Silverthorne moves ahead with release of new workforce housing at Smith Ranch neighborhood |

Silverthorne moves ahead with release of new workforce housing at Smith Ranch neighborhood

Smith Ranch in Silverthorne is pictured Thursday, May 14.
Liz Copan /

SILVERTHORNE — Silverthorne Town Council has decided to move forward with a release of new homes in the deed-restricted Smith Ranch neighborhood despite COVID-19 setbacks.

Town Council held a work session March 11 to discuss the release of homes and determined that the third phase would include 20 townhomes with prices set at 85% to 105% of area median income along with eight single-family residences set at 120% of area median income. For a family of four, area median income is $95,900 in Summit County, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

A lottery for the homes originally was scheduled for May 28 but has now been rescheduled for July 1.

Amy Priegel, executive director of the Summit Combined Housing Authority, said the demand for workforce housing right now is surprisingly high and that the housing authority is seeing a particular demand at the lower levels of the price scale — 100% of area median income and below. Priegel noted that the housing authority is seeing hesitation on the lending side of things due to economic factors like furloughs.

“By the time these units are ready to deliver, hopefully we’re past that hurdle and the lending process goes smoothly for them,” Priegel said.

Council member Michael Spry expressed that he adamantly wants to move forward with the project.

“Let’s continue to go exactly the way we have been,” Spry said. “Keep the process in place, and let’s move. I really have a feeling that this project is going to generate its own momentum, and delaying on workforce housing is certainly not something that I’d be inclined to do.”

Assistant Town Manager Mark Leidal noted that staff’s recommendation is to proceed. 

The application period will run from May 20 to June 17 through the housing authority, and Silverthorne Planning Manager Lina Lesmes said the application process is already set up online. Staff is working on a June 3 virtual open house and a virtual lottery process.

Lesmes said that typically, the Smith Ranch lotteries are held in town hall, but Silverthorne staff plans to use Facebook live or some other sort of online format to broadcast the results of the lottery July 1 rather than allow members of the public to show up in person. The lottery generates an ordered list of people, and once it is the “turn” of an individual or household, they have 24 hours to choose a house and then 10 days to go under contract.  

The third phase of the Smith Ranch neighborhood unit sales will include two- to three-bedroom units with prices ranging from $287,927 to $579,147, depending on unit size, type and area median income. 

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