Commercial fees could triple as Boulder pursues the affordable house 

This story was published in the Daily Camera on August 21, 2016:

Commercial fees could triple as Boulder pursues affordable housing

It contains this astonishing quote from one of the biggest developers in town, Lou DellaCava:

“Look, I’m happy that there is a consciousness about housing in this community,” he said, “But why is it not being assessed on the citizens who already enjoy the privileges. Why is it not part of the property tax?

The article addresses affordable housing fees (linkage fees) that are charged to commercial office space developers.  The idea is that their new commercial office developments bring more companies, employers, and their workers, to Boulder.  Many of these workers can’t afford to live in Boulder.  So many apply for the City’s affordable housing program – a public cost.  Linkage fees (quite appropriately) assign the charge to the source of the demand (the commercial office space developers). Note, these fees are not the cash-in-lieu fees that luxury housing developers often pay instead of building onsite affordable housing.  The two fees are totally different.  One is commercial office building developers (affordable housing linkage fees), the other is housing developers (cash-in-lieu payments instead building affordable housing).

Never did a Camera article better portray the fundamental disagreement between developers and many regular, everyday residents (who are uneasy about how big Boulder is growing, and many want the pace to slow down).  Yet high-end commercial office developer Lou DellaCava says that we citizen residents ought to pay the way, for this thing that many of us are uneasy about, if not downright opposed to.  Specifically, more commercial growth, that will further add to Boulder’s gross surplus of jobs vs. residents, and our 60,000 daily in-commuters.

The article also documents how the City, incredibly, didn’t charge Google any affordable housing linkage fees, thus missing out on $1.46 million for affordable housing.  Guess who’s making that up: look in your nearest mirror.  DellaCava and other developers think that should be the modus operandus.

Members of BNA, and all citizens of Boulder: please tell City Council, your friends, and neighbors why the homeowners and taxpayers of Boulder can not be expected to pick up the tab for lining the pockets of big commercial developers.   We need to make City Council understand that using property tax increases to enable development that citizens don’t want is simply unacceptable.  Click Here to take action!

Google is building a new 330,000 square foot campus in Boulder, bringing more jobs and more housing pressure to the city, and without paying any linkage fees! (Paul Aiken / Daily Camera)