Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Steamboat Springs Reviewing the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan, looking at affordable housing issues and focusing on ski base area improvements topped the list of items the City Council wanted to accomplish first from the newly adopted Steamboat Springs Community Area Plan.
City Council members said they wanted to evaluate regulations that affect infill and redevelopment, develop a database of key housing indicators and re-evaluate affordable housing incentives -- all items that affect affordable housing -- within a year. City Manager Paul Hughes said those items could be handed over to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, which could make a recommendation to the council.
The council also marked as items it wants to tackle in the first year focusing on the ski base area improvement and setting standards for development along U.S. Highway 40 that combine residential and commercial units.
By the end of the year, the city and county are scheduled to start updating the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan, which is five years old and is the blueprint for growth west of town.
Since the plan's adoption in May, the council and Routt County Commissioners have been working to prioritize the action items from the update of the area plan, which took more than two years to complete.
More than 200 action items came from the adopted version of the area plan, and 84 of them were designated as a No. 1 priority. A No. 2 priority was given to 68 of the items, a No. 3 priority was given to only 11 of the items, and 46 of the items were marked as ongoing projects.
City Planning Director Steve Stamey said many of the 26 items the council had further narrowed down as urgent or more important action items could be covered during the three-year process to revise the Community Development Code.
The city's capital improvement plan has budgeted $150,000 for updating the code in the next three years. That process could incorporate items such as assessing design standards and establishing xeriscape incentives or requirements that also are among the action items.
Stamey said the planning department could take on the more meaty environmental issues of preparing an inventory and developing wetlands-protection standards, increasing the minimum setbacks for water bodies, preparing an open-space master plan and creating open space protection incentives.
Councilman Ken Brenner said he thought it was important to address the environmental issues that were not deeply delved into by the community plan update process.
"Doing the adopting of the plan, we shied away from it. It is something we can't put off any longer," Brenner said.
Stamey said the environment will be something the code update easily can address and was an issue the community found important.
Another top priority was developing the community-wide sidewalk and trails plan. The city has mapped and made an inventory of all the city's sidewalks and trails. The next step is deciding what sidewalks and trails should be built first and where they will go, the environmental effects they will have and who owns the land on which they will be built.
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