Medical building gets planning board's OK

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— Steamboat Springs Planning Commission voted 5-3 Thursday night to recommend approval of the new Pine Grove Medical Building.

Much of the discussion centered on the architecture of the project, which was designed by architect Robert McHugh to evoke the lines of a classic western barn.

The new 6,000-square-foot building would be built at the corner of Pine Grove Road and Taco Bell Drive in the Steamboat Village Commercial Center.

The building's architectural details include wooden columns with knee braces and a bi-pitched roof that are reminiscent of barns. McHugh is also incorporating the qualities of surrounding commercial building in the Steamboat Village Commercial Center through the use of stucco, river rock and cedar siding.

"I liked the bi-pitched roof," commissioner Ken Miller said. "It's a plus for me."

But Commission Chairwoman Shelley Pastachak disagreed.

"I'm unsure the barn style is appropriate in this location," Pastachak said. "I don't think stucco is appropriate on a barn type of building."

Pastachak also felt the applicants hadn't done enough since the conceptual stage to improve the architecture.

"I think it's a large building. It's 6,000 square feet and 120 feet long," she said. Pastachak said a pair of dormers added by the architect didn't do enough to break up the roof line.

Planning Commissioner Kathi Meyer questioned whether the commission had ever really established a precedent of judging projects based on their exterior materials -- such as stucco.

"I do see this as being harmonious with the neighborhood," Meyer said.

Vince Hooper called the building "a rectangle with a roof on it."

"It reminds me of a mobile home out in the county with a pole barn over the top of it," Hooper said.

Other commissioners praised the site plan for using the building to shield the parking from Pine Grove Road.

Meyer moved to approve the project and the vote was favorable, with Pastachak, Hooper and Dana Stopher dissenting. Commissioner Dick Curtis stepped down.

In other business Thursday night, Planning Commission approved plans by the owners of Healing Hands Chiropractic to add 2,542 square feet to a home at 419 Oak St. and convert it to office space.

The vote was 8-1 with Ken Miller dissenting.

The commission voted unanimously to approve the plans of Windemere Landscaping to install two new greenhouse at its property on west U.S. 40.

Windemere is pouring a concrete floor for one of the greenhouses, where it will sell hard goods like pottery and statuary. It is also paving customer parking areas on the site.


-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4210, or e-mail tomross@amigo.net

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