It’s a scary thing that the cash-in-lieu fee is at $72 per square foot and the city is paying $800 to $900 per square foot to develop affordable housing, said Councilman Adam Frisch. Still, what the correct number should be isn’t clear based on the information, Frisch said.

ASPEN REAL ESTATE – After hearing nearly two hours of public comment opposing the measure, Aspen City Council in a meeting Monday decided to reexamine a proposed increase in housing fees that are charged as part of the development process.The city typically requires developers to provide affordable housing for 60 percent of the employees generated by a project, either by paying a fee, providing it on site or providing it elsewhere. As it stands, cash-in-lieu fees range from $139,890 to $283,864 per employee housed, depending on the income category of affordable housing that the developer is funding.Those numbers do not represent the actual cost of building affordable housing units in Aspen, because they are based on historical data of past housing projects that have many different variables, argued Melanie Rees, of Crested Butte-based Rees Consulting, in the meeting. Rees was hired by the city and county to do a study on the topic.The actual cost to build those units is between $275,566 and $534,923 per employee, the study says.
By Dorothy Atkins, Jan. 29, 2013 ADN

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