Adoption hearing scheduled

Meeting about Community Area Plan Update is Monday

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Residents on Monday will have a final chance to voice their opinions on the document that could shape how the Steamboat Springs area develops during the coming years.

The Steamboat Springs Community Area Plan Update adoption hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at Olympian Hall. At the meeting, the City and County Planning Commissions, City Council and county commissioners will meet jointly to consider adopting the revised plan.

Hot topics such as big-box stores, the county's decision to build the justice center west of downtown next to the county jail, the Yampa Street Connector and the future of mobile-home parks are likely to come up in discussion.

Residents interested in commenting on the plan have been asked to submit written comments a week before the meeting to provide time for suggested changes. Anyone will be able to speak Monday, City Senior Planner Tom Leeson said, but significant changes would be difficult to make to the plan that night.

Already suggested is that the city provide greater protection for the parks and revise subdivision standards to make it easier for mobile-home parks to convert to subdivisions, Leeson said.

The meeting will begin with a presentation by consultants Clarion Associates, be followed by public comment and responses by the consultants and staff and a discussion by the four governmental bodies. At the end, the document could be adopted, probably on the premise that a few revisions be made.

"We got the sense from all four bodies that it's time to adopt this plan," Leeson said. "We've spent 2 1/2 years tweaking it and changing it, and now it's time."

Once the plan is adopted, the city and county can move forward to make the ordinances and resolutions that implement the policies outlined in the plan, he said.

"I think it's a positive step for the community," Leeson said. "I think it's a different plan from the '95 plan, but we're also a different town."

Routt County Planner Chad Phillips encouraged residents to come out to discuss the plan.

"It's the community's plan, so obviously it would be nice to hear from the community about whether or not they support or have problems with what's written in the plan," Phillips said.

When controversial issues come up, decisions that are made point back to the plan, he said. When the plan reflects what the community wants, it's possible to "head off some of those problems," Phillips said.

The Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan Update adoption meeting is at 6 p.m. Monday at Olympian Hall at Howelsen Hill.

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