Keep affordable housing law

For several decades, Longmont has had effective programs for providing affordable housing. The “inclusionary zoning” ordinance is one of these programs. The ordinance, which requires that 10 percent of residential development be affordable by people with low to moderate incomes, was adopted in 1993 after extensive study and community involvement. Revisited and amended several times since, the ordinance also provides for cash payment in lieu of affordable units, and it allows for a number of exceptions and credits. The League of Women Voters of Boulder County opposes a moratorium on the requirements of the ordinance, let alone repeal of the ordinance, without careful consideration, a thorough review of the data that support the need for the change and adequate citizen input.

Inclusionary zoning, a requirement in hundreds of American cities, is intended to counter “exclusionary zoning” or the exclusion of low-cost housing through the zoning code. As stated in the Longmont ordinance itself (City Code, section 15.05.220, Affordable Housing), the lack of an adequate supply of housing for the city’s work force results in decreased productivity and higher labor costs for Longmont employers, more commuting, increased traffic congestion and air pollution, increased social service costs and less cultural and socioeconomic diversity.

The ordinance is intended to:

  • Implement the housing goals of the Longmont Area Comprehensive Plan;
  • Promote the construction of housing that is affordable to the work force; • allow people who work in the city to live in the city;
  • Provide housing for people of all income levels; and
  • Promote the availability of a range of housing options.

Inclusionary zoning has served Longmont well, advancing the social diversity and economic vitality of the community through good times and bad. We urge the City Council to retain this ordinance.

Lynne Wegley
President, League of Women Voters of Boulder County

  4 comments for “Keep affordable housing law

  1. May 1, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    The image pictured above is from the insert in the most recent Longmont utility bill.

    Before Longmont’s Inclusionary Zoning Affordable Housing Program is officially ended, an ordinance has to come before council on first and second reading. There is little hope of retaining the 10% set-aside in newly-constructed subdivision projects. A council majority has effectively been “bought off” by the builders in the area. These back-scratching relationships corrupt our government and the value of our community.

    If you or your family or friends have a desire to participate in Longmont’s housing program, I recommend that you contact the city to determine what opportunities will continue to exist when the program is dismantled.

    It was clear from the discussion by the council majority of Baum, Santos, Sammoury and Witt that their intent is to cluster low/moderate income buyers in a particular section of Longmont. These are the people along with their supporters who measure people’s worth by the size of their bank accounts.

    This majority does not believe “the government” should assist the citizenry in any way, shape or form except on safety issues. (Someday that, too, may be privatized in accordance with their perverse vision of civilization.) Their words of concern for Longmont should never be misconstrued. The only interests that Mayor Baum and Council Members Santos, Witt and Sammoury represent are the business interests — some more so than others. Beware of more special favors and city funds spent or waved on behalf of their narrow constituency.

    May 6, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    The government should not assist the citizenry in any way?! But it MUST assist the rich without fail? Or else the rich won’t hire? This is nearly as sensible as the “slate” of marionettes the GOP appears to be lining up for a “beauty” contest in 2012: The Trump Card, Newt, Pawlenty, the gun-totin’ soccer mom from up north, Ron Paul, Huckabee ?????????? !!!!!!!!! Rogue’s gallery doesn’t begin to describe this. Would anyone pick a banker from this crew? How about a spouse? Or your child’s spouse? I would not trust any one or all driving a cab. In Longmont.

  3. May 7, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    After hearing how Longmont mayor Bryan Baum thinks the wealthy and their pals should run the world, here’s an example of what he thinks of ‘representation’ – he’ll vote ideology every time – he even says so: – this is NOT a mayor that brings people together.

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