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  1. #1
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    How to increase rental housing supply in ski towns without pissing everyone off

    This is pretty specific to my recent experience in Jackson, but probably applies to a lot of places. Whatcha think?

    I am a new homeowner in the valley who is trying to help out with the housing situation. A long time buddy is renting a room in my family's house but would like his own space. It is very difficult to find, especially for a single person with one income who wants to live alone. I have researched various ways to put an Accessory Rental Unit ( Teton County for second house) on my property and it is complicated/expensive. At $500 a foot it will cost me half a million bucks to put a 2 bedroom 1000 sq ft guest house up. Even if I can come up with this money, I'll need to charge high rent to cover it. Tiny houses are an option but only if a local engineer approves the design for snow load and the thing sits on an approved foundation. Mobile homes and campers are technically not allowed for occupation in residential zoning.

    The ARU rules seem well intentioned; to have a guest house it must be under 1000 sq ft and one must either allow friends/family to stay for free or to rent it out you must have a tenant who works in Teton County. I know a number of properties do have ARU's but there be plenty that do not yet. How do people here feel about this as a potential (partial solution):

    1. County streamlines the process for permitting and building an ARU by partnering with local architects and contractors to offer several standardized unit types that homeowners can choose (with some options on exteriors perhaps). Offer this service at a lower cost than is available currently.

    2. County partners with a financial institution to offer home owners loans (potentially subsidized) to complete the work. The county ends up with a bunch of loans that can be packaged as a larger commercial real estate loan at lower rates than retail borrowers get

    3. To participate in the new expanded ARU Construction program, homeowners must commit to placing their unit in the existing affordable housing rental program for a minimum period of 10 years or so.

    What I like about this is it uses existing programs that may be less controversial to implement. It does not change the character of the town as much as a bunch of big buildings would. It creates more designing, building, etc for local companies. Renters find a growing supply of rental options. Homeowners have a way to access the building market and as value to their properties.

    A couple questions:

    Does this exist already and I have missed it?
    Has it been discussed?
    Who would this plan make worse off?
    What do you think?
    Day Man. Fighter of the Night Man. Champion of the Sun. Master of Karate and Friendship for Everyone.

  2. #2
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    No specific help for you but i applaud you for at least trying to present a solution. I recently moved away from Bozeman so I could afford to purchase a house. The cynic in me sees people wanting to address the problem but greed overrides a solution every time.

  3. #3
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    Let the market figure it out. Building cities (and living) in the mountains is expensive.

  4. #4
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    How to increase rental housing supply in ski towns without pissing everyone off

    Portland did this with some skinny lot housing. They had a competition for skinny house designs & picked 5 or so. Then, the “winners” got a (one-time) fee to create permittable sets. These pre-qualified designs are available to anyone with a developable skinny lot for a reasonable fee. I’m not sure how often they get built, but that route does still exist for skinny lot housing.

    (Common lots in the city grid here are 50x100. Skinny lots are divided to a 25’ width. This was proposed to increase density and create more housing)

    That said, prefab designs do not really create more business for designers. The volume needs to be fairly significant. More work in modifying them, but then you’re back to custom. For detached structures, I suspect there are plenty of available small house plans in the market anyway. They’d still have to be engineered for Teton Co codes.

    Actual details here (my recall may be off in some of the details):
    https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/article/115991

  5. #5
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    Sounds like a great idea.
    Silverton recently relaxed their zoning rules to allow for more secondary houses. Existing outbuildings can now be remodeled into living units and other restrictions on cohabing property have been revamped.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  6. #6
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    Nice idea. Is there enough incentive to the homeowner to add a unit?
    - If it'll be required to be lower rent rental unit - enough benefit to the owner/landlord?
    - if it'll be required to be used as a rental for a 10-year period - what happens if the homeowner sells within that period? Is the presence of a rental unit with required lower rent attractive to a buyer, or is it a negative?
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by I Skied Bandini Mountain View Post
    Let the market figure it out. Building cities (and living) in the mountains is expensive.
    The market has been trying to figure it out for a long time and failing. You imply that only rich people should be able to live in the mountains. Where will they shop, where will their kids go to school, who will run the lifts? Who will build the houses for the rich people to live in? And why should only the rich get to live in nice places?
    In any case, the market you are so fond of is far from "free". It is shaped by government actions, especially zoning. Zone for single family houses on large parcels and you get unaffordable housing. What mountain towns need is density--multistory, multiunit apartment buildings, with minimal green space. The cost per unit is a fraction of the cost of single family houses, and apartment buildings are far more energy efficient. Yes, it's nice to live in your own house surrounded by nature, but that is unaffordable for most and the green/white space is all around town, accessible with minimal effort. Building fees are another issue--in Truckee fees have been per unit rather than based on the size of the parcel, which discourages multifamily. I believe that is changing.

    ADU's have been an option in Truckee for a long time. I don't know how difficult the permitting is. Certainly the cost of building is high. Most homeowners with room on their lot don't have any interest in spending the time, money, and aggravation to build them. I don't see them as being anything other than a very small part of the solution.

  8. #8
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    How to increase rental housing supply in ski towns without pissing everyone off

    Need to differente between long term and short term rentals so they don’t all get Airbnb’ed

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    In any case, the market you are so fond of is far from "free". It is shaped by government actions, especially zoning. Zone for single family houses on large parcels and you get unaffordable housing. What mountain towns need is density--multistory, multiunit apartment buildings, with minimal green space. The cost per unit is a fraction of the cost of single family houses, and apartment buildings are far more energy efficient.
    All of this

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    The market has been trying to figure it out for a long time and failing. You imply that only rich people should be able to live in the mountains. Where will they shop, where will their kids go to school, who will run the lifts? Who will build the houses for the rich people to live in? And why should only the rich get to live in nice places?
    In any case, the market you are so fond of is far from "free". It is shaped by government actions, especially zoning. Zone for single family houses on large parcels and you get unaffordable housing. What mountain towns need is density--multistory, multiunit apartment buildings, with minimal green space. The cost per unit is a fraction of the cost of single family houses, and apartment buildings are far more energy efficient. Yes, it's nice to live in your own house surrounded by nature, but that is unaffordable for most and the green/white space is all around town, accessible with minimal effort. Building fees are another issue--in Truckee fees have been per unit rather than based on the size of the parcel, which discourages multifamily. I believe that is changing.

    ADU's have been an option in Truckee for a long time. I don't know how difficult the permitting is. Certainly the cost of building is high. Most homeowners with room on their lot don't have any interest in spending the time, money, and aggravation to build them. I don't see them as being anything other than a very small part of the solution.
    Did you notice I didn't write "free"?

    Anyhoo, zoning aside, it costs a lot to get materials into the mountains. It costs more to get groceries into the mountains. It costs more to build in the mountains - the soil sucks and conditions are harsh. Building infrastructure sucks when the contour lines are stacked on top of themselves.

    If the super rich want to live and build giant ski resorts in hard to reach places that serve the super rich, let them figure out how to get their worker bees.

  11. #11
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    Colorado just passed some legislation protecting mobile home parks and tenant rights. Making it more difficult to convert them to commercial or SFH.
    Skico owns a couple and they are replacing the old trailers with tiny homes.

  12. #12
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    why should it be easy and cheap to live in a ski town?

    get over it nothing in life is free cheap or easy

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by I Skied Bandini Mountain View Post
    Did you notice I didn't write "free"?

    Anyhoo, zoning aside, it costs a lot to get materials into the mountains. It costs more to get groceries into the mountains. It costs more to build in the mountains - the soil sucks and conditions are harsh. Building infrastructure sucks when the contour lines are stacked on top of themselves.

    If the super rich want to live and build giant ski resorts in hard to reach places that serve the super rich, let them figure out how to get their worker bees.
    Let the rich folk build on overly steep, rocky mountainsides. The affordable housing can be built on the valley bottoms. There is plenty of flat land in Truckee and Jackson.
    We're not talking about new mega resorts; we're talking about longstanding communities that are being hollowed out, the way the middle class is being hollowed out in this country.
    Yes, it will always be more expensive to live in the mountains which means people will have to make sacrifices--giving up space and privacy to live in paradise.

  14. #14
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    How to increase rental housing supply in ski towns without pissing everyone off

    Quote Originally Posted by I Skied Bandini Mountain View Post
    If the super rich want to live and build giant ski resorts in hard to reach places that serve the super rich, let them figure out how to get their worker bees.
    You’re right that the residents should have a selfish motive to create some kind of dense employee multi-housing planned community so that they can keep the open spaces they paid huge dollars for

    It seems like it could be a win-win for the richies with some thoughtful investment

    In some ways it might not really cost more than a few multi-million dollar “guest cabins” if they plan properly

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by I Skied Bandini Mountain View Post
    it costs a lot to get materials into the mountains.
    Maybe Amazon offers free shipping. I am looking at something like this for my mom down the road.

    https://www.amazon.com/Allwood-Eagle...s%2C367&sr=8-4

    Name:  ADU.JPG
Views: 613
Size:  56.2 KB
    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    I think you'd have an easier time understanding people if you remembered that 80% of them are fucking morons.
    That is why I like dogs, more than most people.

  16. #16
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    ADU/ARU with huge stipulations so they are and remain affordable for local workers is a great PART of the solution, and should not be limited to mountain towns. It helps increase density without removing existing housing stock and seems like a win-win. Either that or start siezing "fuck you rich" folks homes and carving them up into worker dorms. I think the former is preferable and more palatable. And also work on building high density housing on the valley floors WITH adequate mass transportation.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv2ski View Post
    Maybe Amazon offers free shipping. I am looking at something like this for my mom down the road.

    https://www.amazon.com/Allwood-Eagle...s%2C367&sr=8-4

    Name:  ADU.JPG
Views: 613
Size:  56.2 KB
    Actually a great idea. When I was working on a large project in YNP, we were shipping all kinds of badly needed items (tools, expendables, etc.) by amazon and it was fucking great. Cheap and fast..

  18. #18
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    County here doesn't want any more sprawl out in the flat lands (but it is all private and already zoned large anyway), they want to concentrate growth in town to discourage car use and promote public transport, walking, and bikes. Any currently available plots of land are way too expensive for cheap housing solutions to pencil out, they would need significant subsidization to fly.
    StokePimpin' ain't easy

  19. #19
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    Air BNB and NIMBY has been a big cause of inventory depletion and lack of new inventory from what I can tell. As businesses struggle more and more to get and keep workers, things are starting to break on construction for new inventory. ABNB/VRBO needs some limitations but that may be a harder hill to climb.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    County here doesn't want any more sprawl out in the flat lands (but it is all private and already zoned large anyway), they want to concentrate growth in town to discourage car use and promote public transport, walking, and bikes. Any currently available plots of land are way too expensive for cheap housing solutions to pencil out, they would need significant subsidization to fly.
    sounds like boulder
    zoning like that encourges skyrocketing housing costs

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkiBall View Post
    Air BNB and NIMBY has been a big cause of inventory depletion and lack of new inventory from what I can tell. As businesses struggle more and more to get and keep workers, things are starting to break on construction for new inventory. ABNB/VRBO needs some limitations but that may be a harder hill to climb.
    Here they are not allowed anywhere except in the 'resort overlays', which means areas close to Teton Village and Snow King.
    They are monitored as well.
    StokePimpin' ain't easy

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Here they are not allowed anywhere except in the 'resort overlays', which means areas close to Teton Village and Snow King.
    They are monitored as well.
    Not the case in the Vail Valley. But hotels bitched enough that now they are getting taxed more but requires someone staying on top and making sure all those rentals are paying their due. Hotels are still bitching though from what I can tell.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    County here doesn't want any more sprawl out in the flat lands (but it is all private and already zoned large anyway), they want to concentrate growth in town to discourage car use and promote public transport, walking, and bikes. Any currently available plots of land are way too expensive for cheap housing solutions to pencil out, they would need significant subsidization to fly.
    Sprawl is building single family on large parcels. Building an apartment building immediately adjacent to the developed area is something else. Where there are infill opportunities you zone the land for as much density/height as it takes to make it pencil out.

    It's ironic that people who consider themselves environmentalists all want the cabin in the woods with no neighbors. Do it once and you have Walden, but do it a few hundred or thousand times and you have sprawl with all its negative environmental consequences.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    Sprawl is building single family on large parcels. Building an apartment building immediately adjacent to the developed area is something else. Where there are infill opportunities you zone the land for as much density/height as it takes to make it pencil out.

    It's ironic that people who consider themselves environmentalists all want the cabin in the woods with no neighbors. Do it once and you have Walden, but do it a few hundred or thousand times and you have sprawl with all its negative environmental consequences.
    That's the problem, there aren't really any 'infill opportunities' or parcels 'immediately adjacent to the developed areas' left (that aren't currently in the works in some way or another). It's wyoming, the zonings won't change much if at all. For example, the new middle school is now 10 miles out of town because there was absolutely no land available closer.

    I dunno, maybe some Eminent Domain action? (yeah, right)
    StokePimpin' ain't easy

  25. #25
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    Build subterranean multi family. Sky lights are cool.

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