The words came straight from the heart of Jim Brennan, longtime northern Idaho resident and owner and president of Cornerstone Inc. Custom Homes.
“We want ownership. We don’t want rentals,” he said. “We want people to be able to own and establish the American dream. To do that right now, I see condominiums as one of the only solutions we have for our people to live in this county.
“It takes people with this vision and this heart to help the people of our county,” he said. “I also find it very sad that the only people who can move here now are those who are foreigners, those who didn’t grow up in this county, those who came from California, Washington and other areas, who they’re the only ones who seem to be able to buy into this, and that really breaks my heart.”
Brennan spoke at the Hayden Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on Thursday night, where the commissioners unanimously approved a single-family condominium project, named The Bridge, which will dedicate 20% units to those making no more than 80% of the region’s median income, or about $24 to $31 per hour. These include public safety employees, teachers, administrative staff and hospitality workers.
Proposed to be built on over four acres at 2442 and 2420 W. Hayden Ave., plans for the bridge include 56 two-bedroom/one-bathroom and three-bedroom/two-bathroom townhouse-style condos.
“We hope to bridge people from one side of their housing situation to the other through flexible ownership,” said Brenny Ross, who co-owns the project with Brennan. “That’s basically our core in this project here.”
The Bridge is aimed at first-time home buyers. Project promoters also strive to ensure that those who buy a home live there for at least two years.
“I loved that this project was focused on home ownership,” said Hayden Planning and Zoning Commissioner Mary Howard. “I hope they’re really able to keep up with that. That’s what creates stable communities.”
The project is supported by the Panhandle Affordable Housing Alliance, a non-profit organization whose mission is to give more people access to home ownership. The organization consulted with Brennan and Cornerstone Builders on The Bridge to help with deed restrictions for 11 units or 20% of development to ensure these units are available for purchase by people earning no more than 80% of the region’s median income.
“Through deed restrictions, these units will be preserved for people in this income bracket for years to come,” alliance executive director Maggie Lyons wrote in a letter to the planning and commissioning commission. zoning.
“I understand that the proposed development meets the zoning requirements of the City of Hayden and I wholeheartedly support it,” she wrote. “I believe this project can become a shining example of how PAHA can partner with private developers/builders and local jurisdictions to meet our county’s desperate need for homes that our local workers can afford. .”
Coeur d’Alene City Councilor Kiki Miller is a leader of the Regional Housing and Growth Issues Partnership, an organization of volunteer task force, advisory group and committees tackling the housing crisis. housing in Kootenai County. Miller said three or four other projects like The Bridge are starting to help the northern Idaho developer community find legal ways to help workers stay in the area.
“I was like, ‘Yes! We have one!’ “I’m so glad our developers are doing what they can to help our local workers.”
The bridge will be reviewed by Hayden Town Council at an upcoming meeting.
“I think it’s a good project,” Howard said. “I think this is the kind of project Hayden needs, and I’m sticking with it.”
See the full staff report: cityofhaydenid.us