Audrey Mandell: Support on-site housing
City Council members Loui Antonucci, Paul Strong and Kevin Kaminski need to back efforts to mandate affordable housing in Steamboat Springs, starting at the base area with One Steamboat Place at Tuesday night’s council meeting.
Here is the perfect opportunity to bring the year-round vitality we want and need and that planning commissioners urged from the developers back in July to offset the density and scale the developers are demanding to make their project work.
Let’s get on board with other progressive ski areas like Aspen (where they even have affordable housing at The Ritz), Mount Crested Butte and Telluride. These (and more) resort towns mandate all new construction provide on-site affordable housing and employee housing. It is working in other towns because it has to work. Our council just needs the backbone to insist it work here, too.
It would be a huge mistake to use the fee-in-lieu option for One Steamboat Place. The fee in lieu is no guarantee that it will actually produce any real affordable units – and it certainly doesn’t address the critical issue of creating vitality at the base area. Fees in lieu only allow developers to buy their way out of providing affordable housing where it is needed the most. Accepting a fee in lieu (and a low one at that) will only validate that he doesn’t have to. It’s the council’s responsibility to be united in this effort so that we get the public benefit of affordable housing and vitality at the base in exchange for the mass and scale of One Steamboat Place. If you love your Steamboat, call, write or e-mail City Council members before Tuesday’s meeting.
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