This summer, local couple Courtney Kizer and Steve Evers broke ground on their local workforce housing project, Murphy Flats. Thirty-seven “micro-units” are planned, with a focus on efficient living and access to outdoor recreation.
“We are so excited,” Kizer said. They anticipate homes being completed in the fall of 2023.
The project is within Grand County’s High Density Housing Overlay, a strategy adopted in 2018 which allows property owners to develop at increased density in exchange for deed-restricting 80% of a development’s units to Grand County workers.
The HDHO program was capped at around 300 units, and applications quickly reached the threshold, but the actual homes have been slower to materialize. Contention arose over whether the deed-restricted homes were required to be owned by Grand County workers, or simply occupied by Grand County workers. Applicants who believed the ordinance to indicate the latter moved ahead with financial planning based on that understanding, but later learned from the county that the homes would have to be owned, as well as occupied, by local workers. The conflict delayed some HDHO projects.
Kizer and Evers were able to overcome the snag by partnering with local investors, and are delighted to have work underway at the site. The small, efficient one- and two-bedroom residences range from 430 to 615 square feet. There will be a walking path, a community garden, a storage unit for each residence, and a dog park.
While their vision is on its way to reality, Kizer hopes that county officials will take another look at the HDHO ordinance and reconsider the ownership provision: the restriction on resales to other Grand County workers could be a hurdle for some prospective buyers, she said.
Kizer said that about half of the planned units are reserved. More information is on the development’s website, www.murphyflats.com.