Can inclusionary zoning work in Fort Collins as a mechanism to create affordable housing? The issue first became a concern when affordable housing was added to the development agreement for the Foothills Mall redevelopment project. Now the City has added the topic of an “inclusion housing ordinance” to its May 27 work session. It’s not clear what the City’s intent is but it will be something to watch carefully.
In Boulder, new residential development must contribute at least 20 percent of the total units as permanently affordable housing and the City Council has discussed increasing this requirement. However, Longmont’s City Council repealed its inclusionary zoning ordinance in 2011 because market rate units were selling at lower rates than deed-restricted units.
Inclusionary zoning works well in cities such as Aspen, where the average home price is well over $1 million. But how would such a policy work affect home prices in Fort Collins and why should developers bear the brunt of the cost if affordable housing is a community value?