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Lafayette Caps New Residential Units for Year at 207

January 16, 2019
Longmont Times-Call

Lafayette City Council on Tuesday voted to establish the maximum amount of dwelling units not exempt from the city’s growth cap for 2019 and the anticipated maximum for 2020, capping new units at 207 this year and an estimated 167 for next.

The cap, originally approved in 2012 and amended by voters in 2017 to exclude certain affordable housing projects, has been hailed by proponents as a necessary check on the city’s eastward growth to preserve Lafayette’s “small town” feel.

This is the beginning of the new six-year cycle from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2024, according to a staff report. “For the previous cycle, 1,199 nonexempt building permits were allocated by City Council,” the report states.

At the end of 2018, 1,116 nonexempt permits had been issued of the 1,199 allocated for the previous growth management cycle that ran from the beginning of 2013 through Dec. 31, according to planning documents. The 83 permits not issued cannot be carried over to the current cycle and will remain unused.

Charter allows leaders to authorize up to 50 exemptions in a given year, according to city code. In 2018, 28 permanently affordable units in the Copperstone apartment development were exempted.

In the November 2017 election, voters amended the Growth Management Charter for the current six-year cycle to exempt developments with 40 percent or more permanently affordable units available to residents earning up to 80 of the Boulder County median area income.

At the moment, officials say there aren’t any projects that would need an allocation from the allocated 50 exemptions, though the Willoughby Corner development is anticipated to deliver a sketch plan in the coming months.

“Since over 40 percent of the proposed development would be permanently affordable,” the staff report states, “this project would be exempt from Growth Management and Council would not be required to approve an allocation of the 50 Charter affordable units.”

Anthony Hahn: 303-473-1422, hahna@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/_anthonyhahn

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