Ptarmigan Inn plan concerns some in Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

Ptarmigan Inn plan concerns some in Steamboat

Hotel could be redeveloped into 10-story condo complex

Jack Weinstein

The redevelopment of the Ptarmigan Inn entails razing the existing four-story hotel to build a 10-story condominium complex standing 105 feet

— A major redevelopment project at the base of Steamboat Ski Area is moving forward, but it's also drawing the ire of some of its neighbors.

The redevelopment of the Ptarmigan Inn entails razing the existing four-story hotel to build a 10-story condominium complex standing 105 feet, according to a conceptual development plan application the Steamboat Springs City Council will consider Tuesday. City Council members are scheduled to meet at 5:30 p.m. at Centennial Hall.

The Ptarmigan Inn House Condominium Association, the Chateau Chamonix Board of Managers and the Dulany Homeowners Association are among the nearby properties that have sent letters to the city specifying issues they have with the proposal.

Even One Steamboat Place expressed concerns about the project in a letter to the city.

Scott Boyle, a project manager for One Steamboat Place developer Timbers Resorts, cited a limited number of parking spaces for the number of units and increased traffic from the development. He also questioned the project's density, height and whether it met Mountain Base Area design standards, among other issues.

On Friday, Boyle said One Steamboat Place's concerns had nothing to do with competition.

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"It's about maintaining the best interest of the location at the heart of these issues," he said.

Architect Eric Smith, of Eric Smith Associates in Boulder, is working with OZ Architecture, of Denver, on the project. He said owner Bruce Shugart, who co-developed The Porches at Steamboat, cares about the input from neighbors but that the project complied with the city's development and zoning codes.

He said the Ptarmigan and One Steamboat Place are ideal projects for the base of the ski area. He said they create high-density residential areas to support the vitality of retail, restaurants and other businesses there.

"It's just a great redevelopment opportunity in my opinion," Smith said about the Ptarmigan project. "The existing hotel that's there really underutilizes the potential and capabilities of that site."

The Ptarmigan redevelopment would replace the 77-room 1960s-era hotel with 71 two- to five-bedroom condos totaling more than 256,000 square feet. The new development would include 65 parking spaces.

The project is the first to try a new approval process that Planning Director Tyler Gibbs termed the "conceptual development plan." He said it allows developers to get preliminary approvals on things such as maximum height, minimum setbacks, allowable uses and parking requirements before they invest significant time and money in their projects during tough financial times.

"It's so tough to get a project going or financed these days, we want to be able to give a project that initial feedback before they have to spend a lot of money," Gibbs said.

Gibbs added that the Ptarmigan still would have to get final development plan approval, which would be the next formal step in the process. He said if it's well received by developers and the City Council, Steamboat officially could add the preliminary approval process to the community development plan.

Until the Ptarmigan returns for final development plan consideration, its neighbors won't have all their questions answered about the project.

"Please don't let this type of development further obscure the views and serenity of our magnificent ski area," Dulany Homeowners Association President Jonathan A. Melnick wrote.

They sent letters to Senior City Planner Bob Keenan before the Planning Commission considered approving the conceptual development plan Sept. 22. Planning commissioners approved it, 5-1, with Rich Levy dissenting.

To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com

Agenda highlights

5 p.m. Steamboat Springs Liquor License Authority meeting

5:10 p.m. Steamboat Springs Redevelopment Authority meeting

5:30 p.m. Call to order; proclamation recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month; review of the noise ordinance; consent agenda including a resolution to approve the 2012 operating plan and budget for the Downtown Steamboat Springs Business Improvement District, first reading of an ordinance to update the city’s municipal code related to water and wastewater charge discounts for elderly and disabled persons and first reading of an ordinance to adopt and set appropriations for the city’s 2012 budget.

7 p.m. Public comment; Steamboat Springs Planning Commission written report; consideration of final development plan for the Betterview Business Park Lots 4 and 5, pre-application for a building addition to the Tread of Pioneers Museum and a conceptual development plan for the Ptarmigan Inn Condos; a request from City Council member Walter Magill to move $7,500 in community support funding from the Bike Town USA Initiative to the city’s Rodeo Board.

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