The Lyons Board of Trustees unanimously approved a Development Plan Agreement with Summit Housing Group at an April 13 virtual meeting, the final step in multiple approval processes for 40 affordable rentals in the Lyons Valley Park Subdivision. Summit is under contract with landowner Keith Bell to purchase both Tract A of Filing No. 8 for 21 townhomes and 19 existing platted single-family-home lots in the subdivision. All will be affordable rentals for households at 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), required and monitored through federal funding programs. The funding comes from the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program and also the federal Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds.
An affordability covenant for the site is required for a minimum of 35 years, based on both the LIHTC and CDBG-DR funding requirements and oversight. Rusty Snow, president of Summit Housing Group, told the Lyons Planning and Community Development Commission (PCDC) during the March 10 Development Plan Review that Summit typically looks at re-syndicating the tax credits and extending the affordability period another 30 years. In May 2019, the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) approved tax credits and bonds for Summit’s proposal. In February 2019, the State of Colorado Housing Board approved Summit’s application for CDBG-DR funds (at a maximum of $100,000 per home, $4 million total for 40 total rental homes). In the Town of Lyons, Summit will be paying all required development fees, impact fees, and connection fees, and won’t receive any tax breaks for the development.
The agreement (the amended Subdivision Improvement Agreement for Lyons Valley Park Filing 8) spells out the water share dedication requirements for Summit to purchase for the 40 homes to be built: either 49 Lake McIntosh water credits, or 35 Colorado Big Thompson water shares. Water share prices vary based on availability and market prices. The agreement also includes requirements for Summit to provide infrastructure such as electrical service, public improvements, and landscaping. Mayor Connie Sullivan said this will reduce the costs to the town, and is an improvement on the previous Subdivision Improvement Agreement.
Snow said Summit is closing on the purchase and will take title to the land at the end of April. He said future steps include a building permit and creating a process for funding with CHFA. Snow said that Summit hopes to start construction this summer. “We were shooting for beginning of June, but it will probably be the beginning of July,” he said.
The 19 single-family homes are on lots already platted and entitled, requiring only standard building permits like elsewhere in town. For the 21 multifamily buildings, called ‘Lyons Valley Townhomes’ on Tract A of Filing No. 8, there was an earlier step on March 10 where the PCDC held a public hearing, reviewing the Development Plan application and listening to comments from the public and a presentation from Summit. The PCDC approved the development plan for the 21 townhomes, all with two bedrooms. At their April 13 meeting, the Board of Trustees also did an appeal to review the March 10 PCDC decision, and voted unanimously to uphold it. The board asked questions for clarification about processes the PCDC took for the Development Plan Review and heard comments from the public. The Board of Trustees passed Resolution 2020-65 with some amendments to Whereas statements.
The plan approved by the PCDC and upheld by the Board of Trustees shows five buildings: four two-story fourplex buildings and one two-story fiveplex building. The PCDC approval came with more than a dozen conditions, including required bike parking of at least one per home, electric vehicle charging stations, enclosed storage units for each home, an easement to allow access from Carter Drive to the adjacent 12993 N. Foothills Highway property and easements for town utilities, bear-proof trash receptacles, and a detention pond concept to be added and implemented in the development plan to prepare for a 100-year stormwater event, approved by a town engineer before a building permit is granted. The PCDC commissioners also added a prohibition against short-term vacation rentals in the lease agreements as a condition. The conditions came from concerns from neighbors, PCDC commissioners, and consulting agencies such as the Lyons Ecology Board and the Lyons Utilities and Engineering Board.
Summit Housing Group, based in Montana, specializes in developing and managing low-income tax credit and mixed-use developments in six states, including Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. At the March 10 PCDC meeting, Snow showed a chart for area median income (AMI) for Boulder County that showed 60 percent AMI as an annual income of $47,000 for a single person, $54,540 for a two-person household, $61,380 for a three-person household, and $68,160 for a four-person household. Rents for the 21 townhomes and 19 single family homes will be set to be affordable at those income levels. Although Summit will probably not be able to take rental applications until construction is underway, the property management website for Summit buildings shows what the applications are like for other rentals built by Summit, including homes in Longmont. For the Summit rentals in Lyons, people displaced in the 2013 flood will have preference, followed by people who work in Lyons (similar to the preference policy that Habitat for Humanity used for applicants to purchase their homes).