Growth committee on agenda

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— The Steamboat Springs City Council and Routt County commissioners will discuss the new growth advisory committee Wednesday during a joint meeting.

Council members and commissioners will discuss who will appoint the board and how it will be structured.

Fifteen people have applied to serve on the committee.

The growth advisory committee is an offshoot of the Steamboat Springs Community Area Plan Update and was born out of controversy stirred during the plan's adoption.

The two boards agreed to form a committee, but did not stipulate how many people should be on it, what sectors and areas of the community should be represented and what government officials should participate.

County Commissioner Doug Monger said Monday the county wants to be represented on the board because city growth limits would have a direct impact on the county.

Last fall city and county officials were afraid settling on a solution for managing the rate of growth could be so arduous it would delay adopting the area plan update for months.

When the plan was approved on May 3, the question of growth control was taken out, but with the caveat that a diverse citizens group would look at ways to manage the rate of growth and then pass a recommendation on to elected officials six months after the plan was approved.

Early this month, the city had little interest in the committee. For two weeks, the city ran advertisements asking residents to apply and no one did.

Since then, 15 applications have been submitted.

During hearings on the draft of the plan, residents argued passionately for and against growth controls.

The growth management working group, which studied the portion of the plan for more than a year, was split on the need for a growth rate control mechanism.

In July, the City Council and commissioners said they did not want to see a growth control mechanism that would control growth by limiting the number of building permits given each year or through the timing of added infrastructure.

When the draft plan came out in the fall minus the growth control mechanism, an outcry was heard from some residents asking that it be put back into the plan. Others said the control would be disastrous.

The boards decided forming a committee with ample time to come to a consensus would be the best solution.

Discussion of the growth committee is one of six items on the city and county's agenda Wednesday.


-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229 or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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