Council eyes connector road

Victory Highway needed to facilitate west-end development

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City Council members said they would be willing to build a road in order to accommodate a 153-unit development west of town.

On Tuesday night, the Steamboat Springs City Council reviewed the preapplication plan for Overlook Park, a small-lot housing development that would be adjacent to West End Village and West Acres Mobile Home Park.

After West End Village residents expressed concerns that their neighborhood streets, as the most direct way from the development to town, would turn into busy commuting routes, the city agreed to look into building part of a major connector road. The city's proposed Victory Highway has been designated as a main connector road in the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan and would link Overlook Park and other west-end developments to Downhill Drive.

"I think, for this project to go forward, we really need to talk about this highway," Councilman Loui Antonucci said. "I think we need to talk with staff and figure out how we can get Victory Highway built."

Overlook Park, proposed by developer Norbert Turek and landowner Jay Weinburg would put 122 single-family lots, 15 duplex lots, five mobile home lots, two commercial lots and nine open space tracts on 58 acres. The single-family home lots range from 4,800 square feet to 12,000 square feet. The plan also designated five lots as mobile home lots adjacent to West End Village. Mobile homes put on foundations also would be allowed to go on the single-family lots.

The developer also indicated that 10 percent of the units, or 15 lots, would be deed-restricted for affordable housing.

The council members were strongly supportive of the proj--ect because of its lot sizes, design and potential for affordable housing.

"We continue to look at ways for producing attainable affordable housing. I think this proposal goes a long ways to do that," Councilman Steve Ivancie said.

At Tuesday's meeting, residents of West End Village said they were worried about a planned road connecting the proposed development to their neighborhood. Although the developers also plan to build a road linking Overlook Park to U.S. Highway 40, they feared the one through their neighborhood and connecting to Downhill Drive would be the most heavily traveled because it would be a more direct route to town.

The road could add another 600 vehicle trips per day in what the residents said is a narrow, two-lane street where children play.

The other road to the development would go to the west, through property owned by Steve and Mary Brown and connect to U.S. 40. Although that western route is designated as the primary road, West End Village residents think an eastbound connection to their Abbey Road will become the main route into town.

West End Village homeowners association president Scott Parker said the proposed development was great and a place where their friends and family would live. The neighborhood is just opposed to the road.

"It is going to be a safety hazard, bottom line," Parker said, asking the city to put in Victory Highway.

All of the council members said Tuesday that the city would be willing to build the road and that it was needed for the development to go forward.

"It is time to get serious about how we (build the highway)," Ivancie said. "I think that is key to the project."

City Council President Paul Strong said if the city decides to build the highway, the earliest it realistically would happen would be 2006. As the city is building the road, Strong said the developer should be allowed to build on some of the lots with a small increase in traffic going through West End Village.

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