When Adam Miller and his wife Nancy bought a plot of deed-restricted land in Mountain Village’s the Boulders, they knew it would take some time before they would be able to build on it. Working in the construction sector, Miller is all too familiar with the building and permitting process, both of which are costly. They had begun drafting up plans in 2014, but weren’t able to move forward until this year.
Last fall, the Town of Mountain Village announced it would begin waiving both development and building permit fees for all deed-restricted construction projects starting in 2019, according to a news release.
“This makes a huge difference for us,” Miller said. The couple, both firefighters, is raising two young kids, and he said the fee waiver encouraged them to start drawing up architectural plans for their future home.
“The whole process has been easy, and hopefully we can continue to find ways for people to live here,” he said.
They expect to begin building this spring.
Last October, the Town of Mountain Village Town Council unanimously voted to waive all planning, development and building permit fees for deed-restricted housing units effective Jan. 1, 2019. Deed-restricted workforce housing gives local workers and their families the ability to rent and own homes at below market rates.
Michelle Haynes, planning and development services director, said, “Planning and building permit activity for deed-restricted housing has been minimal compared to free market activity over the past few years.”
“We are excited about Town Council’s commitment to waiving development fees regarding existing and new deed-restricted construction,” Haynes added. “We hope this will encourage new deed-restricted construction, as well as incentivize those that have existing deed-restricted units to upkeep and maintain their units. Money that would have otherwise paid town development fees, can now be used to pay for labor and materials to improve and maintain our deed-restricted inventory.”
By waiving fees, the town sought to encourage owners of deed-restricted units to maintain existing units and offer greater financial incentive to construct deed-restricted units on remaining deed-restricted properties.
“Mountain Village had some current incentives in place such as waiving the road impact fee and reduced water and sewer tap fees,” Haynes said. “However, after a review of the existing fee schedule, Haynes stated, “we felt we could do more, and the Town Council unanimously supported this direction.”
Mountain Village Mayor Laila Benitez added, “The town is actively working to construct additional workforce housing and we’re looking forward to an additional 49-units coming online with the upcoming VCA expansion. Despite this investment, we are acutely aware of the need for more affordable housing and wanted to do whatever we could to support the generation of more affordable workforce housing construction.
“There are still quite a few deed-restricted lots available in Mountain Village. If waiving building and planning fees allows us to provide a home for even one additional family then I will be thrilled with the outcome of this program.”
The Town of Mountain Village has 539 built units dedicated to both deed-restricted and workforce housing, which consists of approximately 47 percent of San Miguel County’s affordable housing inventory.
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