How emergency declarations in Colorado’s High Country housing crisis smooth the path to more homes for locals | VailDaily.com
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How emergency declarations in Colorado’s High Country housing crisis smooth the path to more homes for locals

A ‘disaster’ resolution over housing in Crested Butte enables the town to bypass codes, buy a hotel, remove limits on downtown camping and curtail short-term rentals. More communities are planning similar declarations as high country housing crisis reaches a crescendo.

Ali Fuchs wants to build two, deed-restricted one-bedroom units behind Big Al’s Bicycle Heaven, her shop in downtown Crested Butte.

The town’s zoning code requires two parking spaces per unit. But she doesn’t need four spaces. With only two tenants, she needs two spaces.

“Because that makes sense,” she said.



The impasse led Fuchs to hire both an architect and an attorney to craft an amendment to the town’s zoning codes. She’s asking for a new land use category in Crested Butte: Employee Dwelling.

“I could build an office for 15 people and pay a fee for parking. But I can’t do that for residential. And we need residential more than anything. There are a lot of backward things in our code,” said Fuchs, who opened her shop in 2006 and has been able to hire only eight of the 15 employees she needs. “I literally do not know what I’m going to do to get through this summer.”

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