Access results in deal breaker

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— Lack of a secondary access in plans for an 11 single-family home development was a deal breaker for three of the seven Steamboat Springs City Council members Tuesday night.

Council members Steve Ivancie, Bud Romberg and Arianthe Stettner did not approve a plan that would not guarantee a secondary entrance to the proposed Mountview Park subdivision.

The 14-acre subdivision plan at the intersection of Pine Grove and Mount Werner roads had one main access through Trollhaugen Court, which raised safety concerns among the council members. The second road could have connected the 11 homes, with the potential for 11 secondary units, and nearly 25 other homes already developed to Central Park Drive.

"To me the second access is a deal breaker," Romberg said. "From my point of view, without a second access, and the amount traffic we are dealing with, it's a safety point."

For more than a year, the applicant, Christner Development, had been working with the Yampa Valley Medical Center, who owns a small sliver of land that the second road would go through to reach the development. But Eric Smith, who represented the developer, said the hospital was unwilling to enter into negations with concerns over future use of the land.

Romberg presented the first motion, which would have tabled the plan until May 21 allowing developers, city staff and city council members to contact the medical center one more time.

But that motion failed 4-3 and was replaced by Councilmen Paul Strong's motion to give the plan conditional approval stipulating the developers contact the medical center once more after council approval, and build the second access if the medical center agrees to an easement.

That motion passed 4-3 with Strong, Kathy Connell, Loui Antonucci and Nancy Kramer in favor of it.

Because the land that Mountview subdivision had proposed to leave open borders Pine Grove Road, Strong said the plan should be approved, despite the concerns over a secondary access.

"I agree the second access is very important. But the most important thing for the whole community is the blank open space along Pine Grove Road," Strong said. "I'm in favor of it mainly because of the excellent job they've done (with the plans)."

The Planning Commission had an almost identical stand on the subdivision when it approved it in a 4-3 vote in March. Commission Chair Kathi Meyer said with six unresolved issues between the city staff and applicant, there were many reasons for the decisions to not approve the plan.

"It was one of the most difficult votes we've had in the last several years," Meyer said.

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