Saturday, December 14, 2002
Steamboat Springs For the first time since the Steamboat Springs Community Area Plan Update kicked off, a community meeting will be held for the public to give its input on how it wants to see Steamboat grow.
Since November 2001, the city, Routt County and residents have been working on the plan to direct growth in the Steamboat area.
Close to 100 community members have volunteered to sit on working groups to identify some of the most pressing issues the area faces as growth continues.
Those working groups are divided into capital facilities; community design; economic development and sustainability; growth management; housing; land use; natural, scenic and environmentally sensitive areas; transportation; historic preservation; and open space, recreation and trails.
Each of the groups established a vision and objective statement, identified the most pressing issues and recommended approaches area governments should take.
From those findings, the hired consultants, Clarion & Associates, and staff took that information and performed a detailed analysis.
On Monday, the public is invited to look at those findings and make its own recommendations.
Dick Curtis, who is on the Area Plan Coordinating Committee, said the group is seeking any comments from the public.
"What we are hoping to get out of the meeting Monday is for the public to review each of our issue statements from the working groups and comment on them, whether it is good or bad or needs to change," Curtis said.
The meeting will have three 20-minute sessions where community members can meet with a working group, hear what the members have done and then make recommendations.
When the consultants analyzed the results, they found common themes among the working groups, including encouraging infill, maintaining the character of neighborhoods, striving for economic diversity and stability and monitoring new development.
But City Planner Tom Leeson, who is heading the community area plan update, said conflicts also exist among those themes.
He said some groups wanted to focus on infill, while others wanted to spread out to west of Steamboat, and there were conflicting views on density and incoming growth.
"Like any plan, there will be compromises among groups and that is part of the discussion and why we are trying to get feedback from the community," Leeson said.
The public can visit Centennial Hall anytime Monday to look at the working groups' summaries and the consultant's analysis.
The information can also be found on the community Web site at www.yampavalleyinfo.com.
The city and county kicked off the community area plan update last November by holding a public meeting.
In May, the working groups began meeting and in August an open house was held for the public to comment on the working groups' top priorities.
After the public gives its input and the working groups revise their findings, the consultants and staff will take that information and create different alternatives on how Steamboat and the surrounding area should grow.
Those alternatives could be recommending the steps Steamboat would need to take if it wanted to encourage infill within the city or a different approach the area would need to take if the community wanted to concentrate on the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan.
Leeson said those alternatives should be presented by the end of February, with the next community meeting set for March.