Steamboat Springs When John de Wardt purchased his house on Glacier Ridge, he was lured by the almost15 acres of open space that sat beneath it.
De Wardt was aware that the property below his house, which is north of Burgess Creek Road and east of Overlook Drive, was slated for development of six buildings that could house 70 condominium units. But, he was encouraged by the developer's plans to keep the 15 acres as woodland.
Now those 15 acres of open space, part of The Ranch Phase III development, are threatened by a revised plan that calls for 15 residential lots with possibly 26 homes.
"We feel like pawns," de Wardt said at Tuesday's City Council meeting. "We contend that the more dwellings that are approved, the greater the land value and thus the sale price."
De Wardt was one of more than a dozen residents who attended the pre-application hearing in opposition to the changes in The Ranch Phase III development plan.
In 1979, the city approved The Ranch at Steamboat Condomini-ums Property to build 158 multi-family units with an amenity package. The first two phases of the project brought in 88 condominium units, tennis courts and a swimming pool, but the proposed 70 units in six separate buildings for Phase III were never built. The new proposal by Rolando Colorado Ltd. has 15 residential lots with 11 duplexes and four single-family homes.
In the developers' pre-application review from the planning commission, Rolando Colorado asked for a portion of the open space to be relocated to a steeper area of the site, a major point of contention for neighbors. But Eric Smith, representing Rolando Colorado, said Tuesday that the developers would keep the proposed open space.
Even though the developers are keeping with their original open space plans, de Wardt said it would be about three acres less than originally proposed because of the housing setbacks that border the designated open space.
Dan DeLacy, whose wife is president of The Ranch's homeowners association, said he would like to see more open space between The Ranch's amenities and the planned development and a traffic study on Overlook and Clubhouse drives. As part of the pre-application process, the council took no action on the plan, but offered comments on the need for a secondary access, a trail through the development and new buildings that conform to existing units.