Avon approves affordable housing plan | PostIndependent.com

Avon approves affordable housing plan

Matt Terrell
Vail Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO

AVON, Colorado ” Hoping to keep more families in Avon, the town council approved a long-debated affordable housing plan that requires developers to build reasonably priced homes for workers.

Avon, like most communities in the valley, is a tough place to live when it comes to affordable housing. Only 29 percent of Avon’s workforce lives in-town, with first time home-buyers and seasonal employees alike moving downvalley to find cheaper homes, according to a housing study released in 2007.

The new guidelines require developers to provide affordable housing based on how many employees and residents a project will generate. Developers will be expected to examine what kind of impact they’ll have on the community based on a regularly updated housing study done by RRC Associates.

The study calculates how many employees and residents would be generated by different kinds of developments ” whether it’s a bar, office or a condo complex ” and suggests how much attainable housing the developer should be responsible for.

This gives developers some sure numbers to keep in mind when they’re building a project, said Matt Gennett, a senior planner for the town.

The plan has flexibility. It will be up to the Town Council to decide how much housing should be provided by the developer on a case-by-case basis, dependent on other public benefits a developer might offer, say building a park, sidewalk improvements or a pedestrian plaza area.

And keeping with the flexibility theme, the town will consider allowing the developer to pay or donate land instead of building homes, if that’s what makes sense for a project, Gennett said.

“It offers that incentive to try something creative without being boxed in by rigid, non-negotiable standards,” Gennett said.

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