Share this article!

As Summit County and its leaders continue to puzzle out the complexity of the community’s lack of affordable housing, many community members suggest that building more units should be considered as a primary solution. But this is a convoluted problem that can’t be fixed with such a cut-and-dry solution.

Summit County Housing Director Jason Dietz gave a laundry list of reasons as to why. First, the community has little land to develop, making it difficult to get a project up and running. Not only that, but it’s also challenging to build up rather than out because of height limitations set by most jurisdictions.

“I’ve had a lot of developers — since my time here at the county — reach out,” Dietz said. “They come out here, they see that there’s an issue, they’re out on vacation, and they want to help. And as you talk to them, there’s not a big enough parcel of land that they could economically develop. … Generally, across the county, it’s hard to find something large enough to get the economies of scale they need.”