Steamboat Springs The Routt County Planning Commission has decided that relaxing setbacks on 83 lots at Silver Spur Estates would be a good deal for the property owners.
If the county commissioners agree, the plat will show 10-foot setbacks for the .3-acre lots, leaving 20 feet between houses.
"This would give more flexibility for different types of buildings we can put on the property," development engineer Doug Bradford said to the Planning Commission on July 20.
The lots at Silver Spur are expected to support a mixture of modular and stick-built houses.
For modular homes, a wider place for the structure to sit means the front of the house can face the street. Without the setbacks, the houses will have to be turned sideways to fit on the lot. The developers were worried that all the modular homes turned sideways would make Silver Spur look more like a trailer court or a line of townhomes than a community of single-family homes.
Having flexibility with how the houses can sit will enhance the neighborhood, project manager Dan McGeary said. Furthermore, property owners could build a garage on the side of the house with the setback adjustment.
For custom houses, relaxed restrictions would let builders have some breathing room.
"It gives the architects a chance to design a nicer home," McGeary said.
For the most part, the commission agreed. However, Planning Commissioner Wayne Adamo raised the question of affordable housing.
The development, which is just north of Steamboat II on U.S 40, 2.5 miles west of Steamboat Springs, is going to provide some affordable housing. But Adamo was concerned that the setback change would mean larger homes that could raise the value of the property out of the realm of affordability.
That led him to cast a dissenting vote for the recommendation of approval of the setbacks.
Bradford also addressed the board about allowing flexibility with height restrictions.
Some of the properties in the 129-lot development sit on a small ridge, near Steamboat II. Houses built there can't be more than 25-feet tall so they don't invade the visual beauty of the area.
McGeary said those lots will be graded down five to eight feet before houses are put on them. He felt that the height restriction should be adjusted if the land is shaved down.
The commission said it could deal with those lots on an individual basis instead of changing the height restrictions across the board.
Silver Spur is moving into its third and fourth phase of the six-phase development.
Forty percent of the 46 lots in phase three are under contract and construction has started, listing agent Ivan Schmidt said. The lots are selling for $65,000 to $75,000.
"By the end of August, we'll be about there," Schmidt said.
The county commissioners are scheduled to make a decision on allowing the setbacks at a public meeting at 2 p.m. Aug. 8 in the commissioners' hearing room in the Routt County Courthouse annex.
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