Letter: Changing attitudes on housing
As an advocate for housing and as the co-chair of the Eagle County Housing Task Force (ECOHTF), I was encouraged by the YIMBY (Yes in My Backyard) Jamboree held this month at Donovan Park in Vail. The number of attendees doubled to 120 from our previous NIMBY (Not in My Back Yard) housing conference just eighteen months earlier in August, 2017. This demonstrates the urgency, importance and interest by our community in housing issues and a desire to be part of the regional solutions. The conference included municipal representatives from all six towns and Eagle County, developers and residents from throughout Eagle County and representatives of 26 mountain communities in the western United States.
The conference focused on regional solutions that were both creative and innovative. The ECOHTF seeks to change the NIMBY mindset throughout the county to YIMBY and we realize that this changing of the mind will take time and all task force members are committed to a minimum of 10 years of service. During the inaugural year of the task force we brought together government officials, developers and local residents to discuss ways to better build housing throughout the Vail Valley. Best practices for a public/private partnership have been a topic of ongoing discussions at the task force’s meetings and were discussed in detail by representatives from 26 mountain communities at this month’s housing conference.
I am encouraged by the great strides achieved the past 18 months in housing throughout our region and remain optimistic moving forward that the ECOHTF’s 10-year vision of increasing the supply of homes and that local resident-occupied, attainable homes, which may or may not be deed-restricted, will become an essential component of the region’s infrastructure. Those homes are necessary to sustain a healthy, vibrant and economically and socially diverse community. Residents and government officials of our towns and county need to remain active in the housing conversations and need to compromise their positions in order to create stronger and healthier neighborhoods for all of us!
Bobby Lipnick, M.D., M.B.A., LEED AP
Co-chair of The Eagle County Housing Task Force