Granby trustees give support for low-income housing project |

Granby trustees give support for low-income housing project

A screenshot of the Granby Board of Trustee's Zoom meeting Jan. 24 shows a slide from the Summit Housing Group's presentation about a potential low-income housing tax credit development.
Kyle McCabe/Sky-Hi News

Granby’s Board of Trustees met Tuesday, Jan. 24, for its regular meeting and heard from Summit Housing Group about a low-income housing development it plans to build in the town. Austin Richardson, Summit’s director of development, gave a presentation to the board and asked for it to support the project.

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program uses federal and state money to provide tax credits to developers when building housing for low income earners, and Summit Housing Group specializes in building such developments through the program.

“We have built over 40 developments in (five states) in small rural towns and mountain towns,” Richardson said. “This is kind of our niche to our company, as far as being able to come into a smaller rural town or a mountain town and provide affordable housing for your residents.”

The group is under contract to purchase two lots on Pioneer Drive in Granby and plans to build 45 units there. Summit needs to get approval for the low-income tax credits through the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority. To better the odds of approval, Richardson asked Granby’s board for a letter of support that Summit could submit with its application.

Summit plans to limit 44 of the units to renters between 30% and 60% of the area median income, with one unit designated for the property manager. The development, named The Summit at Granby, would feature one-, two- and three-bedroom units with rents ranging from $418 to $1,252.

The town plans to restrict its U.S. Highway 40 workforce housing project to renters making between 60% and 180% of the area median income, meaning the two developments would have little overlap.

Assistant Town Manager Nicole Schafer showed support for the project while introducing Richardson to the board.

“The housing assessment said that we have a need of 450 units of rental property here in the Fraser River Valley Housing Partnership,” Schafer said. “This is an opportunity for us to bring 45 units to our community.”

The Fraser River Valley Housing Partnership decided to support the project at its Jan. 23 meeting.

Trustees asked Richardson questions, including about the timeline of the project, which he said could break ground in 2024 and be complete in early 2025. Schafer emphasized that the resolution the board considered would not bind them to help fund the project but show a willingness to provide fee and permit waivers and/or tax abatements.

After more discussion, the board voted to support the project.

Other business:

  • The trustees talked about Thompson Road, the stretch of road in bad condition connecting City Market to U.S. Highway 40, while meeting as the Grand Elk General Improvement District and Granby boards. Town Manager Ted Cherry told the board United Cos. is willing to extend the deadline for accepting its bid to April 11 to give Granby more time to secure funding from Kroger, as representatives of the grocery giant told the town it would not provide any funds until Mar. 21. Cherry asked the board if town staff should continue working on the project or stop and look to rebid another time, and the board said to keep working with the United bid.
  • In a workshop session, the trustees discussed town social media policies, specifically whether or not to allow comments on town social media channels. Town Attorney Nathan Krob spoke about other towns facing litigation for First Amendment violations after removing comments, and trustees voiced support for implementing a restrictive social media policy. Krob said staff would bring a draft of a “pared down” policy to the board at a future meeting.
  • The board continued a public hearing about a resubdivision of lots in Granby Ranch to Feb. 28.
  • Trustees heard from two candidates for the open seat on the town’s planning commission — Daniella Gosselova and Jason Wilson. Both told the board why they thought they would be a good fit for the position, and the board selected Wilson with a 6-1 vote.
  • The board approved the purchase of new playground equipment for Kaibab Park, selecting the cheapest of three bids with a cost of $33,151.82.
  • After it canceled the fifth amendment to its water agreement with Sun Outdoors earlier in January, the board approved a new one. Krob said the new amendment is largely the same as the previous one but has updated water rates based on new measurements.
  • Trustees approved a rate increase for SGM, the engineering company Granby routinely employs.
  • The board discussed a current policy of donating money to the Grand Foundation and directing organizations requesting donations from the town to the foundation. Trustee Deborah Shaw said it would take the board hours to go through donation requests before it implemented the policy, and the board instructed staff to ask the foundation about setting up a Granby donor-advised fund so the town could receive some recognition for its contributions.
  • Trustees approved a resolution giving the Grand Fire Protection District access to the name and contact information of short-term rental owners as well as emergency contact or management company contact information for the units for fire department calls. The fire district will reimburse the town for the cost of designing the report.
  • Cherry and Schafer replaced Mayor Josh Hardy as the town’s representative and alternate for the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments and Economic Development District.
  • The board approved the accounts payable for Jan. 24 and meeting minutes for Jan. 10.
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