Evergreen Foundation

Lafayette to introduce affordable housing fee on new ‘non-residential’ development

Fee is proposed for $1 per square foot; officials also recently bumped residential rate

Lafayette’s City Council on Tuesday will introduce a fee on new “non-residential” development aimed at funneling money toward the city’s affordable housing projects, less than a month after city officials approved a bump on the affordable housing rate already placed on building new homes.

Non-residential, defined under municipal codes, typically refers to commercial and industrial development. According to a staff report for the proposal, the city would initially set the fee at $1 per square foot of new development.

The rollout is particularly timely; Lafayette last week finalized the city’s Nine Mile Corner pact with Erie, freeing them up to initiate a large-scale commercial site of their own at the southwest corner of U.S. 287 and Arapahoe Road.

The center alone is likely to produce of a healthy portion of commercial space — Stephen Tebo, the owner of the property, suggested last week preliminary plans could include a hotel and pad sites that stretch across the property — that could pump funding into aspirational affordable housing projects.

The proposal comes also as the region’s pursuit of commercial activity has come, at least in part, at the cost of housing and affordability general, officials say.

“Staff has found that non-residential development is associated with the generation of new jobs, which at various levels, including low or moderate income levels, decreases the amount of housing availability and affordability,” a staff report for Tuesday’s agenda item reads.

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