Pitkin County, Colorado commissioners have elected to advance their planned acquisition of the 76.3 acre Phillips Mobile Home Park in Snowmass, with a focus on preserving affordable housing options.
According to the Aspen Daily News, current owner, Helen Noyes, and her son, Hiram, have continued to maintain the property as affordable housing “to this day without any county requirement to do so, but, rather, by offering rents well below the midvalley market price to residents,” said county attorney John Ely.
“The family can no longer afford the costs involved in continuing to operate and maintain the property in its current status, and has determined to sell the property.”
Ely estimates that about 60 residents call the community home, and that if Noyes were to put the property on the open market that new owners would likely re-develop it, which would displace current residents and take a significant chunk of affordable housing out of the local market.
The county plans to purchase the land with proceeds from the county’s affordable housing fund.
“The county could use the property as it sees fit,” said Ely. “It could be tasked all or in part to other departments, like open space, or leased out for agriculture.”
But, as the Daily Business News recently reported with a similar situation in Manassas, Virginia, there are issues in the community that need to be addressed, including the septic system.
“We need to incorporate language into the ordinance that says we will do the best we can on these issues given the circumstances,” said Commissioner Patti Clapper.
“We might need a person to manage the property,” added Ely. “Hiram has indicated an interest in staying on for a year.”
The opportunity also exists for additional affordable housing projects.
“There is the potential of subdividing the property so that we could allow the construction of stick-built or modular homes, or even tiny homes,” Ely said.
“The acquisition represents a deep commitment by the county to its citizens. I am proud to be part of that commitment,” said Commissioner Michael Owsley.
“The community will be coming together to imagine what this property could be. It presents infinite possibilities for the betterment of Pitkin County.”
The vote to purchase the property by commissioners was unanimous, and it will be considered on final reading in January.
(Image credits are as shown above.)
Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.