Hearing set for fee hike | ParkRecord.com

Hearing set for fee hike

Caroline Kingsley, The Park Record

The fee developers are allowed to pay in lieu of building affordable housing may increase from $86,610 to $120,000 per affordable unit equivalent.

"The code provides an opportunity for developers to pay a fee instead of actually constructing units when they are required to provide affordable housing," Summit County Planner Kimber Gabryszak said.

A Snyderville Basin moderate income housing needs assessment was adopted in 2006, along with a fee-in-lieu option for developers who are required to provide affordable housing, but where it didn’t make sense to build it onsite.

The original intent was to update it every few years, Gabryszak added.

"And since it hasn’t been updated since 2006, it’s time to do it," she said.

In 2006, the price gap between what a household earning the Summit County median wage could afford and the average market price of an affordable housing unit was $75,313.

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The housing needs assessment was updated in 2012 and showed the price gap had increased to $118,016.

Among other options, Summit County can use the collected funds to decrease the price of a residence to make it affordable.

"If affordable housing units are starting to price themselves out of affordability, or if the county obtained a piece of property that would make sense for affordable housing, the funds in the housing account from fees-in-lieu could be used," Gabryszak said.

Affordable units are generally allowed to have their price increased every year, she said.

"There were some units that started out on the upper edge of affordability, and were increasing in value about three percent per year," she said. "Eventually they just became too expensive for the target household. So the county purchased the units and sold them at an affordable price. So the price is now attainable for a household making the right income."

The Summit County Council will consider raising the fee-in-lieu rate at the Wednesday, March 20 public hearing at 6 p.m. at the Sheldon Richins Building, located at 1885 West Ute Blvd.

Permitted uses for fee-in-lieu funds

Courtesy of Summit County

  • Provide down payment and mortgage assistance to qualifying households.
  • Provide fee assistance for special district impact fees, such as the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District and the Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District, specifically for affordable housing units.
  • Buy down the price of affordable units that have appreciated so as to become unaffordable to a qualifying household.
  • Assist qualifying community based housing non-profit organizations in their affordable housing endeavors.
  • Assist in the construction of affordable housing on County owned property.
  • Purchase and/or rehabilitate existing properties in the Snyderville Basin that are available at below-market-rate prices.
  • Preserve existing affordable units by purchasing mortgages or units to protect them from foreclosure.
  • Provide funds to take advantage of potential opportunities that will enhance the county’s objectives.