“We have a real urgency for affordable housing, and we can’t just keep putting it off,” Councilwoman Lisa Morzel said. “Development should not be expected to create all of the funds that will generate affordable housing revenue, but they need to pay for some of it, and right now, $9 … is woefully inadequate. $12 is woefully inadequate and $15, I think, is woefully inadequate.”
Morzel sought a $30 fee, but could not get enough support. Mayor Pro Tem Mary Young also couldn’t get enough votes for her motion — a $35 fee.
Ultimately, six of the nine council members supported the $12 fee, which is $3 short of what city staff had recommended all along.
Some had argued that setting the fee above $12 would disadvantage small businesses and hurt the local economy.
“We strongly object to a linkage fee that would be more than” $12, said John Tayer, CEO of the Boulder Chamber, “and that’s because we know that … there are direct pass-throughs from the developers down to the small store owners.”