Council weighs project

Developer proposing mobile-home community

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Some Steamboat Springs City Council members said they were willing to work with a developer to see a mobile-home park built next to the James Brown Soul Center of the Universe Bridge.

Others worried that the 8.8 acres off Shield Drive and west of the James Brown bridge were too close to industrial uses.

On Tuesday, developer Sol Ginsberg presented pre-application plans for the mobile-home park on the site that once was Moos Towing. The plan proposed 24 units, where the mobile-home owners would purchase the land beneath their lots. The units would cost about $200,000.

The applicant was requesting a zone change from an industrial to residential use to allow for the mobile homes, half of which would border the Yampa River.

The land is zoned industrial, but architect Ed Becker said it is bordered only on one side by an industrial use. The other sides front a river, Shield Drive and a parcel of land proposed for Bear River Park parcel.

Ginsberg said a better use for the land would be for housing.

"I am looking for some direction as to how council could view this parcel being residential," Ginsberg said. "It keeps the natural resource (the river) for the community and helps the betterment of community. It is not for industrial zoning."

Councilwoman Susan Dellinger said the city is caught in a tough situation, being asked to give up scarce industrial-zoned land for a project proposing small residential lots, another rarity in the city.

"We are putting ourselves between a rock and a hard place," Dellinger said. "We love the whole idea of it for affordable housing, but not right here."

Other council members agreed with Dellinger that the proposal is asking the city to give up precious industrial land for much-needed affordable housing. Council President Paul Strong said the best use would be open space.

"When I look at a parcel that is along the river and next to industrial (uses), what I think of is open space and park," Strong said. "But that doesn't solve the issue. We don't have enough industrial or enough small lot (land)."

Some council members worried about the effects of the nearby concrete batch plant. They pointed to the ongoing problems between B&K Distributing and Fairview neighborhood residents about noise complaints. They worried that similar problems would arise with the mobile-home owners.

Councilwoman Kathy Con--nell said the applicant should look at a light industrial use with an element of employee housing.

"I think that really seems to be the most acceptable thing," Connell said. "Batch plants and gravel pits are very hot issues because 1) we need them and 2) nobody wants them next door."

Other council members said noise mitigation was needed if housing were to go on the property.

Councilmen Loui Anton--ucci and Ken Brenner said they looked at the property and that it was beautiful. Antonucci urged for a higher density on the property if housing were built.

On June 23, the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission members said they liked the concept of mobile homes providing a form of affordable housing but that they didn't want to see it mixed in with an industrial zone, a use the city wants to encourage.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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