Commissioners approve change for Soda Creek |

Commissioners approve change for Soda Creek

BRECKENRIDGE – The Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a proposal to convert 40 rental apartments at the Apartments at Soda Creek into 20 affordable housing units and 20 free-market units at a public hearing Monday.

There was no opposition at the meeting to the planned unit development modification despite some initial light criticisms from local residents.

“I think it’s a great project, a great deal for the project,” said George Beardsley, a former board member of the Summit Housing Authority.

The condominiums will have an initial sale price of $160,000 and deed restrictions placing a 3 percent cap on their annual appreciation.

The cap was the only point of contention between the developers of the project and commissioners. The developers had hoped to raise the cap by one percent.

“We would like to see the buyers of these (units) have some opportunity to make some appreciation,” said Larry Feldman, co-owner of the project.

The commissioners felt the cap was appropriate given other local affordable housing projects’ restrictions and said that maintaining it would help standardize the system.

“It’s easier for the people, it’s easier for us – it’s easier all around,” Commissioner Bill Wallace said.

Instead, the commissioners’ only request was for county staff to include an amendment to the modification providing for real estate transaction costs that would not affect the base price of the houses.

This would help those owners who go to the private market and are forced to pay, for example, a 5 percent commission fee on a house that may not have appreciated, Wallace said. While the final sale price might be $168,000, reflecting this fee, the base price would remain $160,000.

In his statements before the commissioners, Feldman said the project will meet a demonstrated need in the county for affordable housing while removing some of what he called an oversupply of rental apartments from the market.

Furthermore, he said the project would allow people to own the units for close to the average rent price, leading to additional community benefits.

“(It develops) a pride of ownership that you don’t get in a rental property,” he said.

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