Letter: Aspen property owners beware | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Aspen property owners beware

Aspen property owners beware

Much like Emergency Ordinance 30, implemented in the first months of Mick Ireland’s term as Mayor which impaired value and required city oversight of all Aspen properties built prior to 1977, the city of Aspen is currently working on updating its housing mitigation fees and regulations for residential properties which will impact the flexibility and value of residential property. City Council will hold a public hearing on the new policy direction for residential development mitigation requirements on Monday at 5 p.m. Even if you have no intention of altering your property, the city’s housing mitigation regulations impact your property rights, limit flexibility and impact your home’s value.

While I can support the idea that development should “pay its own way,” the current housing mitigation fees, transfer taxes, property and sales taxes, and other regulations result in homeowners being burdened by far more than their fair share of residential housing impacts. The disproportionate burden is particularly acute for resident occupied housing. Pursuant to the recently completed Residential Employment Generation Study, current housing regulations over-estimate the impacts, and therefore mitigation fees, by 55 percent. In addition to requiring mitigation fees that appear to be intended to 100 percent mitigate residential housing impacts, residential property owners are further taxed for housing by the RETT (Real Estate Transfer Tax), a city housing sales tax of 0.5 percent, property and sales taxes that support City and other governmental services including housing for staff. Most significantly, for resident occupied housing, living in an Aspen home mitigates far more housing than it generates. Per the 2015 Residential Employment Generation Study, a 3,000-square-foot home generates 0.445 employees. If that same 3,000-square-foot home is occupied by a working resident, it is providing housing for 55 percent more local employees that it generates. If the home is occupied by two working residents, it is providing housing for 1.55 more employees than it generates.

Development should pay its fair share of housing and other impacts, but regulations, fees and taxes should fairly recognize the many ways that resident occupied homes support and satisfy community housing needs and ensure that home ownership does not require contributions to community housing needs in excess of its impacts.

I urge Aspen’s residential property owners to be aware of new policies that are being proposed that will impact your home.

Mike Maple


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