Granby, Sun Communities finalize Smith Creek Crossing affordable housing development
Granby’s Board of Trustees gave its final approval Tuesday night for the Sun Communities’ affordable housing development on the Shorefox property known as Smith Creek Crossing.
Tuesday night’s vote approving a series of agreements related to the planned housing development marks the end of nearly two years worth of negotiations between the town and the Michigan based real estate investment company that included two separate developments: the River Run Ranch RV resort, which is currently under construction, and the Smith Creek Crossing affordable housing development. Both development projects are located on land the town purchased in June 2016 that is colloquially known as Shorefox.
Granby Town Manager Aaron Blair said the town expects to close on their sale of 61.5 acres of land, for the Smith Creek Crossing development, sometime next week. The close of the land sale to Sun for Smith Creek Crossing follows the finalization of another land sale deal worked out between Granby and Sun Communities in May. At that time, the town closed with Sun on the purchase of 300 acres for the River Run Ranch RV resort.
Sun Communities plans to complete work on roughly 100 to 150 affordable housing units at the Smith Creek Crossing development site by next year. The total development project is scheduled to eventually contain 310 affordable housing units ranging from one to four bedrooms. Roughly one-third of the total 310 units are reserved for employees at Sun’s nearby RV resort.
During the first three months that units are offered for sale all units not earmarked for Sun employees will be offered exclusively to Granby residents, full-time workers employed by Granby businesses, Granby base business owners, as well as employees of the town of Granby, Granby Sanitation District, East Grand School District and Grand Fire. After three months units at Smith Creek Crossing will be offered to an expanded group to include Grand County residents.
After six months 50 percent of the remaining units will be offered to the general public with the remaining 50 percent reserved exclusively to Grand County residents. After one year all remaining units will be offered to the general public. The town has established a bulk purchase limit on units. No on individual, family or entity may purchase more than 10 units at the Smith Creek Crossing development. The town has also stipulated that units at Smith Creek Crossing may not be used as short-term rental accommodations.
Officials from the town are coordinating with representatives from Sun Communities to hold a public forum wherein Sun will review specific details regarding how local citizens can purchase one of the new units at Smith Creek Crossing. There is no set date yet for the forum though Blair said the town anticipates it within the next 30 days. That forum will mark the beginning of the three-month period during which units will be offered exclusively to Grand residents, workers and business owners.
At that public forum, officials from Sun will review information regarding when and how local citizens can reserve units in the development. Blair said the town expects Sun to require a “reservation fee” for anyone looking to purchase a unit, but said the specific amount will be set by Sun and outlined at the public forum.
Individuals who purchase units at Smith Creek Crossing will own their individual units but not the land they’re on. Blair analogized the situation to purchasing a condominium, wherein an individual buys a unit within a building but does not own the land the building sits on. As such owners of units at Smith Creek Crossing will not pay property taxes, though they will be obligated to pay other taxes related to their ownership of a unit.
There will also be a lot rent fee assessed by Sun on all units within the development. Blair likened the lot rent fee to an HOA fee, which will cover snowplowing, access to the development’s workout center and swimming pool, and other associated upkeep costs. Blair said the anticipated lot rent fee is $500, though he noted the specific fee will be set by Sun Communities. The Granby board did stipulate that lot rent increases shall not exceed 7 percent annually without approval from the town.
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