City of Aspen eliminates accessory dwelling units as affordable housing mitigation option

Erica Robbie
The Aspen Times

Aspen’s affordable-housing program may no longer allow homeowners and land developers to contribute to the affordable-housing system by offering an accessory dwelling unit.

During Monday night’s City Council meeting, the council approved amended Ordinance 35, which proposed to eliminate the accessory dwelling unit option from the affordable-housing program.

According to a memorandum from Community Development Director Chris Bendon, there are roughly 150 to 200 accessory dwelling units as a result of the housing program’s mitigation requirement.

However, because the program doesn’t require homeowners to rent the units, the estimated occupancy is low, Bendon said.

Ordinance 35 also proposed to limit the amount of cash-in-lieu an applicant can provide without first obtaining City Council approval. Prior to Monday’s meeting, any mitigation of 1.25 employees or more must be presented before the council in the form of a cash-in-lieu payment. The ordinance proposed to change this value to .25 full-time employees, which the council amended .10 full-time employees.

Staff recommended the council adopt Ordinance 35, with the hope of enhancing the use of affordable-housing certificates, and thus the housing program overall, the memo said.

While City Council passed the amended Ordinance 35, the ordinance will not go into effect until 30 days after the council passes another housing ordinance that also was looked at in Monday night’s meeting.

Council will continue discussion of Ordinance 37, which requests the city to re-examine the values in its cash-in-lieu formula, during a Nov. 9 meeting.

If City Council passes Ordinance 37 on Nov. 9, both Ordinance 35 and 37 will go into effect 30 days later, Assistant City Manager Barry Crook said.

If Ordinance 37 is not passed on Nov. 9, the council will have to revisit Ordinance 35, Bendon said.

As a result of Monday’s meeting, the current mitigation options for the city’s affordable-housing program include payment of a cash-in-lieu and providing an affordable-housing certificate or off-site affordable unit.


Hanukkah has arrived in Aspen

Members of the valley’s Jewish community gathered at the Albright Pavilion at Aspen Meadows Thursday for their second annual menorah lighting ceremony to celebrate and acknowledge the first day of Hanukkah.

See more