Elkins subdivision under construction

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The 20 households at Elkins Meadow at Little Fish Creek will enjoy Steamboat Spring's only formal ice skating pond when their homes are complete.

The 105-acre subdivision is under construction on Fish Creek Falls Road. Listing broker Annette Hall of Prudential Steamboat Realty said 11 of the 20 building lots are under contract. They could begin closing in mid-December, pending city approval of the final subdivision plat.

Hall said the finished subdivision will include five or six ponds of varying sizes. The largest will be cleared of snow in winter to allow residents to ice skate. A small warming hut, to be equipped with comfortable couches, already is being built by Habitat Construction.

During the summer, the focus of the ponds will shift to trout fishing. Aerators will be installed in the ponds to keep the fish healthy over the winter, Hall added.

Elkins Meadow, together with the Sanctuary, just over the ridge in the next drainage to the south, and nearby Stonebridge Park, have helped to set new price ceilings on single-family building lots within the city limits. The lots at Elkins Meadow at Little Fish Creek average just larger than 2 acres and range in price from $500,000 to $700,000.

Subdivision covenants establish building envelopes and the center of the subdivision is dominated by dedicated open space and wetlands.

Hall said the parcel technically could have accommodated more than twice as many homes, but developer Paul Franklin saw an opportunity to meet his business model while creating less impact on the site.

Of the lots under contract, more than half are in the lower half of the price bracket and situated along Fish Creek Falls Road. All seven of the lots close to Fish Creek Falls Road are spoken for.

Hall said she had expected the more expensive lots, tucked into the aspens that grow on the north side of Sanctuary Ridge, to sell first. The reason the sales trend ran in the other direction could be explained by the fact that the home sites farthest from the ridge offer views of the ski area.

Prospective buyers contrasting Elkins Meadow to the Sanctuary will quickly note that the latter offers membership at the Sheraton Steamboat Golf Course. Elkins, in contrast, offers the creek and the opportunity for private fishing.

Hall said the project appeals to people who want a rural feel but don't want a full 35 acres and don't want to commute from the surrounding countryside.

"I think people want to be close to town but have a little acreage," Hall said.

Among the 11 buyers, Hall said about half plan to build a home for themselves, and the other half are investors or contractors intending to build a spec house. Hall said one purchaser acquired three lots, but has no specific plans for them.

The design guidelines for homebuilders at Elkins Meadow are detailed and intended to promote homes that reflect a "western ranch house heritage." They call for low, horizontal buildings with simple gable roofs.

Architectural styles that will not be approved include Southwestern adobe, Mediterranean, New England salt boxes and Greek Revival.

-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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