Steamboat Springs City officials gave final approval Tuesday night to the removal of some deed restrictions on a West End Village home and set a two-year window for future requests, illustrating a willing but cautious approach to changing affordable housing policies.
The Steamboat Springs City Council unanimously approved two motions related to the issue. The first dealt specifically with the 2357 Penny Lane home owned by former Steamboat Springs resident Rebecca Roof, a U.S. Forest Service employee who got a job transfer to Arizona. The motion enabled Roof to buy out of two deed restrictions — an income requirement and a net worth cap — for potential buyers of her home.
Requirements that buyers work in Routt County and live in the home as their primary residence will remain in place, though, in an effort to maintain the neighborhood’s community character.
Roof’s payment of about $2,300 to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority will compensate for preferential, below-market financing she received when buying the home on the city’s west side in 2007.
Mary Alice Page-Allen, asset and program manager for the housing authority, said a buyer is in place for the home, with a purchase contingent on Tuesday night’s approval.
The council gave initial approval to the plan April 5.
The second motion addressed future similar requests.
The City Council decided that the housing authority would negotiate future requests for deed restriction removal and that the final say would go to City Manager Jon Roberts, who could approve them outright or refer them to the council, at his discretion.
The council also approved a two-year window for deed restriction requests, after which time the process will be re-examined.
Page-Allen said there are no other such requests from West End Village homeowners. But the possibility exists — 41 West End Village lots have deed restrictions, and 34 of those received preferential financing.
Some deed-restricted homes in other neighborhoods received substantially greater purchasing discounts and could have a larger cost to buy out of deed restrictions.
Two requests for a removal of some deed restrictions have arisen from owners of condominiums in Sunray Meadows off Village Drive, for example.
Page-Allen said Sunray Meadows homes received “substantial subsidies” that could require reimbursements in the “tens of thousands.”
She said each request could be of a different scope.
“We’ll just deal with them as they come along, if they come along,” Page-Allen said.
In other housing news, the City Council agreed Tuesday to further examine how to increase funding for preservation of the city’s mobile home parks.
“I really believe resident-owned mobile home lots are the most interesting and appealing affordable housing components we have,” Councilman Scott Myller said.
Other city news
The city of Steamboat Springs’ investigation into how the Steamboat Pilot & Today handles chemicals used in the printing process showed no evidence of wrongdoing. Wastewater samples taken at the newspaper in March and April revealed only trace amounts of chemicals, consistent with hand-washing, that provided no evidence of a discharge violation, city officials wrote in a memo released Monday.
City staff took samples from the newspaper’s sewer system March 24 and April 7. The newspaper was not notified that the samples were being taken.
The findings were based on an independent analysis of the discharge by Steamboat Springs-based ACZ Laboratories.
— To reach Mike Lawrence, call 970-871-4233 or email mlawrence@SteamboatToday.com