Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs Planning Commission unanimously approved the development plan for the 52,000-square-foot Routt County Judicial Facility.
Routt County commissioners presented plans for the new courthouse and the 52,000-square-foot, two-and-a-half-story parking garage.
The judicial building would sit at the southwest corner of Sixth and Oak streets and house the county and district courtrooms, jury deliberation suites, judge's chambers, clerk of court and District Attorney's offices.
"It's the biggest building in the downtown. With the exception of the Grand Summit, it's the biggest thing we have got in Steamboat. But we need it," said Kathi Meyer, Planning Commission chairwoman.
The proposed courthouse would be a two-story structure that is set at a 45-degree angle to the intersection of 6th Street and the alley north of Lincoln Avenue. This would provide open space for the front of the building, said the county's Denver-based architectural firm, HML Design. The firm also told the Planning Commission that the building would have five sides, a glass fae and a domed tower.
Meyer asked the applicant to look closely at the two-and-a-half-story parking garage it proposed for the corner of Fifth and Oak streets.
The 127-space parking garage would be in the existing parking lot and accommodate the new courthouse, county annex building and existing courthouse.
Meyer said she had been thinking about the parking garage the county would proposed when she was traveling around the country and looked for ways to improve its brick fae.
"I'm always very concerned with the downtown area. I am concerned that we don't underpark. This can really serve people and I do like what you've done," Meyer said. "But give it more thought."
The county still needs approval from the City Council on its development plan and must take its architectural plans through both the city and the council.
The state mandated that Routt County provide and maintain adequate facilities for the 14th Judicial District. The county was told the current courthouse, which was built in 1923, does not meet state standards.
The existing court facility, which houses a county judge and two district court judges in two courtrooms, is 11,200 square feet. The level of square footage the state requires for a county with three judges is 33,200 square feet.
Plans are for the proposed judicial building to house the court system and to renovate and transform the historical courthouse into office space.
This November, the county is planning to ask voters to support a building referendum for a new courthouse.