Plan has sparked opposition

Council will make final decision tonight

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— The Steamboat Springs City Council will make the final decision Tuesday night on a preliminary plat application that has spurred opposition and even a lawsuit.

The plan, called Overlook Preserve proposes 15 residential lots on 22 acres, and has sparked opposition from a group of more than 60 surrounding homeowners and the condominium association at the Ranch at Steamboat.

The group, Section 22 Neighborhood Rights Group, Inc., comprises of surrounding property owners on Overlook Drive, Clubhouse Drive, Ridge Road and Glacier Ridge.

During the Dec. 12 planning commission meeting, the lawsuit the nonprofit group and the Ranch association filed against the applicants, Overlook Preserve, LLC, was brought before the board.

That lawsuit, which claimed the applicants had violated a vested planned unit development agreement, has since been dropped.

The City Planning Commission approved the subdivision 5-2, but refused to rule on the lawsuit. Two weeks after the planning commission's decision the neighborhood group and the Ranch association voluntarily dismissed the case.

In a letter to the city, Attorney Bob Weiss, who represents the Ranch owners and neighborhood group, said the lawsuit was taking attention way from the vested PUD approval in place.

"At the planning commission hearing it became clear that the legal case had become a distraction used by the developer to persuade the planning commission not to address the important issue raised by the owners and neighbors," Weiss wrote.

Weiss told the city that while at the City Council meeting, his clients plan to "vigorously assert their position with regard to the PUD and to request that Phase 3 of the Overlook Preserve be denied."

The 22-acre subdivision, which is proposed for 15 single-family homes and possibly seven caretaker units, had been slated for the third phase of The Ranch at Steamboat condominium development.

The existing PUD would have added 70 units in six separate buildings to the already 88 condominium units, tennis courts and swimming pool.

Homeowners at the Ranch and surrounding property owners said five of the lots up for approval in the subdivision were on land that had been open space under the existing PUD.

The opposition group filed a lawsuit asking that the development stop.

The opposition claimed that a PUD was given final approval in 1979 and that it needs two-thirds approval from the property owners for that PUD to change.

But attorney Tom Sharpe, who represents the applicants, said the PUD was never officially recorded and therefore given final approval.

Although the plan before the council would encroach on land that had been proposed as open space in the current plan, it is still outside what was officially dedicated as open space.

Applicants have actually proposed 1.5-acres more open space than what was dedicated in the original plan.

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