Council takes up affordability revisions

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Past Event

Steamboat Springs City Council meeting for Jan. 13

  • Tuesday, January 13, 2009, 5 p.m.
  • Centennial Hall, 124 10th St., Steamboat Springs
  • Not available

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The possibility of changing city housing policy to allow developers to universally opt for a payment in lieu of building affordable housing is expected to come up tonight when City Council convenes in a work session.

The council has moved up the timetable by a month for consideration of amending the city's affordable housing ordinance to adapt to rapidly changing market conditions. No vote will be taken at the conclusion of the night's discussion.

Steamboat Springs Community Housing Coordinator Nancy Engelken said that since the ordinance was last amended in 2007, the international financial crisis has impacted the ability of developers to market units and of potential buyers to obtain mortgage financing.

"Tightened lending requirements and limited financing available for any residential unit if fewer than 51 percent of all units in a new development are under contract" have made it difficult to sell deed-restricted and market-rate condominiums, Engelken wrote in a memo to City Council.

Engelken has prepared four options for City Council to consider when it discusses revising affordable housing policies tonight.

One would allow payment in lieu for any development deemed a "condo-tel," and permit area employers to purchase deed-restricted units to rent to income-qualified employees.

Another would repeal inclusionary zoning and maintain commercial and/or residential linkage. Alternately, council could repeal the city's linkage provisions and retain inclusionary zoning. Still, another option would repeal the community housing ordinance.

Engelken said the option of making payment in lieu universal for satisfying inclusionary zoning has the advantage of building a fund that could be leveraged with monies from public and private sectors. Disadvantages include the scarcity of land in the city that would meet the goals of affordability.

- To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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