES for specific spending. Sometimes this added spending is real. Other times it is a shell game to produce new revenue to free up existing revenue for other spending that is not on the ballot.

Our city council and our city manager Mr Leeson are under the impression that intergrated housing is a good idea. This is nuts. Nobody wants to live in affordable units in a vacation property ghetto. We should promote neigborhoods of year round residency and let the resort oriented property at the base of the mountain be purely resort.

I think we should eliminate the 25% unit surchage for offsite and actually allow a reduced requirement for developers that produce attractive NEIGHBORHOODS for year round residents.

I do agree with you that we are not paying enough attention to rental property both for single people and for folks who are not ready to buy. Most of the people in service jobs everywhere do not own. This is not unique to Steamboat and does not represent a problem. We need to have enough desirable rental property available.

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oofcboy 6 years, 6 months ago

if you annex peoples properties you will be required to run water and sewer to those areas which could cost millions of your tax dollars ,they are required to have access to water and sewer within 2 years annex away for your quick tax increase but you will have to pass bonds to get this guys the utilities

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