Park City’s New Housing Resolution Considered a ‘Big Step Forward’ by City Staff

Nov 14, 2020

Credit Lynn Ware Peek

Park City City Council voted to approve a new housing resolution at their meeting on Thursday. The move is aimed at making affordable housing in Park City more accessible. In particular, for seniors and members of the community with disabilities.

 

Thursday’s marathon city council meeting culminated in councilmembers voting unanimously to repeal Park City’s old housing resolution and replace it with a new one that better reflects the community’s future goals for Park City detailed in the “Vision 2020” initiative.

 

Councilmember Max Doilney told KPCW the new resolution was in response to a direct mandate from locals to tackle pressing community issues, including affordable housing. 

 

“We had a visioning process, our community said ‘be bold, make big changes,’ council directed staff to do exactly that,” he said. “So they’re going back to the foundations of everything we do and they’re thinking big and bigger.”

 

The new resolution includes measures to waive ongoing income verification for current residents of affordable housing, loosening the requirements for seniors to take advantage of affordable housing, and increasing the percentage of affordable housing units required in new development from 15% to 20%.

 

The one hang up of the resolution was a section regarding limitations on the annual increase on homeowners association dues. The new resolution specified that affordable housing units built in a project alongside market rate units were subject to annual fee increases of no more than 3%.

 

Councilmember Steve Joyce said on Thursday the language should be changed to reflect real-world levels of inflation or cost of living changes. He said HOA fees are meant to pay for things like repairs and larger upkeep costs and a fixed rate would likely not allow for those costs to be adequately covered. 

 

“I come out of this with two things,” Joyce said. “One is I don’t know how this really works in the real world. It’s really idealistic, but it doesn’t seem to address any kind of inflation. Instead of tying things to three percent, you tie things to overall inflation or some other cost of living adjustment or something like that. And the other piece is you simply have to have some mechanism, I mean, if you look at the lobster loft right now, it’s an affordable housing unit, there’s no one else to pay this. It’s not like there’s 80 market units to pay for 10 affordable units, so when they need a new roof, they need a new roof, you know? I don’t know how to deal with this. It seems like a great idea that seems broke.”

 

Joyce’s fellow councilmembers agreed with his analysis and ultimately voted to pass the new resolution, minus the HOA fee section, which will be amended at a later date.

 

After the vote, city manager Matt Dias lauded the council and city staff for their efforts.

 

“This is huge,” said Dias. “This is a very, very significant, in my seven years with the city, this is the most significant upgrade to our affordable housing resolution. This is a major step forward, it took a lot of work. We used outside council, Rhoda [Stauffer], Jason [Glidden], our entire legal department, Rebecca Ward, Bruce Erickson. You know, there’s about eight or nine different step forwards here that a, either make it easier for people and more accessible, or keep people in our community that have been here longer, find out ways for them to sublease and create income, so, well done, congratulations.”

 

The next city council meeting is scheduled for next Thursday, November 19th.

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