Public meetings to start

Base area improvement plan officials seek community input

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A series of public meetings to discuss the Mountain Base Sub Area Improvement Plan will begin next week.

Stan Clauson Associates, the city-hired consulting group working on the plan, will be in town Thursday and Friday to meet with the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission and stakeholders at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area.

The city planning department encourages community members to participate in the planning process and join the discussion at the stakeholders meeting, which is scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon Friday in the Burgess Creek meeting room at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel.

At 1 p.m. Friday, the consultants will meet with the steering committee at Centennial Hall.

The consultants are scheduled to meet with the Planning Commission at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Citizen's Meeting Room.

City officials have said getting community input on the plan is a key component to the update and the direction the urban renewal authority will take. In January, the city approved the URA, which will use dedicated tax money for public improvement projects in the base area. The plan will help determine what projects the authority should take on.

In November, the City Council approved spending $50,000 on a plan update and hired Stan Clauson Associates to do so.

The plan will examine where road improvements, pedestrian access, streetscapes and signage are most needed at the base area. The plan encompasses the Clock Tower, Ski Time Square, Gondola Square and Village Square.

City officials also have a sense of urgency in getting the plan approved after putting a 45-day moratorium on any new development at the base area. The moratorium is meant to give the city time to complete the plan update.

The consultants are contracted to produce a final draft of the plan by July 31.

The council was spurred to impose a 45-day moratorium by concerns that changes included in the plan update could affect development plans that are in the pre-application process. Five pre-applications for large condominium projects within the URA's boundaries have been submitted to the planning department.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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