Canyons Village Management Association releases employees housing analysis | ParkRecord.com

Canyons Village Management Association releases employees housing analysis

The Canyons Village Management Association gave Summit County Council members on Wednesday their first glimpse into what the workforce housing need is for employees at Canyons Village at Park City Mountain Resort and how they plan to address the situation.

The Canyons Village Management Association, or CVMA, is required to release updated information about the workforce housing need when 25 percent of approved development is built. The housing component fulfills parts of the requirements under the original approval of the Specially Planned Area for Canyons from 1999. It is not governed through the Snyderville Basin Development Code, as other projects are, and only Canyons Village employees will be eligible for the units.

The completion of the Canyons Golf Course triggered the need to move forward with an updated analysis based on current and projected development. According to the analysis, housing for 507 employees, or about 293 seasonal and 213 year-round, will be needed when Canyons Village is complete. But, based on the housing deficit, the CVMA intends to provide housing for more than 700 employees.

County Council members appeared generally concerned with the metrics used in the analysis. They asked for an opportunity to further examine how the numbers were generated to ensure the appropriate amount of housing is provided based on the original agreement.

County Council Chair Roger Armstrong said he wants to ensure there is validity to any formula that reduces that obligation. He said one of his concerns is that the housing analysis only addresses the workforce located in the Snyderville Basin, or about one-third of the employees. He said the important question is whether the remaining employees do not live in the Basin because there is inadequate housing or because they choose not to.

"If we ignore the workforce that is located elsewhere, are we really doing anything to manage the harms created by commuting?" Armstrong said. "If we are only catering to the one-third of the people that live here then we are losing out on something really important."

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Another metric Armstrong was concerned about was using the average number of jobs an employee holds to determine housing needs. According to the analysis, Canyons Village employees hold an average of 1.35 jobs, which further reduces the housing obligation.

"But is that 1.35 jobs for employees a proper metric to apply? Increasing from one job to 1.35 per employee reduces the number of employees they have to house," Armstrong said. "Maybe they wouldn't need more than one job if there was adequate affordable housing."

Employees who earn 80 percent or less of the area median income would be eligible for the units, including temporary international workers. Rent would be capped at 30 percent of an employee's income.

The configurations show employees sharing rooms in the studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, with some examples showing up to four people in a two-bedroom unit. Officials did not spend much time discussing the configurations, saying, those details would be addressed in future meetings.

The first phase is required to be finished when 33 percent of the approved development in the Canyons Village is built and it reportedly produce housing for nearly 330 employees. The remaining construction would be completed in two more phases.

The master developer of the Canyons Village, TCFC Finance Co., the development company that owns the land on which Vail Resorts operates its ski area, has been working on plans to reconfigure more than 2.3 million square feet of space within the village. According to the plan, approximately 340 workforce housing units are slated for the lower village. A parking structure with 775 spaces is also planned for the lower village, near the Cabriolet Lift. The new master plan has not yet been approved.

Brian Madacsi, executive director of the CVMA, said he is not surprised the County Council had questions, adding that "affordable housing is such an important issue."

"We will meet with them as much as necessary," Madacsi said. "There are a lot of variables and factors involved in this and to think we could sum it up in an hour meeting is probably not likely in any circumstance. It will take several meetings, but we are ready to come back as soon as possible."

A final housing plan will be presented to the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission for a recommendation. Summit County Manager Tom Fisher will have final authority over the plan.

To view the Workforce Housing Needs Analysis, go to http://summitcounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/3803.

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