July 12, 2019
Staff Provides Development Services Update
On June 25 the City Council received an update on development-related current and future projects. Chief Building Inspector Samantha Everett said in response to developers’ requests, her division is working on a plan to implement online payment for building permits. She also said there is a trend in single-family construction, with developers waiting for specific orders to build new homes rather than constructing them in advance and then looking for buyers. More permits now are for multi-family and commercial construction, she added.
Development Services Director Brett Limbaugh said the Highway 402 plan will be ready for adoption this summer. He is also ready to launch a northwest development project. He explained that large vacant parcels in northwest Loveland slope to the west, and have no water infrastructure, making it prohibitively expensive to build there. A lift station to pump water there would cost “millions of dollars.” Given this dilemma, Limbaugh’s idea is to hold a design charette for developers who own these parcels and figure out how they could all work together to make the development more affordable. He also mentioned that the City’s “micro-home” project is moving forward. A consultant has been hired to design a micro-home prototype that could be used by developers to build affordable and attainable small homes.
Council to Discuss Affordable Housing Mandate
The update to Council from Development Services ended with a brief mention of an upcoming agenda item that could be problematic for REALTORS® and developers. Development Services Director Brett Limbaugh said that at Council’s request “inclusive zoning” would be scheduled for study session this fall.
When contacted afterward, Limbaugh clarified this comment. Apparently, Councilmember Leah Johnson, who recently announced she would not run for re-election this fall, had asked for support from her colleagues to discuss a possible inclusionary zoning ordinance. Three other councilors backed her request (the so-called “rule of four”) and so this concept will be added to a study session agenda.
Inclusionary aka “inclusive” zoning is a concept in which developers are required to sell or rent a percentage of deed-restricted units below market cost, typically 80 percent of the area median income or make a payment to the city’s affordable housing fund (cash-in-lieu).