Affordable housing cash-in-lieu talks inch toward a decision
The Aspen City Council continued discussion of cash-in-lieu for affordable-housing mitigation in a work session Tuesday night.
City staff requested the council develop a reliable, updated methodology upon which a fee can be calculated, according to a memo from Assistant City Manager Barry Crook, Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority Executive Director Mike Kosdrosky and Affordable Housing Project Manager Chris Everson.
“Aspen’s fee-in-lieu mitigation option has long been in place as one of several available to offset the employee housing impacts resulting from development or redevelopment of commercial and residential property,” the memo says. “Some consider the city’s current (fee-in-lieu) rate so low that it is, for all but fractional mitigation purposes, an unreliable mitigation tool. The concern being that (fee-in-lieu) may not generate enough revenue to offset the cost of providing additional employee housing.”
Per City Council’s prior request, staff developed methodologies based on an average — not actual — assessor land value.
The models were as follows:
1. Fee-in-Lieu Model No. 1A: 2015 average assessor land value with future estimated development cost based on recent construction cost.
2. Fee-in-Lieu Model No. 1B: 2015 actual assessor land value with future estimated development cost based on recent construction cost.
3. Fee-in-Lieu Model No. 2: Combination of historical and future estimated development cost with historical land cost.
Most council members want staff to pursue a variation of Fee-in-Lieu Model No. 1B. No decisions were made, however, and the council directed staff to “codify cash-in-lieu” before their next conversation.
“The goal here is to get affordable housing built. … Come back and give us some detail, and we can have a good discussion,” Councilwoman Ann Mullins said. “I don’t think we can make decision until we have a more in-depth discussion.”
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What’s the Big Deal runs Mondays and is based on the prior week’s most expensive property transaction recorded in the Pitkin County Clerk & Recorder’s Office.