Two Roaring Fork Valley residents propose a regional housing authority before Snowmass Town Council | AspenTimes.com

Two Roaring Fork Valley residents propose a regional housing authority before Snowmass Town Council

The lack of affordable workforce housing is "an epidemic-type problem all across the state," an attorney said before the Snowmass Town Council on Monday.

David Myler, a former Snowmass town attorney and current resident of Basalt, reasoned that the longstanding housing crunch is up to individual regions to resolve, as the state and federal government are unlikely to do so.

At a Snowmass Town Council work session Monday, Myler and Bill Lamont, a former city planner who now resides in Carbondale, proposed an idea that they believe could help mitigate the issue in the Roaring Fork Valley: a multi-jurisdictional housing authority.

"If you think of the Roaring Fork Valley as a single community with a fairly mobile workforce, it starts to make sense to think about trying to produce housing for the workforce, unrelated to the housing that is generated from the development process, on a regional basis," Myler said. "We're one community; we ought to get together and work together and figure out where the housing belongs, who it's going to be targeted to and buy the land and get it built. Or, in some cases, buy units and deed-restrict it."

The proposed authority would pursue "a regional approach to the acquisition of land and the production of workforce housing," according to a memorandum to "interested parties" from Myler and Lamont.

The "interested parties," or local governments the two have approached, include municipalities within Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties.

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As a standalone government, voter-approved tax revenue and impact fees would fund the housing authority, the memo states.

Eagle County, Garfield County, Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs have each "expressed an interest" in the proposed authority, Myler told The Aspen Times after the presentation Monday.

Though he and Lamont have yet to meet formally before Pitkin County officials, Myler said, "We're fairly certain they'll want to participate based on input from (Pitkin County Commissioner) Steve Child."

For more on this story, check the Snowmass Sun, on newsstands and online Wednesday.

erobbie@aspentimes.com

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