Steamboat Springs Aerial photographs of Steamboat today look nothing like the same photographs taken in 1994.
That's why some people in the city are pushing to buy a new $75,000 aerial map of Steam-
boat for the planners of the city's future to use.
Tonight, the City Council and the city Planning Commission will review the city's planning needs and the development of the Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan in a joint meeting.
Since 1994, a huge increase in construction has changed the landscape of the city. The base area is probably the section of the city most affected by the increase in building, said Wendie Schulenberg, the city's planning services director.
But with an outdated set of photographs, the city's boards in charge of figuring out how Steamboat will grow do not have a reliable picture of what is there right now.
A picture of the city that does not include the Steamboat Grand, for instance, is not going to give anyone a real sense of what the base area looks like, Schulenberg said.
The most important thing about the photographs is that they allow the policy-makers to decide if a particular development is compatible with the surrounding neighborhood, Schulenberg said.
Planning Commissioner Dan Baker said he thinks the photographs the city currently uses do not allow commissioners to gain a thorough understanding of the neighborhood surrounding a development.
Baker said the commissioners like to go to the site before meetings but don't always have the ability or the audacity to walk into someone's yard or onto someone's property and check out the lot specifications. Aerial photographs allow the commissioners to see the area without having to climb all over it and give them a different view of the site.
"It really gives us an additional tool that's very very helpful in seeing exactly what's happening," Baker said, "particularly in the Old Town area because that's where most of the unusual (building is)."
City Councilman Paul Strong said he thinks the city has considered funding this item in the past, but he is unsure of exactly where it will find the money during the current budget crunch.