Saturday, August 24, 2002
I'm calling just to commend you on your series "The Great Divide Housing in Steamboat Springs." I'm a 12-year homeowner in Steamboat proper and a year-round resident and I've lived here for 15 years. The series of articles have been excellent. I just wanted to commend you on the poignancy and let you know that you are doing a great job.
I am a former resident of Steamboat. I was thinking about moving back, so I subscribed in hopes of getting a gauge on the housing situation. Your coverage was excellent. I think it's a shame when the people who make a town into what it is can't even find a place to live in it. Steamboat is unique because of its people. Local government should realize that turning a blind eye to the full-time residents is not conducive to promoting and running a family-oriented resort.
It was and still is a scary decision to move back to Steamboat after being back East for 20 years. I am still living on the East Coast and plan to make the move next spring. I have read with great interest the articles concerning The Great Divide. Each article makes me waiver in my decision to move. Each article leaves me with a glimmer of hope that with determination, support from friends who live in Steamboat and a lot of luck that I can come home again. Thanks for the great series and I look forward to reading the upcoming installments.
STICK WITH IT
Housing cost is simply a result of supply and demand. Steamboat is desirable and as a result it is more expensive. If you want to live someplace affordable, move to Sterling or Lamar. I think it is a matter of recognizing what we have and being willing to pay the price. My wife is a teacher doing what she loves, I don't make a lot of money and the fact of the matter is that it has taken us 10 years of living here to get to own our own home. I think it is worth it. We could have made significantly more money living in Denver, being closer to family. But I hate Denver. Stick with it and you will find a way to make it here.
WHY NOT COMMUTE?
I have been following all the articles written on affordable housing. I grew up in a small suburb of NYC and everyone who worked in the city did a half-hour commute. Is there a reason that the people do not consider buying more affordable housing that exists in South Routt and in Hayden? It seems that the Realtors have listings all over that are affordable. It is unfortunate that the dream house in Steamboat Springs is hard to afford, but maybe the first-time homeowners who want to live here should start with a condo and move up after building equity. I have met many Craig residents who commute to Steamboat because there are better jobs here. In most of the country, especially near big cities, people do commute. A change in attitude seems to be necessary.
DON'T TAX ME
I would not be in favor of paying more taxes to pay for affordable housing. I have lived in Steamboat Springs for 25 years and I just built a modular home a year ago. So I feel that people who want to live here can learn to cut back on expenses and try to save their money. Why should I have to pay taxes to help them?
I have read your ongoing series on affordable housing. It seems that all the cities with a real estate transfer tax are much more successful at dealing with the issue. I suggest Steamboat and other cities who did not enact this previously petition the state for the right to do this subject to local approval for specific use for affordable housing.
WALK THE WALK
I have listened to the affordable housing talk for years. Your series provides me with a glimmer of hope that maybe we can get something done this time. Please Steamboat, it's time to walk the walk. It's time to make housing available to people other than wealthy second-home owners.
BANGING YOUR HEAD
Enough already with the affordable housing stories. You may as well bang your head against a wall for all the good the stories will do. This is a market issue beyond anyone's ability to control. Houses cost more in Steamboat. Get used to it or move.
GIVE THEM SUPPORT
I just wanted to give my opinion on the housing problem/answer in Steamboat. Rob Dick has a project a co-housing project called River Place that is exactly what Steamboat needs, yet he is running into trouble with the Mount Werner Water District. I think maybe the people of Steamboat are a little confused as to what they want. They complain about the part-time residents here but they make little to no effort to bring in full-time residents. Why? Anywhere and everywhere you go, cities and towns are building affordable housing so maybe this town and the City Council need to wake up to that fact. People that work in Steamboat take care of Steamboat, but when it comes to Steamboat taking care of its own the town turns its back because we have to many money-hungry, narrow-minded people running the town. Personally, I think people like Rob Dick are a Godsend for this town. We should applaud him instead of causing him so much grief when he is doing something that will benefit the community and the people who live here.
WHEN PUSH COME TO SHOVE
The problem isn't a lack of creative ideas. The problem isn't a lack of people willing to try different approaches. The problem is city and community leaders who talk about supporting affordable housing projects until push comes to shove. Case in point is River Place. The other day at Planning Commission, Bob Stoddard said he wasn't going to support this project, which is exactly what Steamboat needs. When asked why, he wouldn't say. He just made it clear the Mount Werner Water District would not support the plan. So here we are about to kill another good idea.