Letter: Dont overburden Vail Valley developers | VailDaily.com

Letter: Dont overburden Vail Valley developers

Jeff StromDenver, CO Colorado

To Eagle County Commissioners Sara Fisher, Arn Menconi and Peter Runyon:As a long-standing (since 1981) property owner in Old Edwards Estates (Twin Spruce Townhomes) I have become concerned with one of your possible solutions to the lack of affordable housing in the county. I understand the need for affordable housing in the county, but there is a great distance between the desires of the county and its master plan and the economic forces of market reality.I would not oppose outright your proposed Old Edwards Estates/Affordable Housing solution (B&B parcel), but it certainly needs far more research prior to purchasing the property for such a considerable sum. Not to mention the extensive infrastructure costs needed to make the site accessible and fully developable! To believe that the county could attract an affordable housing developer, without that prior research, could well end up being wishful thinking. Offhand, I would seriously doubt that, with the extensive site costs anticipated coupled with the lesser return a developer could expect with the affordable housing product compared to market-rate development (that has always been the rub!) that you could successfully partner with any developer. I cant help but believe that there are many other affordable housing opportunities in the county with sites that would accommodate our affordable housing need in far better circumstances.Your charge to increase the availability of affordable housing should not come at any cost, nor with any opportunity. Nor should the solution to the lack of affordable housing be borne solely by the development industry. It is a problem for all us county residents and we should, as taxpayers, bear our portion of cost in its solution. I realize no one wants to contemplate increased property taxes to pay for affordable housing, but it should be part of the solution. Attempting to force developers to carry an unreasonable amount of affordable housing for any development approval, may be the easiest solution, but it lacks the integrity and principle which we look to our elected officials to uphold.

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