Meadows housing proposal gets sent to planning board |

Meadows housing proposal gets sent to planning board

John StroudPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – A request to amend the affordable housing requirement for Glenwood Meadows allowing for income-restricted rental housing will go to the city’s planning and zoning commission later this month.Glenwood City Council recently heard a preliminary presentation from Glenwood Meadows LLC representatives explaining the latest proposal to give credit for rental housing toward the residential portion of the larger development’s affordable housing requirement.Typically, residential developments are required to provide 15 percent of their total housing units as deed- and income-restricted affordable housing units available to qualified buyers.Meadows developer Robert Macgregor announced earlier this year that he is working with Denver-based Steele Properties LLC to develop the Glenwood Meadows Apartments, which was part of the 2005 development approvals for the larger Glenwood Meadows project.The new partners are working to secure a Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) tax credit to build 120 apartment units and offer them for below-market rental rates.Developers are seeking an amendment to the housing agreement with the city before moving forward.”This is something we have worked on for a number of months,” Macgregor told City Council at its Aug. 5 meeting. “We’re not here to ask for money, but we are here to ask for help in giving us another tool in our box to get the residential portion of the Meadows built.”This would be the third time for Glenwood Meadows to try for the low-income tax credits to build the project. The Meadows initially won approval for the credits, however final zoning requirements could not be met within the specified time frame to use them. Developers re-applied, but were denied.If the Meadows is successful in obtaining the credits this time around, it is asking that the number of required deed-restricted, for-sale units be lowered to a minimum of 3 percent. However, that number could still be higher.The city’s Housing Commission had an opportunity to look at the Meadows’ tentative proposal in late July and generally liked the idea.”The Commission agrees that some off-set to the inclusionary requirements for the Glenwood Meadows should be considered, in consideration of ‘affordable’ rental units,” the Housing Commission wrote in a memo to City Council.However, the Commission wanted an opportunity to review the proposal more fully.Council referred the matter back to the Housing Commission, as well as to the P&Z Commission.”I’m not ready to make a decision on this without some further analysis,” Councilor Russ Arensman said.While rental units may be a necessary part of the city’s overall affordable housing picture, Arensman also said he’s not comfortable looking at it on a case-by-case basis.”It needs to be a citywide policy discussion,” he said.Councilor Dave Sturges agreed that a referral to P&Z is necessary.”This is a very visible project and it’s important to give it proper consideration,” he said.But, “I do think we need to look at providing the tools to help developers fulfill their obligations,” Sturges added.Council voted 5-0 to refer the matter to P&Z, which next meets on Aug. 24. The Housing Commission may also get a closer look at the details of the proposal at its Aug. 17 meeting. City Council hopes to take up the discussion again at its Sept. 2

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