In February, the City Council approved the Cortez Housing Affordability and Mitigation Plan (CHAMP). The Journal reports that for one year, effective March 1, 2019, the city will waive a portion of use tax and building permit fees for site-built homes.
As a builder-developer in Cortez for over 40 years, I hope the council realizes that the fees are not the problem. A larger reason local building has not recovered from the 2008 recession is the “one-size fits all” approach of some of the staff in the planning and building department.
Neighborhoods, soil types, lot sizes and streets are different all around the city. Changing codes for the entire city because of one neighborhood with poor soil or requiring sidewalks on lots in the middle of already developed neighborhoods without sidewalks are examples that do not encourage new development.
I hope the CHAMP incentive improves our current situation, and I encourage the council to proactively explore other options as local reputable builders are the key to aggressive solutions.