The City Council has waived over a half a million dollars in development fees in the last year and apparently some Councilors aren’t feeling that the City is getting a return on its investment. John Fogle, in particular, made pointed comments about the Giuliano project, which has received over $2 million worth of waivers and reductions since 2007. Staff said the City has invested approximately $76,000 per unit for the project but the developer hasn’t built the number of affordable homes that it had initially agreed to construct.
Community Development Director Greg George told the Council that developers say that the City’s current policy is “useless.” While the policy has ensured that the City doesn’t become a direct provider itself, the policy doesn’t offer enough incentive to convince builders to participate, either.
Fogle argued that the City needs a program in which developers would donate lots to the City for affordable, deed-restricted units. Sam Betters of the Loveland Housing Authority Sam Betters said this is a variation of the inclusionary zoning concept (used by Boulder and Denver). Dave Clark and Hugh McKean said the City can’t provide affordable housing for everyone. Mayor Cecil Gutierrez agreed, saying the City has limited dollars to spend.
At the end of this free wheeling discussion, the Council asked staff to get more specifics about what could incentivize builders. Other ideas the Council seemed to support were the creation of a specific budget for affordable housing and a policy that would give Loveland Housing Authority and Habitat for Humanity priority for those dollars.