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FINAL MEETING MINUTES
 
HOUSING COMMISSION
THURSDAY
SEPTEMBER 24, 2020
  VIRTUAL MICROSOFT TEAMS MEETING
211 WEST ASPEN AVENUE
             1:00 P.M.
             
1. Call to Order

Chair Nicole Ellman called meeting to order at 1:00pm.
             
2. Roll Call
NOTE: One or more Commission Members may be in attendance telephonically or by other technological means.
ROSS ALTENBAUGH - Present
KAIJAYLAAN BEATTIE - Present
ERIC DAVIS - Present
MELINDA DEBOER-AYREY - Present
NICOLE ELLMAN - Present
CATHERINE ESQUIVEL - Absent
KAREN FLORES - Present
KHARA HOUSE - Present
CHRIS KEMMERLY - Absent
DEVONNA MCLAUGHLIN - Present
MOSES MILAZZO - Present
ERIN O'LOUGHLIN - Present
TAD RIGGS - Absent


COUNCIL LIAISON PRESENT: Councilmember Jim McCarthy

OTHERS PRESENT: Housing Manager Justyna Costa, Housing Director Sarah Darr, Housing Specialist Adriana Fisher, Housing Analyst Jennifer Mikelson, Community Development Block Grant Administrator Kristine Pavlik, Brinshore Senior Vice President Whitney Weller
             
3. Public Comment

At this time, any member of the public may address the Commission on any subject within their jurisdiction that is not scheduled before the Commission on that day. Due to Open Meeting Laws, the Commission cannot discuss or act on items presented during this portion of the agenda. To address the Commission on an item that is on the agenda, please wait for the Chair to call for Public Comment at the time the item is heard.


The following emails were sent to Adriana Fisher, Housing Specialist at the City of Flagstaff Housing Section:

Dear Members of the Housing Commission,

Thank you for the opportunity to submit public comment, and for your work on behalf of our community. I am writing today to express my support for immediate development of affordable housing on the city-owned Schultz pass parcel. The City has invested close to $600,000 in this property, and it's frustrating to see the process stalled. The City Council in the 2000s voted unanimously to proceed after going through a rigorous public comment process. Our community is in the midst of several crises, with affordable housing at the top of the list. Our neighbors have waited long enough, it’s time to build homes on this property for 20+ families in our community.

If the City is not prepared to move forward with building before a potential voter initiative on the 2022 ballot, I would rather see the parcel sold and the money recouped to build elsewhere.

It’s time for all of us to stand up to NIMBYism and invest in all community members.

Sincerely,

Cristy Zeller


Dear Members of the Housing Commission,

Thank you for the opportunity to submit public comment, and for your work on behalf of our community. I am contacting you to share my support for immediate development of affordable housing on the city-owned Schultz pass parcel. The City has invested over $500,000 in this property. Development of this parcel for housing has been voted on by previously elected councils after rigorous public comment. It is frustrating to see this process stalled by what I consider to be NIMBYism. Flagstaff is in the midst of several crises, with affordable housing at the top of the list. We have waited long enough to build on this land, and it is time to move forward.

If the City is not prepared to move forward with building before a potential voter initiative on the 2022 ballot, I would rather see the parcel sold. This way the investment of public can be recouped, faith can be kept with voters in this town and we can look to build elsewhere.

It’s time for all of us to stand up to NIMBYism and invest in all community members.

Thank you for your time.

Dr. Lori Poloni-Staudinger


Dear Housing Commission Members,

Thank you for the opportunity to provide comment, and more importantly, thank you for the hard work you do to make our community a better place for everyone. I am writing in regards to the city-owned parcel on Schultz Pass that has become controversial in the eyes of many Flagstaff residents. While I am a native of Flagstaff, I can appreciate the natural beauty that our community has to offer. The forests, trails, mountains, and more provide one of the many reasons that we locals have chosen to call Flagstaff home. Unfortunately, many of those in our community don’t have that very same luxury. Home. When so many of our community are forced to leave because of consistently escalating housing costs, as a community we all lose. We lose nurses. We lose teachers. We lose tradespeople. We lose servers. And cooks. And all of the essential workers that we rely on, now more than ever. This particular parcel is the product of YEARS of hard work, dedication, negotiation, and compassion from previous City Councils, staff members, developers, and more. Nearly $600,000 has already been invested in infrastructure to improve this small parcel with the intent of providing attainable housing for our neighbors. Utilizing a small, triangular parcel adjacent to Highway 180 will not impede the use and enjoyment of millions of acres of Coconino National Forest, thousands of miles of trails, or views that grace the fronts of postcards. But it can help those in our community that need it most.

Unfortunately, recent opposition has been successful in delaying this improvement after years of planning, costs and more. As a Housing Commission, you have the very difficult task of finding and recommending solutions that can aid in the accessibility of work force housing. This project is an easy solution to provide a small amount of such housing. In your role, you will undoubtedly not please everyone. But we all must start making the hard decisions for what is right, not what may be popular. You will hear the cries of those that oppose building workforce housing that will suggest we should simply build more housing “somewhere else.” Well, we’re just about out of “somewhere elses.”

We’re also out of time. Hard choices need to be made, and made quickly, or we will continue to see a mass exodus of our local workforce to places that they can simply afford to live.
I urge you to see this project through, and not let the efforts of so many for so many years prove fruitless in making a difference in helping Flagstaff’s critical workforce.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Please note that while I am the Chair of the City Of Housing Authority Board, and am involved in other housing-related organizations, I am speaking of my own volition and not on behalf of any other organization.

Thank you,
Tad Moore


To Members of the Housing Authority Board:
I would like to address the Ft. Valley Road Affordable Housing Site. I worked for the City's Community Development Department as a Landuse Planner for 26 years. I retired approximately 15 years ago. This affordable housing site was dedicated to the city during the approval process and negotiations with the developer of the Valley Crest Subdivision. Staff's preference for the affordable units to be located within the subdivision were not accepted. The developer did however dedicate an irregular portion of the property on the northwest side of Elden Lookout Road to the city for future use. The property is bisected with the El Paso gas right-of-way.

I would recommend the Board, with staff assistance, review the information contained in the Valley Crest files to determine if there was a development agreement created addressing affordability; was a conditional rezoning required and adopted by ordinance; and does the recorded final plat address the affordable housing site.

An aerial view of the site and surrounding properties with property lines, right-of-ways and easements, along with the buildable area, and preliminary building elevations might be helpful to educate the interested public and surrounding property owners.

I would encourage the city and the Housing Authority to move ahead on the development of the negotiated affordable housing site.

Thank you,
Reed Jenkins
             
4. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
             
A. Consideration and Approval of Minutes: Housing Commission Meeting, August 27, 2020
Approve the minutes of the August 27, 2020 Housing Commission Meeting. 
  Moved by Khara House, seconded by Moses Milazzo
  Vote: 10 - 0
             
5. DISCUSSION ITEMS
             
A. Discussion and Input: Review of Brinshore's Low Income Tax Credit Development, Starpoint
Discussion and Input
  Ms. Justyna Costa introduced Ms. Whitney Weller, Senior Vice President at Brinshore. Ms. Weller provided an overview of Brinshore’s joint Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) development, Starpoint, with Housing Solutions of Northern Arizona (HSNA). Ms. Devonna McLaughlin, Chief Executive Officer for HSNA, contributed supporting information.
 
Commissioners and Council Liaison asked clarifying questions, provided recommendations, and complimented the project. Questions were answered by Ms. Weller.
 
Ms. Costa told Commissioners and Council Liaison to also expect a presentation from Foundation from Senior Living regarding their new development at a later date.
             
B. Presentation on City Owned Land
Informational only
  Ms. Costa introduced Ms. Darr, who provided a thorough description of City owned properties.
 
Ms. Darr thanked Ms. Bloom, who helped put together presentation, and was not able to attend meeting.
 
A question was asked about BBB funds, which was answered by Ms. Darr and Ms. Costa. Due to time constraints, Ms. Darr stated she will revisit the presentation and answer any questions at the October Housing Commission meeting.
             
6. INFORMATIONAL ITEMS TO/FROM COMMISSION MEMBERS, STAFF, AND FUTURE AGENDA ITEM REQUESTS


Ms. Costa answered an Open Meeting Law question received by Ms. Bloom regarding Commissioners talking to each other.

Ms. Darr explained the intent of the next meeting is to:
  • Answer questions regarding City owned land,
  • Cover a retrospective of what the Housing Commission has covered in their first year as it approaches its first year anniversary in October,
  • Discuss future goals,
  • And address expiring Commission seats.
    A clarifying question was asked Ms. Melinda Deboer-Ayrey about expiring Commissioner seats, which was answered by Ms. Darr.

Several Commissioners agreed the following items should also be discussed in the future:
  • A centralized location, easily accessible by the public, for upcoming affordable housing units and availabilities. Current resources will be emailed to Commissioners by Ms. Bloom.
  • A comprehensive plan for affordable housing in a place easily accessible by the public.

Ms. Deboer-Ayrey provided a reminder about City Council’s meeting regarding Schultz Pass next Tuesday night.

Ms. Ellman suggested any other ideas about future meetings should be emailed to Ms. Darr, Ms. Costa, and Ms. Bloom.
             
7. ADJOURNMENT


Meeting adjourned at 3:02pm by Chair Ellman.

    

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