Planners give group initial OK

Commission approves new condo complex, Strings facility

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— The city Planning Commission gave approval to 148 timeshare condominium units and a performing arts center, but did so with some reservation.

Despite concerns with pedestrian connections and the architectural design of four condominium buildings, the commission voted 7-0 to approve the development and architectural plans for Trendwest's four three-story condo units, two remote spas and 3,000-foot-laundry building and Strings in the Mountains' 9,500-square-foot performing arts facility.

The 20-acre site, which sits adjacent to the Steamboat Springs tennis bubble, south of Mount Werner Road and east of U.S. Highway 40, will be divided into two parcels.

The site, known as the Village at Steamboat, already holds two condo buildings with 64 units and a community building.

Under the sales agreement, Trendwest and Strings in the Mountains decided to take the application through together.

Representing Trendwest, Tom Smith said he does not know when the four condominium units will break ground. But the company saw the opportunity to take its planning application through the city process with Strings in the Mountains, which, Smith said, had a good relationship with the city.

Strings has plans to purchase the 6-acre parcel where it will relocate its rigid tent from Torian Plum Plaza. It is the nonprofit organization's intent to build a 500-seat permanent facility when enough money is raised.

Strings President Kay Clagett said she was unsure if the outdoor tent would be moved to the new site by this summer.

When the Planning Commission heard the plans Thursday night, some members expressed concerns that connections between the planned condo units and proposed Strings tent were not closer. Under the developers' plan, pedestrians will have to take a less direct route along Pine Grove Road.

Representing the client, Eric Smith of Eric Smith Associates PC said the developers wanted to avoid foot traffic through the Strings site. He pointed to Strings' current location and said noise from pedestrians passing by is a major concern and one of the reasons Strings decided to relocate.

Planning Commissioner Dana Stopher said she understood the applicants concern, but a path will likely be made regardless of the developer's plan.

"People in this town are not going to walk around and up to Pine Grove road," Stopher said. "I feel if you don't put a path there, they are going to create it anyhow."

Stopher, along with Planning Commissioner Scott Myller, also expressed concerns about the architectural designs of the condominium buildings.

Trendwest architect Jeff Myhre said the buildings would have features similar to the two existing buildings with horizontal lap siding, shingled roofs, heavy timber accents and brickwork.

Stopher said the architectural designs barely met her approval.

"I would like to think we could hope for a little higher quality," she said. "I think this is very minimal."

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