New Grand Lake zoning requires affordable housing units |

New Grand Lake zoning requires affordable housing units

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News

Grand Lake adopted an attainable housing program Monday night that requires some new developments to include affordable housing.

Under the new provisions, which town board members unanimously approved, a minimum of 10 percent of all new residential developments with five or more units is destined for deed restrictions.

It’s the first attainable-housing program to be applied in the Grand Lake area, a town facing an estimated 80 percent second-home population.

The Grand County Housing Needs Assessment study of 2007 states that 87 percent of the Grand Lake residents surveyed would like to continue to live in Grand Lake.

The same survey states that 776 out of 1,000 people offered their reason for leaving Grand County, or not accepting a position in the area, was a high cost of living or an inadequate supply of housing stock.

In Grand County, approximately 330 jobs are left unfilled during peak employment periods due to housing related factors, and to fill the demand from the unfilled positions in 2007, an additional 118 housing units are needed.

This, coupled with the additional housing units to address overcrowding, those commuters who would like to live in Grand County as well as retirees moving to the area, an additional 721 units will be needed by 2012, the study goes on to say.

Information from the study, however, countered a few opinions against the new policy from real estate agents as the Grand Lake Planning Commission worked out details of the law. Arguments were made that there was no need for additional housing stock ” especially those types of housing units that are priced at below-market costs.

The arguments failed to sway planning commissioners who provided a favorable recommendation to the Board of Trustees to approve the new inclusionary zoning program.

At the public hearing before Grand Lake trustees Monday, board members approved the policy after a hearing without public comment.

In the housing authority’s recent study, found at, Grand Lake was the only community that did not have some form of housing priced below the free market.

Now with the new law, for-purchase attainable housing units can be marketed and sold to lower- and moderate-income families who work in Grand Lake, or the Grand Lake area, said Town Planner Abbi Jo Wittman.

” To reach Tonya Bina, e-mail or 970-887-3334 ext. 19603.