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Summit County Wants To Acquire Land For More Affordable Housing

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FRISCO, Colo. (CBS4) – There’s an effort to bring more affordable housing options to one of Colorado’s most popular destinations. It’s taking an act of Congress, but Summit County should soon acquire a big chunk of land for more housing.

The land is between Interstate 70 and Dillon Dam Road and right now it’s part of the White River National Forest near Frisco. The Forest Service says the land is no good to them as it sits now between the interstate and heavy traffic on the Dillon Dam Road.

Summit County Commissioner Dan Gibbs talks with CBS4's Jeff Todd (credit: CBS)

Summit County Commissioner Dan Gibbs talks with CBS4′s Jeff Todd (credit: CBS)

It’s not quite a done deal yet, but a bill is sitting on the president’s desk waiting for a signature.

“There’s a wonderful spot here in Summit County, beautiful views of Lake Dillon, but it is sandwiched between I-70 and Dillon Dam Road, so you do have some noise issues,” Summit County Commissioner Dan Gibbs said.

Soon the land will likely be bought by the county, taking it off of the Forest Service’s hands. Forty acres will become workforce housing.

“We’ve been working on this particular proposal for about 4 years now. Summit County here is just absolutely a beautiful breathtaking place, but it’s a real challenge to live here. The average single family home sells for about $800,000,” Gibbs said.

Eighty percent of the land in Summit County belongs to the Forest Service, and what’s left is nearly completely developed. Of those homes that are already built, 70 percent are second homes.

“We really want folks that are teachers, firefighters, folks that invest a lot in our community to really be able to stay here and continue to invest in the community they live in.” Gibbs said.

Exactly what the land becomes is still up in the air.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

A recent survey of county residents found 2,000 people in need of buying an affordable home. That’s double the population of Dillon.

“”Our housing needs are huge in our community,” Gibbs said. “This will be a huge help for us in the high country.”

It was really pushed for hard in Congress by both Colorado senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, as well as Rep. Jared Polis in the House.

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