April 7, 2012

SandBoxBlogs: Glenwood Springs Post Independent "Fee waivers clear way for Glenwood Green"

(See related story and public comments here. Research all things Cordillera, Base Village, Four Seasons Vail, Dancing Bear. All employee/affordable housing developments from Aspen to Vail, including who finances them,  in order to begin to get up to speed on the magnitude of how much money is ultimately burdened  (and taken) onto the backs of the folks with these types of boondoggles that your elected leaders keep signing blank checks for.)

When one sets aside the musings of possibility that the problem is both long-term and short-term  memory loss in our council members and community leaders minds.

Sets aside the thought that maybe it's the ideology or personal politics of individual leaders.

Sets aside the thought that maybe time, patience and diplomacy on the folks end, will eventually win.

Sets aside the Pollyanna desire that common sense decisions based on facts not  the wishes, imagination and ideology of our leaders will finally prevail on behalf of the citizens they represent. 

When one sets aside the historical data that shows how many chances various leaders have been given and then cast aside by same;  to gather only historical data, all the facts and offerings and really dig in by actually going to take a good look in person at what their decisions create.

After setting aside all those things. 

One ends up right back at the undeniable conclusion that the folks must be right. 

That no matter what they do, there is no hope that they will be listened to. 

Power, business and political influence will reign. 

Excuses and false justification from community leaders will spin all things off into oblivion with platitudes such as "...we have an open door....we can't please all the people all the time...that's not the way government money works...we did check concerns with a couple of people and think that's enough....we don't do follow through, not our job....".

That layer upon layer of cloudy press and the ill-intent of special interests will fuzzy up all minds for everyone and the endless cycle will just continue to spin.

Yes, the folks must be right.

About what?

That the only way to get anything done that is truly in the best interests of the folks is to keep believing in the elections system. 

Through the power of one vote, to keep flushing away any party politician, on any side of the fence, until they have a majority of leaders who refuse to use an excuse or false justification to cover their tracks.

Unless you are a knowledgeable builder you likely have no idea whatsoever how much money the City of Glenwood Springs has burdened onto the citizens of both Garfield County and COGS with this latest phase in the Glenwood Meadows development.

How 'far' do you think $474,000 (that's just the waived fees) goes in profitability to Macgregor and his cohorts throughout the Meadows development?  Unthinkable that a developers ultimately self-enrichment has just come at the expense of desperately needed education fees for our kids and utility burdens on the backs of our seniors, underemployed and unemployed.

How about when  you add on the "subsidized housing credits" that COGS gave the project early on?  BTW, where are the jobs and the illegal immigration enforcement that should have come first before thinking about building another low-rent, subsidized mass build of apartments?

How about the long-term costs for all the problems that come when you add on the cheapest, slap-it-up-don't-look- back-building, engineering, labor and materials  that is the modus operandi for this developer?

How about when you add on the 'build-it-on-top-of-a-hidden-lake' type of ethics in engineering this developer has already proven with previous phases?  As he slaps up another major core and shell build with COGS never having changed the rules to force him to accountability?  That will last (if we're lucky) the same longevity as the RFTA maintenance facility of less than a decade?  Long after Macgregor is gone?

Glenwood Meadows aka 'The Ghettos'.  As the folks are so fond of calling it.

It's a great question, the one the folks keep asking over and over again.

"Where, exactly, does the money go with all these deed-restricted, affordable housing, subsidized to the developer/owner projects and whose money, exactly, is it?"

Talk about a boondoggle.

Give some cred to Councilman Leo McKinney for not falling for the shills of "2 restaurant owners" who spoke up on behalf of a dead, isolated development and its need for foot traffic.  Big no vote for Leo.  It will be interesting to listen to public comments on that huge change.  Give him some cred for it, please.

And say thank you to Councilman Mike Gamba for steadily staying the course and proving to the folks that he is all that they hoped he would be.

Now, how many more Michael Gambas can you go round up to run in the next municipal election?

John Stroud:
“I've been a supporter of this project … but I'm not a supporter of putting the financial burden on the backs of citizens and [utility] rate payers,” Councilman Mike Gamba reiterated at Thursday's meeting before voting against the waivers. “This project needs to stand on its own feet financially.”

Denver-based Community Housing Concepts, through its development arm, Steele Properties, obtained $11 million in low-income tax credits from the Colorado Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) to build the $14 million project.

Glenwood Green will provide low-cost rental units for individuals and families earning between 40 and 60 percent of the area median income.

Without the fee waivers, the project would have been in jeopardy, said Steele representative Jennifer Cloud at the Thursday meeting.

Cloud offered letters from CHFA, the Colorado Division of Housing and project investors indicating the lack of fee waivers from the city would trigger a review of the project's financing.

“All of them expressed great concern for the financial impact of not having the fee waivers,” Cloud said.

Any delays could also put the project in danger of meeting a June 5 deadline to spend 10 percent of the project budget, or risk losing the tax credits, she added.

“That's more likely to kill the project than any other factor,” Cloud said.

The city's land-use code allows for “partial or total” fee waivers as an incentive for eligible affordable housing projects. City planners recommended approval of the waivers.

Councilman Stephen Bershenyi had previously opposed the full waiver request. But he changed his tune, especially after hearing from two Glenwood Meadows Market Street restaurant owners Thursday night. They supported any incentive to encourage housing development next to the isolated commercial area...."
(Read more?  Click title)

"Unapologetically pursuing and tracking patterns within the news others make since 2010."

No comments: