by Clayton Moore
What Question to our County Commissioner Candidates?
Eagle County’s ECO Build Regulations?
Everyone knows Eagle County’s Building and Construction (Job Creating) community has “been on it’s back” for the last 3 years.
So, Candidates – When elected Count Commissioner – will you change (ease?) our County’s current ECO-Build Regulations in order to support (economically help) Eagle County’s Construction community?
Independent County Commissioner candidate – Dale Nelson:
The Eco Build regulations are punitive. We can keep the guidelines and instead of punishing the developer we should give them a break on the permit fees when they add an energy saving boiler, low-e windows or water saving devices. We could take it one step further and give homeowners a break on their property taxes if they add a more efficient heating system or create a more water efficient landscape. Giving people an incentive to do something will be more successful then penalizing them.
The current approach by the county is too punitive. Some homeowners may not be able to meet the current requirements, then they are penalized, and the fees may not allow them to build at all.
Contact Dale Nelson – for more information
My contact info is: firstname.lastname@example.org
my Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/DaleNelsonIndependentForEagleCountyCommissioner
County Commissioner candidate – Courtney Holm
I think that we should always be adaptive to our changing times and needs and we need to look to look at our current regulations and see what makes sense for our current situation. Our people are the highest priority and right now there are a lot of Eagle County residents that need jobs or increased income and we need to look at all of our tools to assist them.
Contact Courtney Holm – for more information
Web site: www.ElectCourtney.Com(you can make campaign contributions online there) Contributions by U.S. Mail – P.O. Box 7389 – Avon, Colorado 81620 – check made to “Committee to Elect Courtney Holm”
County Commissioner candidate – Jill Ryan
Yes. I will review and appropriately update county regulations and processes, including Eco-Build. The program is fairly new and I think the codes could be less onerous. A way to achieve this is through cross-jurisdictional collaboration to produce one shared code among the county and municipalities. The code could be further simplified by using a national efficiency standard (e.g., 2009 or 2012 International Energy Conservation Code), with amendments that reflect local conditions. I will also support incentives such as new construction rebates. Energy efficiency saves resources, pays for itself over time, and is much easier to apply to new buildings than to retrofit old ones. The conversation about how to update this program has already begun between the county and the building community. I look forward to hearing the industry’s input.
ECT Question: Does Jill Ryan believe that the taxes paid by local Realtors to Eagle County should be used to fund a “Valley Home Store” that is competing against these same local Realtors, in today’s Eagle County Real Estate Market? When elected County Commissioner will Jill Ryan vote to continue to fund Eagle County’s so called “Valley Home Store?”
According to the Eagle County Housing Department, the Valley Home Store pays for itself through a 1%-2% fee associated with each transaction. No tax dollars are used. In 2011, this equaled $82,000 out of a total $69 million in total Eagle County real estate commissions. The deed-restricted housing under the purview of the Valley Home Store (VHS) is small. Only 12 homes were sold in 2011, which was 1 percent of the housing market. A typical year is between 15 and 35 homes. The 1% – 2% service fee, as opposed to 3%-6% commission in the open market, helps to keep the cost of these houses low.
The restriction of buying and selling these properties through the VHS has raised questions about competition with real estate agents. I have been talking to Realtors to determine how important it is for them to have access to this market. One told me that they were interested because first-time homebuyers tend to become life-long customers. Another said they would be interested enough to take the commission of 1%-2%. Another said they don’t think a reduced commission is appropriate, but that they could get deed-restricted sellers a better price through wider advertising and better availability. In turn, this would result in more purchasing power within the free market. (Although, this it only applies when houses are selling below their capped valued).
It fosters a more robust workforce, promotes a good work-life balance for families, and results in a community of full-time residents. With regard to the Valley Home Store, I am intrigued by what real estate agents had to say. My priorities are to maintain the county’s investment in affordable housing, reduce red tape for homebuyers, and help buyers and sellers get the best deal possible. I look forward to continuing the conversation.
Jill’s Contact information:
Phone: (970) 462-7444
County Commissioner candidate – Jeff Layman
If the building techniques and products represented by the regulations are truly needed to sustain our quality of life then they should not be compromised for any reason. However, I’m struck by the seemingly arbitrary and alternatively punitive nature of the current regulations. I’m no expert on this topic, but many I talk to believe that a full incentive based program would work better and have the positive economic impact of more and better development along with better compliance with the standards. This is an area that I hope to learn more about.
Contact Jeff Layman at C 970-376-7004
County Commissioner candidate – Jon Stavney
ECT Comment: Commissioner Candidate Jon Stavney did not respond to the EagleCountyTimes.Com question this week.
Contact information: Sometimes Jon responds to questions Emailed to this address: Jon.Stavney@EagleCounty.us