Steamboat Springs A much-maligned townhome project off Eagleridge Drive has been handed its most recent setback in a series of difficult interactions with neighbors and the city.
Blackhawk Townhomes, a project that was unanimously approved by the Steamboat Springs City Council on Nov. 7, 2000, was issued a stop work order last week by the city.
The project will be re-heard over the next month by the Planning Commission and the City Council for a development permit.
The stop work order and scheduling of the two subsequent public hearings came about because the applicants allegedly did not properly notify a group of adjacent property owners in the Waterstone at Eagleridge development before the initial hearings.
This will be the third time the applicants will go before the city to attempt to place a project on this site, having been rejected the first time they came through in the summer of 2000 for a project called the Flat Top Townhomes.
That project inspired more than 30 adjacent property owners to write or speak to the City Council on how the project did not blend in with the local architecture, among other issues.
The City Council denied it 4-2 primarily on architectural grounds. The project had a
somewhat urban row house style and had flat roofs unlike some nearby developments.
This most recent technicality might not have turned so many heads had the adjacent owners not been so wary of the project.
One of the architects for Blackhawk, Katie Kiefer, said she did attempt to notify the property owners at Waterstone, but was not given their names by the property manager at East West Resorts. She instead sent the property manager the notification letters, Kiefer said.
On top of that, East West Resorts sent a representative to the Planning Commission meeting who said he represented Waterstone. Kiefer said she thinks those factors, in addition to the fact that the City Council passed the project unanimously, makes a re-hearing unfair and a waste of important time as the construction season dwindles away.
Regardless of the chain of events, however, the city requires property owners within 300 feet to be notified by the applicant. In this case, that did not happen, said Assistant Planning Director Tim McHarg.
That meant the city had to order the applicants, Ron and Elizabeth Young of New York, to stop work on the project and ushered them into the soonest available hearings.
The applicants are allowed to continue some of the underground utilities work, McHarg said.
Wendy Pearson of East West Resorts did not wish to comment on the project, but referred questions to Marv Lindsey, the president of the Waterstone at Eagleridge homeowners association. Lindsey said the homeowners did not know of the Blackhawk project until they saw the preliminary site work was under way.
"It was a complete shock to all of the board members when we found out that it was under way," Lindsey said.
He said since the owners have reviewed the plans they have uncovered a few concerns, the most important of which is the addition of a large amount of fill on one side of the property.