Council backs some breaks for Meadows rental housing |

Council backs some breaks for Meadows rental housing

Glenwood Springs City Council agreed late Thursday night to provide some financial concessions for a proposed affordable housing project.

The move is intended to clear the way for a 120-unit rental housing development to be built at Glenwood Meadows. However, council turned down some of the concessions developers were requesting.

Still, Robert Macgregor of Glenwood Meadows LLC, the landowner where the apartments would be built, said developers would do their best to make the project work based on the cooperation they have received from the city and Garfield County.

“We’re excited by the level of support. I’m sure we’re going to build something to make them proud,” he said.

Council agreed 5-2, with council members Joe O’Donnell and Larry Beckwith voting no, to defer payment of more than $700,000 in development fees. That includes $202,000 in school impact fees.

However, the council unanimously turned down a request for waiver or deferral of $206,000 in emergency services fees. It also unanimously rejected a request for a public infrastructure grant, loan or loan guarantee worth $220,000.

The boards of the Roaring Fork Re-1 School District and Glenwood Springs Rural Fire District had written letters of opposition to fee waivers being sought by developers, but council on Thursday instead considered deferrals. The fees would have to be paid back in 40 years, or whenever the property is sold, according to the amount they have increased based on 5 percent compounding interest per year.

Council also voted 6-1, with Chris McGovern voting no, to delay the requirement that developers spend $350,000 building a one-acre park on the site.

The developers were seeking about $1.5 million in total concessions from the city.

Some of the rental units would be restricted to people making less than 40 percent of the median income in Garfield County, with others being limited to those making below 60 percent, and the rest set aside for those making below 80 percent.

The housing project won city approval last fall but developers asked for the new concessions this year as a result of fast-rising construction costs. Garfield County has agreed to contribute $1.5 million in cash to the project.

In arguing on behalf of the concessions Thursday night, developer Arny Porath said the units would help provide housing for people who are needed to address a severe employee shortage in the Glenwood area.

Contact Dennis Webb: 384-9119

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