In which a Little Rock couple pays $380,000 to change a zoning rule in Aspen, Colorado, courtesy of the Aspen Daily News:

The article reports that William and Mary Amanda Dillard paid $380,000 to free up use of a caretaker unit attached to their home. The deed restriction in the subdivision previously had required that the one-bedrooom 600-square-foot unit behind the garage be restricted to caretaker use (presumably to prevent its use for rental or other purposes).

The deed restriction was set to expire in 2034. But owners William and Mary Amanda Dillard asked the city to drop the deed restriction now, because they do not need a caretaker on-site to live in the apartment.

City planners calculated a payment-in-lieu fee for extinguishing the deed restriction would be $380,742, which the city council voted 5-0 to accept on Monday.

Mayor Mick Ireland said the unit — as it stands — was useless to the community, and that the payment would do far more for local workers looking for affordable places to live.

“The deed restriction was not effective as means of creating housing,” Mayor Ireland said. “The unit went unused. The cash could help create an actual, permanent unit for a local worker in need.”