Background - Fish Hatchery Workforce Housing

Homes at Fish Hatchery Logo

Background 2022-2023  (Current project information

The Town of Estes Park understands that workforce housing is necessary to sustain a stable, year-round local economy. At the same time, the gap between income levels for local workers and free market home prices and rents in the Estes Valley continues to widen. The situation makes it increasingly difficult for many local workers to afford to live in the Estes Valley. The Town believes that planning for the development of workforce housing is necessary to divert the loss of such housing in the free market, as well as the loss of local workers who are unable to afford housing in the Estes Valley. For these reasons, the Town was interested in partnering with a developer to construct workforce housing on a Town-owned piece of property known as the “Fish Hatchery Property.”

It is important that any workforce housing proposed addresses current needs as well as workforce housing needs into the foreseeable future. The ideal workforce housing proposal should address: respect for the environment, compatibility with the existing neighborhood, transportation impacts, site-specific considerations, and impacts on public resources. The workforce housing project will also need to be sensitive to the historical nature of the site and the Estes Park area community. 

The Town of Estes Park sought a qualified Developer to partner with the Town to evaluate, plan, and implement the development of the Fish Hatchery Property for workforce housing. The vision was a development with rental units and some site amenities on the north side of the Fall River that would help us attract and retain workers in the Estes Valley area. 

Homes at Fish Hatchery rezoning map




The Town entered into an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement with development partner, America West Housing Solutions, and was working on a draft Development Agreement for Town Board consideration and approval. At the same time, due diligence work was underway, including land surveying, planning for environmental and geotechnical testing, and pre-development application preparation.

The Town of Estes Park and America West Housing Solutions held two public meetings in mid-January of 2022, offering a chance for participants to hear from team members about the project site and the early phases of project planning, as well as ask questions and share comments. Another public meeting was held on July 14, 2022 to provide neighbors and others with an opportunity to learn about and comment on the proposed rezoning of the site from Accommodations to Multi-family Residential. The Town Board approved rezoning of the property in October of 2022, in anticipation of this project. View the meeting materials.

Project History

The Homes at Fish Hatchery: Frequently Asked Questions

Exclusive Right to Negotiate agreement

Fish Hatchery Workforce Housing Request for Proposal

View the Housing Needs Assessment and Workforce Housing and Childcare Task Force report