Affordable housing on the horizon

Housing Authority seeks approval for 34 deed-restricted units

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What: Steamboat Springs Planning Commission meeting

When: 6 p.m. today

Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

Other: Elk River Village is third among three public hearings on the agenda.

— The Yampa Valley Housing Authority goes to the city tonight to seek approval for plans to add at least 34 deed-restricted affordable housing units west of downtown Steamboat Springs.

Elk River Village would be built on a 10.76-acre site along Routt County Road 129, just a few hundred feet from its intersection with U.S. Highway 40.

Housing Authority Assistant Director Curtis Church said he hopes the manufactured housing will be available for purchase in summer 2009.

"I would think we'd have product available next spring," Church said. "We hope to begin working on (utilities) late this summer or early fall and order the structures next winter."

Church estimated the cost of the project between $18 million and $20 million.

A similar project was proposed in 2005 by a private sector developer. The Housing Authority purchased the site in 2005 for about $2 million.

The Housing Authority is seeking to build 54 multifamily condominiums spread across four 12-unit buildings and one six-unit building. In addition, it would develop 13 single-family lots for 900-square-foot homes. Purchasers of single-family homes would have the option of adding decks, car ports and second levels.

The number of deed-restricted affordable units could depend upon how successful the Housing Authority is in putting together a package of creative financing for the project.

The completed Fox Creek Village affordable project on Hilltop Parkway utilized grants and down payment buy-downs from state and federal sources.

"It's still a goal of ours to make all off them deed restricted, but it really depends on financing and construction costs," Church said.

Including a mix of market rate housing units could help subsidize the affordable units.

Senior City Planner Bob Keenan said the land for Elk River Village is zoned for commercial uses, and creating housing there requires the developers to show substantial public benefit. He will suggest to the Planning Commission tonight that the combination of 6 acres of open space and the minimum 34 deed-restricted units satisfy that requirement.

Keenan also might make the case that the housing project creates a desirable mix of uses in an area that is predominantly light industrial and commercial.

"It actually meets a couple of the goals of the Steamboat Springs Area Plan," he said. "It's within walking distance of bus stops and a large number of employers in the area."

Keenan will ask the Planning Commission to discuss whether the affordable housing proposal goes far enough to ensure housing for people at the low end of the economic spectrum (80 percent of the median income). He's also concerned whether the architecture of the multifamily buildings is too repetitive.

The city also might press the Housing Authority to build a fence to act as a buffer between the homes and a new sidewalk along C.R. 129. It would help mitigate a necessary building setback variance, Keenan said.

"The applicant has proposed the multifamily buildings to be as close to the property line as 6.5 feet," Keenan wrote in a memo to the Planning Commission. We "have suggested a split-rail fence between the sidewalk and these buildings as a buffer. The applicant has not included a fence, citing cost as an issue."

Comments

OnTheBusGus 6 years ago

I hope that most people who end up living here are west end workers and can walk or bike to work. Otherwise that traffic light at 40 and 129 is going to be really backed up when everyone is going to work!

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SilverSpoon 6 years ago

20 million/67 units= 298,500 average.

$2000/ month to live in the projects?

"He's also concerned whether the architecture of the multifamily buildings is too repetitive"

Keenan, you can't have it all. You should request the plans from sun-ray ghettos, and repeat them. Maybe a one bedroom could come in at under $200,000.

and a 3 bd under $450,000

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ColoradoNative 6 years ago

We need more workers! Build affordable housing! Wait we have a traffic problem! Don't build more houses! Wait who's going to build those houses we don't have enough workers!

The City of Steamboat springs and the Housing authority should take the lead and NOT be asking for permits until we have a traffic plan for Hwy 40.

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freerider 6 years ago

That's cool...but affordable housing for Steamboat is a joke...and when is somebody going to address the traffic problem west of town....?????? the planning commission is blind to this issue...more housing along with the 700 death club...The Vegas developers....anybody see what's going on in Vegas lately.... they can't give away foreclosures because Vegas was over developed just like they want to do here...it's pathetic the way our politician's get on there knee's to the almighty dollar...Freerider was here

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h2o 6 years ago

Affordable? I have to laugh at that. There is no such thing in this town. The endless use of the term lately is proof enough. It ok! Just don't pretend to be helping people to live here by calling a project affordable. On top of the "affordable" price tags there are the wonderful deed restrictions. I guess that's the penalty for being a local working class person and not a wealthy part timer here in our lovely community. I really don't enjoy having such a pessimistic view but the prices don't reflect affordability plain and simple. Factor in the taxes, insurance, and your HOA fees and you have yourself quite a large payment for your "affordable" unit.

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