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Steamboat Springs, CO
rodcarew - Please reread my original post. I am not advocating for the government to be involved in the housing sector but rather being a realist stating that "If you insist on spending our money, stop throwing it away on new government jobs, studies and consultants and buy some land." I further stated "I'm sure there is someone out there that would love to be able to develop their land this way. They just need to get the right signals from the powers that be." In other words, let the free market handle it.
As far as the annexation of Steamboat 700 it hasn't happened yet and again I am advocating that this is the type of thing the city should be doing not wasting our money trying to override free market forces. (Assuming Steve Lewis is correct that 55% of the sales tax comes from visitors, by my calculation that means 45% is still coming from us."). Zoning a portion of the property for extremely high density might allow for a large(100+) apartment complex. Go anywhere else in this country and you will find these types of properties. I don't know of anything bigger than maybe 20-30 units anywhere in Steamboat. I'm sure there are many developers that would be willing to invest their hard earned money to build a large complex such as this that they could rent for reasonable rates and still make a fair return for the risk that they have taken.
The free market always finds a way to solve these kinds of problems if given the opportunity to do so. For example, if an employer can't find employees because they all say they can't afford to live here. The employer will start paying them more, buy some housing to rent to his employees, etc. He then passes the cost along to his consumer, thereby moving the costs to the people who benefit from it. This is as opposed to the scenario where the government tries to force their view of the solution down our throats, and we all end up paying for it, regardless of wether we receive a direct benefit.
Lastly, a little background on my perspective. I've lived in Steamboat for nearly 20 years. In the early years I struggled to make ends meet and worked multiple jobs like many people. I wanted to stay, so I did what I had to do. For me that ment living in the cheapest crappiest trailer I could afford, saving a little, buying a slightly less crappy trailer, saving a little, condo, save, townhouse, save, house. Many others I know have paid their dues and not had the benefit of a handout to get it done.
Just what we need. Another middle management position to "coordinate" the city's affordable housing issues. After all someone will have to look after the Iron Horse boondoggle. In order to insure their job security they will push for more city funded programs.. Then of course, they'll need an assistant, a company car, a bigger office, etc. This is classic big government thinking. Who do you think is going to pay for it? This type of stuff just drives up the cost of living here further. The city should let the private sector and the free market handle the affordable housing issue. The underlying issue in affordable housing is the cost of land. If you insist on spending our money, stop throwing it away on new government jobs, studies and consultants and buy some land. Use powers already vested in the government such as annexation and zoning to create a parcel suitable for dense development. A 40 acre tract zoned for small lots that a person could purchase and put a nice double wide manufactured home on might create something like 200 truly affordable units. I'm sure there is someone out there that would love to be able to develop their land this way. They just need to get the right signals from the powers that be.
I was just reading the guidlines today. Appreciation is capped at 3% and the unit can only be sold to someone else that qualifies under the guidelines. Where a buyer could really get hurt is if interest rates rise to much higher levels. The next local making 120% or less of the AMI isn't going to be able to qualify for the loan.
A good opportunity was lost with the expansion of the library. Yampa St could have been connected to 13th Street through the existing Library parking lot creating a second east/west route. The part of 13th in front of the library could have been vacated to make room for a redesigned library expansion that could have created a nice campus like layout with the library connected to Elk Park and parking that wouldn't require people to park on one side of 13th and walk across it to get to tne new library. Instead we'll end up spending massive amounts of money to build a tunnel under Howelson and naming after the council people that caused the problem.
A good opportunity was lost with the expansion of the library. Yampa St could have been connected to 13th Street through the existing Library parking lot creating a second east/west route. The part of 13th in front of the library could have been vacated to make room for a redesigned library expansion that could have created a nice campus like layout with the library connected to Elk Park and parking that wouldn't require people to park on one side of 13th and walk across it ot get to tne new library. Instead we'll end up spending massive amounts of money to build a tunnel under Howelson and naming after the council people that caused the problem.
Give me a break. Private property rights are clearly protected under the constitution. If the city thinks that these over 50 year old homes should be preserved then let them "take" them and compensate the owners justly. If this is a "Value" that we as Steamboatians share we should be willing to pay for it.
A basic economic principal is that the market gets what the market wants! Many consumers don't want their profit potential capped and so the deed restricted units lanquish on the market. Funny how the same people who think they should get a hand out at everybody elses expense to buy their home, don't think that they should have to give up the profits.
If the City and Housing Authority are so sure that they have such a great plan for these type of units, they should have no problem buying them back from the developers that they force them on. 18 months is longer than the average time it takes to sell a home in this market. If the developer can't sell that at some agreed upon price in that time, let the City or housing authority put their money where their mouth is and buy the units. Then we can have even bigger, more inefficient government. Maybe we can even create a new position at taxpayer expense to manage it all.
Seriously, if we want to do something about this issue. Let's stop wasting our money on studies and consultants and buy some land at fair market values. Use powers already vested in the city like the ability to rezone land, grant variances, or waive fees and create incentives for free market entrpeneurs to provide the market with what the market wants. The counties Land Preservation Subdivions regulations are good example of how a government can create incentives for the private sector to create development that has the desired outcome. (For those that aren't familiar with this a developer is granted one additional building site for each 100 acres set aside as open space. So a 350 acre parcel that could have been divided into ten 35 acre tracts with roads all over the place is instead allowed 13 building sites clustered on 50 acres with a minimal amount of roads and infrastructure and 300 acres that are retained in open space. Everybody wins.)
Courduroy, While I agree that I was fortunate to get here when I did. I still had to work two or three jobs and still just barely had enough to get by. So luck really wan't the the main issue, hard work and determination were. Don't drink the liberal kool aid that says your entitled to something at others expense. It's death to us all. Start in Oak Creek, Hayden, or even Craig. If that doesn't work, go put your time in down in Denver or some other place where the cost of living is lower relative to the income you can make. You'll get a lot more out of it.
As a nearly 20 year Steamboat local who had to struggle in my early years to make it here, it drives me crazy to see these kind of idiotic proposals. They may sound like good ideas to uninformed voters, but they end up hurting the majority of the people they are designed to help. If 140 new jobs are created (remember when if you created a job you were considered a good guy!) but only 7 housing units are subsidised that leaves 133 other employees to absorb the cost of the cities give away to the other 7. These costs don't just go away, somebody has to pay. When the developer gets whacked for a million bucks, they are going to pass it on. This only drives up the cost of housing further, making it even less attainable for the majority of the new workers. As for all the whiners out there. Try doing what I did. I started with a tiny 30 year old trailer, worked, saved, upgraded to a bigger 20 year old trailer, worked, saved, upgraded to a condo, worked, saved, upgraded to a townhouse, worked, saved, finally got a house in Steamboat.
Let's just keep spending $100,000 at a time until someone tells us what we want to hear. What a waste of the taxpayer's money. If we just spent $216,000 on a similar study, what is the point?
Last login: Tuesday, January 5, 2016
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