At their meeting on the evening of April 28, the Victor City Council revisited a conversation begun with the Teton County Joint Housing Authority earlier in the month regarding plans to build affordable housing at Sherman Park.
When the Housing Authority originally approached the council with a request to move ahead with an RFP (request for proposal) on the project, the staff and council expressed concerns that the vision’s density was too high. Council members expressed a high level of interest for the development of affordable housing in the location — and even agreed that a high level of density might be a good answer to the community’s housing crisis — but also acknowledged that the extreme density of over 100 units was not in alignment with the community’s Comprehensive Plan.
After directing Shawn Hill, the vice-chair of the Joint Housing Authority, to revise the density vision for the project, he returned with a plan for the units that is more in alignment with the density zones set out by the Comprehensive Plan. The organization revisited their big-picture Housing Supply Plan to reflect the reduction in density to 72 units, and Hill brought his revisions back to the Council.
The Housing Supply Plan — a valley-wide vision to provide sufficient housing for the valley’s community and workforce — includes a variety of one- and two-bedroom units, designed for individuals or couples. The plan also includes a number of single-family homes, designed with small families in mind. The Sherman Park space is identified as ideal for the denser one- and two-bedroom units.
Ultimately, the revised plan included some elements that the Council requested to be incorporated. In addition to reducing the density to 24 units per acre, the plan also provides for street trees and landscaping in the development and the paving of Baseline Road.
Additionally, in exchange for either a land lease or donation of the Sherman Park property to the Joint Housing Authority, the plan includes a right of refusal of five units for city employees. The RFP will also include an exploration of underground parking in order to minimize the impact of parked vehicles in the area.
Overall, the council is interested in pursuing the development of this wedge-shaped slice of city-owned land to move closer to the valley’s housing goals. Hill and the Joint Housing Authority will return when the next phase of the RFP process is complete, and the council will take the next steps toward selecting a project design.