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Government Affairs Monthly Report


October 11th Meeting Set for Public Input on Downtown Steamboat Plan

The Steamboat Planning Commission will host a public work session on the plan during a meeting that starts at 5 p.m. Oct. 11 in Centennial Hall. The downtown plan is the third item on the agenda. Former city planning director Tyler Gibbs is serving as a consultant to develop the final downtown plan.

Ultimately, zoning code is developed from long-term plans created with community input, he added. The plan was developed out of community meetings and an online survey, which received more than 600 individual responses. IF YOU GO

The plan makes several recommendations, all of which would undergo additional public process before being implemented. There are four elements of the plan — land use and zoning; connectivity, parking and mobility; art, culture and heritage; and character of the built environment.

Among the recommendations are several that would impact the architecture and use of structures downtown. One would recommend more non-retail uses of ground floor space outside of the downtown core. On Lincoln Avenue and Yampa Street, the plan recommends keeping current codes that require ground floor spaces be dedicated to retail stores, restaurants and institutional uses between Fifth and 10th Streets. Outside of these spaces, the plan recommends broadening the code to allow offices and residential use.

One of these uses could be additional diverse housing for locals, which could provide a consistent stream of customers to downtown businesses and year-round "lights on" in residential units. Gibbs said this type of development would have to be a product that made sense to locals. Oak Street was identified as another possible location for diversified locals housing.

As for shape of buildings, the plan recommends changing a requirement that the third floor of downtown buildings is set back. Gibbs said the city doesn't want to "inadvertently mandate buildings that have a wedding cake shape," as community input revealed concerns that the current code would create buildings that look too similar when buildings downtown are redeveloped.

The plan recommended maintaining current building height codes. Most buildings downtown are already shorter than what the code allows, according to the draft plan.

State News – CAR Publishes 2018 Ballot Guide

The Colorado Association of REALTORS® has published a comprehensive guide on ballot issues and state wide candidates for this year’s upcoming November 6th election.
REALTORS® from around Colorado are involved at the statewide level in investigating and debating ballot measures and their effects on the real estate industry. CAR members also spend countless hours interviewing candidates for office and questioning them on their positions on issues that impact our business. The complete guide can be found here: http://www.coloradorealtors.com/2018-ballot-guide

Note – everyone knows these are difficult times and our country is very divided politically. Everyone will not agree 100% with the recommendations in this guide since we are an industry and association with diverse opinions, points of view, demographics, and backgrounds. This guide is put together with the best interest of the real estate industry in mind. By all means, vote your conscience. But, if the needs of the real estate industry are important to you, use this guide to help you in your choices. This guide is a good faith effort to consider all points of view and is compiled by REALTORS® just like you from all over Colorado.

National News – NAR Announces New Chief Lobbyist

Starting October 15th, Shannon McGahn will become NAR's senior vice president of government affairs.

As senior vice president of government affairs, McGahn will bring a modern, innovative approach to presenting Realtor®-directed policies to members of Congress, federal agencies and the executive branch of government, in addition to guiding NAR's position on key property rights policies. McGahn is the first woman to hold this position in NAR's 110-year history. McGahn most recently served as the staff director for the Committee on Financial Services in the U.S. House of Representatives where she managed the Committee's legislative agenda and worked with House and Senate leadership, senior White House aides, relevant committees and federal agencies to address and enact its legislative and regulatory priorities.

McGahn's experience on the Hill also includes serving as communications director for the House Republican Conference, where she worked daily with senior House leadership and staff to communicate policy proposals to the media and the public, and more than six years serving in various policy communications roles for the House Republican Conference, the Office of the House Majority Leader and Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn (R-WA). She also served as counselor to the secretary of the U.S. Treasury, leading early efforts to build relationships with members of tax writing and banking committees, as well as House and Senate leadership, to develop consensus on legislative initiatives.

McGahn succeeds Jerry Giovaniello, who is retiring at the end of 2018, after successfully advocating vital legislative and regulatory issues before Congress, the White House and federal agencies for NAR and its 1.3 million members for 37 years.