A City of Escalon Senior Housing Initiative proposed by Councilman Peter Krumeich was introduced to members of the city council at their recent meeting and received a general approval from the council to move into the discussion and discovery stage.
“The City of Escalon is in need of additional housing for Seniors. The options are currently very limited for individuals ages 55+ who wish to remain in this community but also wish to sell their homes and realize the hard earned equity that they have worked for many years,” Councilman Krumeich noted in his proposal. “Additionally, entry into this community, either to be close to family or for quality of life, is almost impossible for Seniors. The question is then, how do we accomplish this goal? How do we as a City Council use our authority and power to influence this much needed outcome?”
Answering that question is what Krumeich wants the council to do; and, he noted, in his opinion, there is a simple answer.
“Let’s get out of the way. The basis of a free market economy, which thank God we still have somewhat, but unfortunately is slipping away due to over regulation and red tape by government, operates on the premise that individuals/businesses/developers can provide goods and services freely to the consumer. The resulting outcome is either that these entities succeed or they fail, based entirely on whether or not their efforts satisfied the customer,” Krumeich said.
He added that the city should see itself as the customer.
“We are looking to procure Senior Housing for our community. We know there is a need, but we don’t seem to understand how to meet that need. We have talked at great lengths, held numerous meetings, even ran our political campaigns on the promise of delivering more Senior Housing. And yet we have none. It’s time we try a different approach,” Krumeich stated. “We need to lower our fees. The greatest barrier for developers to build Senior Housing in our town is the cost to do business here. The fees are too high.”
Whether the council can work to reduce the fees somehow remains to be seen, Krumeich admitted, but he said offering the proposal and having the council agree to discuss it further is at least a starting point.
“My proposal is to lower our development impact fees for a targeted Senior Housing project for a set period of time. This will incentivize high quality Senior Housing developers to build in our town,” he said.
Krumeich’s initial proposal would see a reduction in the various development impact fees – for qualified senior housing projects – until Dec. 31, 2025. There has been no action taken by the council other than to agree to discuss it further; and no specific timetable for an action or possible vote on Krumeich’s proposal.