Wednesday, January 23, 2002
Steamboat Springs A newly proposed condo/commercial development near the ski area is too massive for the city planning department to recommend it for approval.
This is the first time in more than a year that the city planning department has recommended denial of an application for a development permit, said Assistant Planning Director Tim McHarg.
The Chadwick, a six-story 77,184-square-foot commercial/residential complex at the intersection of Apres Ski Way and Village Drive, is up for a permit and will be reviewed by the city Planning Commission tonight. Bill Stuart, the owner of Market on the Mountain, owns the land which is currently used as a paid parking lot and plans to move his grocery store/delicatessen/winery to the new building and expand it by 2,400 square feet.
He bought the parcel from the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. in 1999. He is developing the project with Richard Friedman, a Florida-based developer.
The first floor of the building would be reserved for commercial development, which will include the new 6,000-square-foot market and one other store to be determined. The other five floors would have a total of 23 condominium units, which would be about 1,900 square feet each, on average. It would also have underground parking.
In most cases where the applicant's design does not meet city standards as far as the staff is concerned, the applicant and staff are able to come to a compromise using conditions of approval that address those specific concerns.
This time, however, the staff and the applicant failed to agree on some of the larger issues in the application, including height, density, zoning and compatibility with surrounding developments.
"It's not something that we normally do," McHarg said of recommending denial. "We usually try to build consensus and buy-in with the applicant.
"They elected to proceed without modifying the proposal."
Both the Planning Commission and the City Council have chosen to bypass the staff's recommendations in the past, which is what the applicant is hoping they do this time.
Planner Tracey Hughes, who was assigned to the project after Scott Woodford left the planning department, said the project's mass was troublesome as was the applicant's request for a zone change to commercial.
She noted the height of the building would not be allowed under the new Community Development Code, though the applicant is processing his application under the old code.
Peter Patten of Patten and Associates, which is doing the land-use planning for the project, said the planning staff is "biased" and "off base" in its recommendation. He said the development is perfect for the site given the attention it will attract at the southern entrance to the mountain area and the applicability of the mixed uses. Patten said he thinks the City Council will be favorable to the application given their comments at the conceptual hearing last year on this project.
Stuart said he thought the conceptual review was positive overall and makes him think the project will go over well with the elected officials.
"If they had been asked to vote on it at that time," he said, "I think it would have passed by a large majority."