What community plan do our civic leaders have in store for the future of Steamboat Springs?
The direction they are leading us is not what the people of Steamboat asked for.
The No. 1 priority in Steamboat is not regional transportation or growth management -- it is affordable housing.
Many proposed developments including the publicized Cottagewood Village project west of town have been set back by the city planning process.
The city Planning Department is borderline obstructionist.
Is it inconsistent with the public's wishes to relax development standards on affordable housing proposals? It is still likely the Cottagewood Village project will go through. Unfortunately after our planning staff gets done with it, it will no longer be affordable housing.
In terms of commitment to affordable housing, our civic leaders are at best mealy-mouthed, and at worst, they go out of their way to quash any potential proposal that could ease the crunch. I would like to know where this philosophy stems from?
Does it come from our city manager? The City Council? Do we have too many department heads with too many requirements? Let's step outside the box and make something fit that will benefit the community in the long term. It's time to start investing toward the future of our community and less on government projects that are essentially monuments to themselves such as Centennial Hall, Stolport and the transit center, to name a few.
Many people living in surrounding communities would relish the opportunity to buy a home in Steamboat. Yet we must sacrifice time away from our families, professions and community. The wonderful amenities that Steamboat offers are out of reach for many of us; for many lifelong locals, the opportunity to buy a home or invest in our community has become too expensive. We must choose whether to stay in the town where we grew up and love or relocate where there are still opportunities to own a home and raise our families.
It's becoming increasingly more difficult for working and middle class people to live and work in this community.
Let's not push hard-working families to less expensive surrounding communities or worse, away from this beautiful valley.
Let's not go down the road that many other ski resort communities have, thus widening the gap between poor people and rich people. We have an opportunity to fix this, if only our city leaders would show some commitment and leadership.
Steamboat's city staff needs to create a new plan.
Create an affordable alternative with less stringent zoning and income requirements. Let's not just talk about it, let's make our community socially and economically diverse and a great place to live and work for everyone.
Our schools will benefit from an affordable housing plan, as our teachers will spend more time with our children.
Our city staff, state and federal governments will be able to recruit skilled employees that can afford to live here.
The level of service we provide to our tourism market also will improve. Don't make it impossible to build a future for Steamboat. Let's not miss another opportunity to do the right thing.
Don't make the middle and working class citizen extinct.