At its November meeting, the Stapleton Citizens Advisory Board (CAB) unanimously agreed on a statement expressing concerns that master developer Forest City is failing to keep pace with the affordable housing percentages required under its development agreement with the city. CAB’s statement will be reported to the Stapleton Development Corporation (SDC) during its Dec. 3 meeting. CAB will seek SDC support and a decision to request a meeting with the mayor to present the 2015 CAB report early next year.
CAB is concerned that housing diversity goals expressed in the “Green Book” (Stapleton’s development plan) and the development agreements will not be met if current trends continue. The CAB motion references these housing goals:
- 10% of all for-sale housing shall be affordable
- 20% of all apartments shall be affordable
- 25% of all affordable apartments shall be very low income
The CAB statement also references a goal of 33 percent of housing units as rentals. However, there remains a difference of opinion with Forest City as to whether the 33 percent is a contractual obligation between the developer and the city, or merely a “projection.”
CAB believes the housing diversity issue has reached a critical point because there remains only one large, undeveloped residential parcel in Stapleton (Section 10, north of 56th Ave. bordering the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge). CAB Chair David Netz said that although Forest City met the housing diversity goals with its plans for the first phase of Section 10 (Filing 49), meeting the minimum goals for Section 10 may not enable Forest City to catch up with the requirements for Stapleton as a whole.
CAB also expressed concern about the planned location of affordable housing in Section 10, saying it is concentrated on major streets such as Central Park Blvd and 56th Ave. and is not dispersed and integrated within neighborhoods in accordance with Green Book principles.
CAB members noted that the Stapleton land is owned by the City of Denver. Their statement reads, in part, “The City has failed to require pacing of affordable housing to match market-rate development as required by the development agreements and may lack the political will to pursue this.”
Netz said CAB members and SDC staff will be creating their own build-out counts of currently-planned affordable for-sale sites in Stapleton. He said the CAB and SDC are doing this because Forest City “has to know this [number of units] already—they just won’t tell us,” a situation he described as “bizarre.” That report will be presented at CAB’s January meeting.