A Town Council subcommittee offered a proposal last week to make affordable rental and for-sale housing available at different income levels in the planned Obey Creek development.
The affordable housing could remain that way for 99 years, town staff said at Thursday’s negotiation meeting for the 120-acre project across U.S. 15-501 from Southern Village. The council could hold a public hearing on the Obey Creek development agreement in April, with a possible vote in June.
The plan now calls for a maximum of 1.6 million square feet – 800 housing units, 475,000 square feet of retail, 600,000 square feet of offices and a 400 hotel rooms – on 35 acres. it also seeks a minimum required space for each use and flexibility in using the rest to meet market changes.
A development agreement would guide construction over the next two decades, including such details as what could be built, how it should look, and the road, stormwater and other community improvements that could be required.
There could be, if approved, at least 600 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments and 50 townhomes at Obey Creek, officials said. About 300 units limited to older residents could be built first, project officials said, followed by other housing built along with ground-floor retail space.
Subcommittee members Sally Greene, Jim Ward and George Cianciolo, who worked with other stakeholders, suggested making 5 percent of the rentals – roughly 30 – and 15 percent of the for-sale housing – between seven and eight units – affordable.
The for-sale homes, required by the town’s inclusionary zoning rules, could be sold to those earning up to 80 percent of the area median income, or $42,050 a year for two people.
Half of the rentals also could be for those earning up to 80 percent AMI. The other half could be for residents with housing vouchers earning up to 60 percent of AMI, or $31,560 a year for two people. The town or a nonprofit group could manage those homes.
If the town wants money for other housing instead, East West Partners is offering roughly $2.1 million, developer Roger Perry said.
Council members and others, including Empowerment Inc. executive director Delores Bailey, said they’d rather have the homes. The housing panel had an opportunity to talk about prices, amenities and other things that are important to families, Bailey said, and this project works.
“There’s lots of families we can accommodate with this project when it happens,” she said.
The council also talked Thursday about a draft set of design guidelines (View draft at nando.com/ya) for Obey Creek’s growth and community benefits; how buildings, landscaping and signs might look; and other details, including how Highland Park, near the highway, and the 80-acre Wilson Creek Preserve east of Obey Creek could be used and maintained.