Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs Safeway store won a positive vote for its planned addition on its second trip through Planning Commission Thursday night. But even if City Council agrees with Planning Commission when it conducts its own public hearing June 6, the addition will be put off until next year.
Safeway Design Manager Arnold Gentilezza told Steamboat Today the calendar is too far into the construction season to break ground this year.
"We can't build through the winter," Gentilezza said. "It was really pivotal to break ground two months ago."
Safeway plans to add 8,322 square feet of store space on the south end of the existing building near the corner of U.S. 40 and Pine Grove Road. The addition would house an expanded delicatessen and bakery, with their own entrance. The addition would also create more space for the store pharmacy and produce department. Gentilezza said the deli area would include a China Kitchen food outlet and a Starbucks coffee shop.
Safeway submitted its plans to the city on Oct. 21, 1999, but according to city staff, missing information in the application caused the original public hearing date of Jan. 27 to be postponed until Feb. 10.
At that Planning Commission hearing, the commissioners were divided over architectural issues related to the largely blank wall of the addition facing Pine Grove Road. They split 4-4 on a motion to approve the project. Tie votes at Planning Commission amount to a technical denial and Safeway elected to appeal the recommendation of denial to City Council. On March 14, City Council voted 8-0 to remand the project back to Planning Commission with direction to readdress the architectural articulation of the south facade. They also asked for increased landscaping in that area of the addition.
Thursday night, the Planning Commissioners felt the extra effort on the part of Safeway had paid off with a better project.
Architect Gary Harrison of Concepts West Architecture in Colorado Springs told the commissioners improvements made to the building since March included a new overhanging roof on the south side with five gables, nine stone columns and a timber ramada that wraps around to the south facade from the front of the building. The city had asked for some windows on the south facade, but Harrison originally protested that windows in that location were incompatible with the kitchen that would be located against the interior wall. This week, he found a compromise, proposing two large multi-pane "windows" fitted with opaque glass. There will also be a 10-foot wide landscaping berm in the middle of the small parking lot adjacent to Pine Grove Road.
A majority of Planning Commissioners expressed concern that historically, the Safeway has operated with snow storage that is below the amount required by the code today. Commissioner Tony Connell urged the Safeway executives to consider an on-site snow melting system. He predicted that over time, it would save money by eliminating the need to haul snow away in dump trucks. But Commissioner Ken Miller noted that by devoting some excess parking spaces to snow storage, the current plan improves on the situation. Miller noted the addition will also bring with it additional improvements that will benefit the public, including a new sidewalk from the front of the store to U.S. 40.
Most commissioners were swayed by the architectural improvements.
Commissioner Dick Curtis observed the Safeway addition was a "perfect case in point," that if the commission sticks to its philosophy, it can win a better project for the community.
"I don't think we got a good product," Curtis said. "I think we got an excellent project. I think the public will truly appreciate it." He thanked the applicants for their efforts.
The vote to recommend approval of the Safeway addition was 7-0.
To reach Tom Ross call 871-4210, or e-mail email@example.com