Saturday, August 10, 2002
Steamboat Springs Confronted with a marketing challenge on a piece of undeveloped land near Stagecoach, Coleman Cook and his colleagues at Colorado Group Realty came up with a creative solution.
Cook and several of the principles at the real estate brokerage joined with two out-of-town investors to create Middle Creek Village at Stagecoach, a subdivision of a dozen single-family home sites overlooking Stagecoach Reservoir and the surrounding state park.
"The whole site is just under 5 acres and it's platted for a multi-family housing project," Cook said. "We marketed it that way for a while, but it didn't fit with Rock Point Trail a (nearby) single-family neighborhood."
Cook and his colleagues formed Colorado Group Partnership with the landowners, Robert McGrew and Stan Kornasiewicz. The latter is also president of Alpine Bank in Snowmass. They resolved to convert the property from a multi-family project to a subdivision of individual home lots.
The prevailing zoning, dating back to another era in Routt County, was "PUD" or "planned unit development," which offered the potential to do some interesting things on the land.
The parcel also offered a significant advantage over other rural subdivisions in that it afforded access to municipal water and sewer through the Morrison Creek Water and Sanitation district.
One potential liability, which the developers were determined to turn into a positive was the presence of a seasonal stream Middle Creek which runs through the middle of the small parcel. The stream typically only runs in spring when the snowpack is melting. However, county regulations protect it by requiring a 50-foot building setback from the creek. That fact made it a challenge to create a dozen building lots on the 5 acres. However, by treating the creek corridor as common open space, and by wrapping two primary parcels of building lots around it, the developers have been able to ensure that each lot borders either on open space or on a low-density subdivision next door. For example, several of the lots border Blue Valley Ranch, a subdivision of 35-acre parcels.
The open space created by the creek is dominated by dense aspen stands which effectively divide the subdivision in half, Cook said.
The lots at Middle Creek are small just .17 to .29 acres. But careful use of building envelopes within the lot lines, and the two open space parcels, the developers have done a credible job of creating rural home sites. The lots range in price from $75,000 to $81,000. Lot #1 sold to contractor Mark Arnold of New West Builders and a second, lot #8 is under contract.
Cook said the house already nearing completion by Arnold exemplifies what the developers envision on the subdivision. They had contemplated building all 12 houses themselves, but decided instead to stay closer to their core business.
Alternatively, they devised building covenants that are intended not to be restrictive, but ensure harmony among the exterior treatments used on the houses in Middle Creek. "We didn't exclude manufactured homes, because some manufactured homes look so good today," Cook said. "But we did specify roof pitches and exterior elements like natural wood siding and natural roof colors."
Cook believes a key selling point for the lots is that all 12 are served by all utilities. Tap fees, representing a $3,500 value, are already paid.
Lots in Middle Creek offer views of the lake and the subdivision is across the road from the proposed new Stagecoach golf course.