Thursday, February 19, 2004
The proposed Yampa Street Connector and preserving existing mobile-home parks were two issues the Routt County Planning Commission considered in another look at the Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan Update.
Planning commissioners progressed quickly through the remaining chapters at their Thursday night meeting and considered several questions from previous discussions. They thanked city planners for a document highlighting which recommended changes had been made to the plan and why others had not been made.
Planning commissioners will meet Thursday with Steamboat Springs Planning Commission and could jointly adopt the plan update, along with county commissioners and the City Council members, on March 15.
The Yampa Street Connector has been examined closely before, with the City Council, City Planning Commission and County Planning Commission all agreeing that the connector not be included in the plan as an option for traffic planning.
The connector would join 13th Street with Yampa Street, closing the connection of 13th Street with Lincoln Avenue. Supporters, which include county planning staff and traffic consultants, say the connector would relieve traffic pressure from residents west of Steamboat Springs.
Routt County Planner John Eastman said traffic there "is only going to get a lot, lot worse" once the 2,400 to 2,500 residencies planned for the area west of Steamboat are built.
Without planning for increased traffic, a library expansion or other changes could mean the Yampa Street Connector is not an option, Eastman said.
Four planning commissioners said that the connector would cut through Little Toots Park, changing the character of the town.
"Do we have to destroy Little Toots Park to do that?" said Routt County Planning Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush. "That, I'm not sure."
The other four planning commissioners said they agreed with the county planning staff and the need for the connector in the future.
Planning commissioners left the issue, agreeing that between the other governmental entities, it would be unlikely to get enough votes to put the connector trail into the plan.
To the issue of asking that the plan preserve existing mobile-home parks, Mitsch Bush recommended that a policy involving relocation of mobile homes be included. If a new development takes over a mobile-home park, she said, the new development should provide for some affordable housing.
That option will be discussed at the joint city and county planning commission meeting next week.
Other issues the commissioners will bring up at their meeting with the city include strategies to identify industrial areas, preventing light pollution and keeping in language that says government offices should be kept downtown "when appropriate."
In other business, the Planning Commission quickly approved a permit for Three Forks Ranch, helping to bring the large working cattle ranch and recreational resort into compliance with county regulations and allowing them to build a new lodge.
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