Policy Bits ~ 3 Things to Know & Watch This WeekPolicy Bits71916
July 18 – 24, 2016
~ Karly Malpiede Andrus

Denver unveils details of sweeping affordable-housing plan

  • Denver unveiled a $155M over 10 yrs plan to help pay for affordable-housing solutions by asking developers to pay between 40 cents and $1.70 per square foot and raising property taxes by half a mill for the first year in order to create the fund; which is meant to support the development or preservation of 6,000 income-restricted homes. The changes will be included in an ordinance to be voted on by the Denver City Council in August. For a $300,000 home, the mill levy increase would increase in property taxes $12 annually. But for commercial property owners, governed by the state’s Gallagher amendment, it will result in an extra $145 per year. The city is able to raise property tax without a vote of the people because of a 2012 measure approved by voters that removed spending caps imposed by TABOR. The fee for a 2,500 sf home would be $1,500 and the fee for a 25,000 sf commercial building $42,500. A 21-member committee appointed by the mayor and council and the city’s Office of Economic Development would help guide the use of the fund. http://goo.gl/FyP8VX
  • Affordable housing projects, government buildings, projects being developed by nonprofits for homeless individuals and replacement homes following catastrophic events would be exempt. Ironically, it will increase the costs for everyone living and doing business in Denver in order to make the City more affordable in theory. To learn more visit Denver’s website about the plan: http://goo.gl/tOCqck


Smart Growth America & the Federal Transit Administration’s TOD Resources Hub

  • In December, Smart Growth America announced the launch of the TOD Technical Assistance Initiative, a collaboration between the Federal Transit Administration and Smart Growth America to help communities across the country build equitable transit-oriented development (TOD) projects. Recently they unveiled the new online home for that project.orgis a digital hub for the nation’s leading information and ideas about outstanding TOD projects.
  • This online resource library and networking community could help local partners better integrate evolving best practices into the built environment.

New Aurora Parking Plan to go Along with the New Light Rail Train

  • Starting in September, Aurora residents living in light-rail close neighborhoods could need parking permits as city officials plan to implement a parking program they say will serve commuters and protect nearby residential parking. Each household in a neighborhood parking permit district gets two free parking permits. Obtaining more parking permits would cost $10 under the plan. Commuter parking permits in these areas would cost at minimum $35 per month. The city also plans to install meters in some neighborhoods. Under the plan, which still needs to be approved prior to the light rail line opening at the end of this year, the city would charge commuters daily and monthly rates to use the 600-space, two-story parking garage being constructed for the Aurora “R” Line Iliff light rail station. Those minimum fees, set to begin in 2017, to park in the Iliff garage would be $3 per day and $50 for monthly parking. If the garage proves to be popular and exceeds 90-percent capacity, those rates could be raised as high as $5 per day and $85 per month. The parking plan would also change other parts of Aurora’s enforcement code and be applicable citywide, not just in parking permit districts. The city would establish a new parking bureau to hear parking citations. http://goo.gl/ulr8zh
  • Aurora officials are anticipating a large demand for parking with the opening of the 10.5-mile Aurora “R” light rail line set to travel along the I-225 corridor from Nine Mile station and connect with the East Rail line to Denver International Airport. However, in a place where the culture to drive to work is ingrained disincenting transit, like charging $10 per day to park could push someone to decide the cost of parking, taking the train and the time to do so is not worth simply driving downtown and paying $10 to park there. On the other hand parking is expensive to build.