Steamboat Springs Planning Commission gave a much-maligned project a break when it voted unanimously Thursday night to recommend approval of the Blackhawk Townhome development.
It took more than a name change to put the 24 townhome project off Eagleridge Drive over the top. The project, which used to be called Flat Top Townhomes, has been before the Planning Commission three times this year and was not passed the first two times. This time, after significant architectural revisions, the commission quickly and confidently voiced its approval.
The architects, Scott Myller and Katie Kiefer, of West Elevation Architects, modified the structures to blend in with neighboring townhomes, which include the Cascades at Eagleridge and Trappeur's Crossing.
After City Council voted to turn the project down on May 16 by a vote of 4-2 because it thought the architecture was too dissimilar from that of the surrounding area, the architects replaced the flat roofs with sloped ones and the copper siding with cedar siding. The new development will also have a concrete block base.
Although more than 30 neighbors wrote to City Council urging the body to reject Flat Tops, only two dissenters came to the Planning Commission meeting. One of them, Erik Douglas of East West Resorts, was representing the Waterstone property. Waterstone is just across Eagle Ridge Drive from the proposed development and, Douglas asserted, would have its sight lines interrupted by Blackhawk Townhomes. He also felt that the new materials proposed for the Blackhawk development would still clash with the rest of the neighborhood.
Though Planning Commission addressed these concerns in discussion, they felt that the merits of the project, including a five-foot deep sunken courtyard, outweighed any of its potential problems. The project, as well, is lower than the adjacent Trappeur's Crossing development.
The architects, who represented owner Ron and Elizabeth Young Realty from New York at the meeting, will present their project to City Council at an upcoming meeting.
"We're cautiously optimistic that staff support and unanimous support from the Planning Commission will bode well with City Council," Kiefer said.
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