Longmont City Council to Vote on 2019 Budget and Affordable-housing Mandate

November 13, 2018

Work continues Thursday at the Fall River Apartments site in Longmont. Longmont City Council is set to vote Tuesday on the city's affordable housing mandate that delineates how developers can meet the requirement that 12 percent of units in new developments be affordable.

If You Go

What: Longmont City Council

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Civic Center council chambers, 350 Kimbark St., Longmont

Agenda: tinyurl.com/y8q3ut5m

Longmont’s City Council members are scheduled on Tuesday night to vote their final approval of ordinances setting a proposed $363.24 million city budget for 2019.

Also on Tuesday’s agenda is a preliminary council vote on an ordinance that would reestablish an affordable-housing mandate that essentially would require that 12 percent of the livable square footage in a new residential development be dedicated to units that home buyers making 80 percent of the area’s median income and renters making 60 percent of the area median income can afford.

There also will be public hearings on the pair of ordinances setting next year’s budget.

Council members spent parts of several September and October meetings reviewing the city staff’s August recommendations for a 2019 spending package, making few changes in the budget proposal.

There was no further council discussion of the budget-approval ordinances on Oct. 23 before the vote to advance those ordinances to Tuesday night’s votes.

Next year’s appropriations for municipal services, programs, projects and payroll would be about 15 percent higher than the $315.23 million operating budget the council originally adopted in October 2017 for the current 2018 fiscal year.

As for the housing ordinance, Longmont’s council and staff have been working off and on for much of the past year on a new “inclusionary-housing” measure that would reinstate a version of an affordable-housing development requirement that a previous council had dropped seven years ago.

That earlier program, launched in 2001 but repealed in 2011, required that all new residential development getting preliminary plats or site-plan approvals would have to have 10 percent of their residences meet affordable housing requirements.

The new program would give developers options for meeting the 12 percent requirement, if the affordable units are not to be built on the same site as a development’s market-rate homes.

One option would be for the developer to pay square-footage fees that would go into a city affordable housing fund. A second would be to build the required affordable housing in another location. A third would be to donate ready-to-develop land to the city with a property value that matches what would otherwise be required in fees — land on which affordable units could then be constructed.

A combination of those three options would also be possible.

Tuesday night’s initial consideration of the proposed new affordable-housing mandate does not include a formal public hearing, although people can speak about the ordinance during a public-comment period earlier in the meeting.

If the housing ordinance gets preliminary approval Tuesday, it’s expected to be scheduled for a public hearing and final council action on Nov. 27.

Contact Staff Writer John Fryar at 303-684-5211 or jfryar@times-call.com or twitter.com/jfryartc

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