City supports development

Affordable modular homes proposed in Copper Ridge

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The Steamboat Springs Plan--ning Commission was supportive of a development proposal for 34 modular homes and four duplex units in the Copper Ridge subdivision.

But Planning Commission members also suggested developers tweak the plan before they come back for approval.

A Steamboat development group presented a preapplication plan Thursday night that would have a layout similar to a mobile-home park but would require stick-built homes, which would be sold with the land they sit on. The development, which would be built on 4 acres between 7-Eleven and the Copper Ridge Business Park, also would have a single four-plex building. Another 6 acres on the site would be dedicated as open space.

Mitch Clementson, who is working with Ron Mangus and Ryan Tape on the project, said the hope is to have the units sell for less than $200,000. The mostly 900-square-foot, single-family homes each would have two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Planning Commission members said they liked the idea of small lots offering affordable housing.

"I think you should be commended for your approach to this project. There is certainly a need," Planning Commissioner Dick Curtis said.

But planning commissioners also worried about the design of the homes, which they said would be part of the gateway into town along Elk River Road. Planning Commissioner David Baldinger Jr. recommended that the lots lining the road be at a higher level, like the proposed multiple-family units. Those buildings could then block the lower units in the back, he said.

Baldinger also urged there to be different color patterns and designs for the homes.

Planning commission members were mixed about whether the project should offer deed-restricted units for affordable housing. Because the site is zoned as a commercial services district and the project is a single-family development, it will require the developers to prove some public benefit.

The clearest public benefit the developer could provide would be to have a number of deed-restricted units, City Planner Tom Leeson said.

But Clementson said the issue of deed restrictions could be a breaking point. If the city required one-third of the homes to be deed-restricted -- as it does in the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan -- he wasn't sure whether the project would be doable.

"What happens at 33 percent, the deed-restricted people going into this, whether you like it or not, other people pay for them," he said.

Baldinger was unsure of the good deed-restricted units would do and said the smaller lot sizes offered by the development were enough of a public benefit. If units had to be deed-restricted, Baldinger recommended making the four-unit building deed-restricted.

Curtis said he would like to see deed-restricted units.

Clementson said he has re---

ceived continual phone calls about the project and has a list of interested people.

"Right now the community sees the need for this," Clementson said. "I don't think we will ever be able to build it cheaper than we can today."

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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