Council to discuss west plan

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Steamboat Springs City Council members are set tonight to discuss with Routt County commissioners their thoughts about plans for the area west of town.

The West Steamboat Springs Area Plan, which was intended to bring development to the area, has been in place since 1999; annexation proposals have yet to be made.

What: City Council meeting

When: 5 p.m. today

Where: Citizens' Meeting Room, Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

City and county officials decided to update the plan to make the area more attractive to developers.

County planners in Sept--ember unveiled a new, more flexible version of the plan, which also reflects the newer community-wide plan. County planning commissioners have reviewed the draft twice, and city commissioners have reviewed it once. Tonight, City Council members and county commissioners will have their turn.

A significant change to the plan involves affordable housing. Originally, developers were required to include 33 percent affordable housing within their projects. Planners reduced that number to 15 percent, as recommended by the Yampa Valley Housing Authority.

A second meeting between City Council members and county commissioners to review the draft will be scheduled.

Also tonight, council members are set to revisit an ordinance they tabled last month. The ordinance proposes a graduated-fine schedule for people who are caught riding skateboards and other vehicles in prohibited areas. The ordinance is set for its first reading, which means it must go through a second reading before it becomes a regulation.

The fee schedule, if adopted, will replace the $10-per-offense fine that officials use now. The proposed fines would be $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second offense and $75 for the third and subsequent offenses. The changes are meant to discourage repeat offenses.

People are not supposed to ride a variety of vehicles including skateboards, bicycles, roller skates, in-line skates, toy vehicles, kamikazi boards, go-peds, stand-up scooters and ski skates on city sidewalks.

Some of those cannot be ridden on any public road in the city, either.

Along with this ordinance, council members also will conduct a first reading of an ordinance that amends the city's traffic code. The amendment, if approved, will exempt city streets from a state law that prohibits the use of many vehicles on streets. The amendment would allow some people, such as skateboarders and skaters, to ride on city streets. However, they still will not be able to ride on Lincoln Avenue or Elk River Road.

Two other significant issues are listed on the agenda, but city staff members requested that they be postponed to next week's meeting. One item is the first reading of an inclusionary zoning ordinance, which, if approved, would mandate affordable housing in residential developments. The other major issue set for postponement is a pre-application for a redevelopment project of the Harbor Hotel, at Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue.

It will be up to the council to decide whether these items should be discussed tonight as planned, or postponed as recommended.

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