‘Overlays’ are off the table | ParkRecord.com

‘Overlays’ are off the table

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

Officials have scaled back a controversial plan that would plunk overlay development zones in the Snyderville Basin to more easily facilitate the building of affordable housing.

"On the overlay zones and incentives we’re taking a step back," Summit County Community Development Director Nora Shepard said.

The proposal irked neighbors in western Summit County when planners said builders would be encouraged to construct affordable units in Trailside, Silver Summit and near Old Ranch Road.

Planners envision the housing projects serving households that earn $67,000, which is 80 percent of the Snyderville median annual income of roughly $82,000. But neighbors are concerned the projects could bring crime.

"It’s a complicated issue with complicated solutions," Shepard said. "We just need to do some education and talk about what affordable housing really is, and what our need really is."

The most heated debates have involved the creation of so-called "overlay zones," where the county could provide incentives like density bonuses to builders willing to add affordable units to their developments. But instead of just a handful of Basin neighborhoods bearing the brunt for the entire county, critics said the housing overlay zones should be evenly distributed.

More than 600 deed-restricted units are needed in Summit County to fill future housing demands for workers, according to Summit County planner Kimber Gabryszak. The restrictions on the affordable properties could prevent income-qualified owners from selling the units for a financial windfall.

Planners aim to create a situation where 36 percent of the county’s workforce can afford to live in Summit County.

Less controversial than overlay zones is a proposal that would require 20 percent of all new development and redevelopment be comprised of units that are affordable.

"Any new development would have to include a percentage of affordable housing," Shepard said.

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