A city of Cortez initiative meant to increase residential construction on vacant lots by reducing or waiving fees and taxes hasn’t gain much traction.
Since the Cortez Housing Affordability and Mitigation Plan was approved in February, two manufactured homes have qualified for the program, City Planner Tracie Hughes said.
The incentives in the plan were designed to promote infill in neighborhoods that aren’t seeing construction, she said.
“When you have the infill, it helps to revitalize the community,” she said.
The program was also intended to help housing construction in Cortez return to levels seen before the 2008 recession, Sam Proffer, the former planning and building director said when the plan was approved. The planning and building director position has not been filled, Hughes said.
They city planner couldn’t say why the program hasn’t attracted more builders even though the need for affordable housing persists. It’s possible the owners of vacant lots weren’t ready to build, she said.
The incentive program discounts permit and use tax fees for stick-built single-family and townhomes by 75% in most areas of town, according to the approved resolution. For a homebuilder planning a 1,400-square-foot residence, the savings could total $4,100, the city website says.
The program also waives 100% of the building permits and use taxes on new manufactured homes.
The neighborhoods exempt from incentive program include parts of Southern Bluffs, Brandon’s Gate and lots near the Conquistador Golf Course, according to a city map.
The incentive program expires March 1.