Published in the May 14, 2015 edition of the Lyons Recorder
What’s the future for affordable housing in Lyons?
Two possibilities for Habitat for Humanity in Lyons
by Amy Reinholds
Two options for Habitat for Humanity homes in Lyons were discussed at the May 11 special housing committee meeting.
Cody Humphrey, Lyons housing recovery coordinator, and staff liaison to the special housing committee, has been discussing options with Habitat for Humanity of the St. Vrain Valley (HFHSVV) since the 60-home proposal that would have included Boulder County Housing Authority rentals and Habitat for Humanity for-sale homes was voted down in the March special election. One option that Humphrey and HFHSVV are looking into is two units on town-owned property east of the post office at Railroad Avenue and 3rd Ave. The land is currently zoned as R2, which would allow a duplex, and parking that is currently on the site could be replaced by on-street parking.
Tom Delker, housing committee member, also reported on the Valley Bank site. Delker said that Craig Ferguson, also a housing committee member, is creating a land trust and has plans to close on purchasing the 0.76-acre Valley Bank site. Ferguson could close on the property as a private entity and then sell or donate to the land trust. Originally, it was thought that a local business owner interested in the current Valley Bank building would purchase the entire parcel and subdivide to have HFHSVV acquire land along Park Street, but there were time constraints on meeting the needs that the commercial partner required. Delker said initial planning work needs to be done, and HFHSVV is finding a contact that might be able to do that work. There are various issues to be resolved, such as number of homes, density, steps for Planned Unit Development zoning, and needed parking for homes and the business. Last week, Ferguson and housing committee member Nate Mohatt said that the nonprofit land trust would own the land for affordable housing, either building its own homes or working with HFHSVV.
All housing committee meetings are open to the public: regular meetings are the 2nd and 4th Mondays, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Lyons Town Hall Annex (behind the Barking Dog), and working meetings are every Thursday, 8:30-10 p.m. at the Lyons Valley Village community house. The committee posts agendas and minutes at: http://www.townoflyons.com/component/content/article/158-yoocarousel/556-special-housing-committee.
At the working meetings, attendees, including members of the public, break into smaller groups to address issues: accessory dwelling units, manufactured housing parks, affordable rentals for multi/single family homes, infill, home ownership/Habitat for Humanity, tap fees, land trusts, and financing/grants/tax credits.
If anyone is interested in applying to the housing committee, complete the application at http://www.townoflyons.com/images/stories/Advisory_Board_Application_2.pdf (email it to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Keep following this weekly column for updates about what has and has not been accomplished. For background of how this group started, see http://www.lyonsrecorder.com/index.php/lyons-chatter/6026-what-s-the-future-for-affordable-housing-in-lyons?showall=1&limitstart
Amy Reinholds served on the Lyons Housing Recovery Task Force from December 2013 through its end in February 2015. She is currently a member of the Lyons Human Services and Aging Commission and serves as a liaison to the special housing committee. She has lived in Lyons for 11 years and in the surrounding Lyons area since 1995.