Townhomes would offer live-work space

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If approved, live-work and entry-level townhomes in the planned Majestic Valley subdivision south of Steamboat could be available as early as spring 2005.

Developer Chuck Dunagin submitted the final proposal for the 4.7-acre subdivision, which includes 20 units combining living and business space, to the city in April and hopes to begin building the project this fall.

Located just south of the Super 8 Motel, the development also will have three commercial spaces as well as six townhomes that Dunagin estimated would be priced about $200,000.

Community commercial zoning, which allows living units set over light-industrial space, is not new but it is typically found in high-traffic areas and along U.S. Highway 40, Dunagin said.

In contrast, the Majestic Valley townhomes will be located in a low-traffic residential area.

"We felt there was a need for family business to be able to live and work in the same unit," he said, adding that the townhomes will be ideal for parents who want to work from home, as well as low-traffic businesses such as architecture firms and small repair services.

Dunagin estimated the price of the 2,400-square-foot units at about $400,000, but he noted that changes stemming from the final approval process easily could change his estimates.

In addition to the mixed-use townhomes, Dunagin said the 2,400-square-foot commercial spaces will add a community feel to the subdivision.

Majestic Gardens, a retail nursery and landscape business -- an off-shoot of Dunagin's Yampa River Tree Farm -- will occupy one space, and he hopes another space will be approved for a restaurant.

A use for the third commercial space has not been determined.

Though Dunagin is optimistic the subdivision will be approved, there were many challenges in the two-year development review process, including issues with wetlands and fears that the subdivision might contaminate well fields west of the project.

But engineers with Landmark Consultants Inc., which helped devise the project, already had faced many of those issues in designing the River Place co-housing development south of the proposed Majestic Valley subdivision.

River Place was approved, and Landmark engineer Jorge Gonzalez applied what he learned from that project to Dunagin's development.

"We had plenty of hurdles. ... You name it we had it," Gonzalez said about Majestic Valley's review process. "But every one of those is manageable."

Gonzalez, who expects to receive a wetland permit from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers soon, plans to mitigate impact on wetlands by enhancing existing wetlands and replacing those affected by construction.

To protect well fields, roadway drainage will travel east, away from the wells, and be treated before it gets to the water outfall. Garage drains will be tied to the sewer system to prevent gas or oil from leaking into the waters system, Gonzalez said.

Recognizing the importance of the area as an entrance to Steamboat Springs, Dunagin and Gonzalez also focused on making the subdivision a welcoming gateway into the community.

"This is probably going to be one of the more heavily landscaped developments in Steamboat," he said.

For information about the Majestic Valley subdivision, call Chuck Dunagin at 879-2871 or 846-5633.

-- To reach Tamera Manzanares, call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com

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