City OKs live-work project

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The Steamboat Springs City Council approved an industrial project Tuesday, after some debate about an outlying trail and the development's colors.

The project, which will be called Riverfront Park, will lie on a triangular parcel between Shield Drive, the Yampa River and the Harms commercial center. It is set to include about 65,900 square feet of industrial space; about 19,000 square feet of wholesale office or retail space; and 21 deed-restricted, employee live-and-work units, which will include living spaces over small warehouses.

The project included plans for an outlying, soft-surface trail that would be 5 feet wide. The city Planning Commission, in its approval of the development plans last week, voted that the trail should be made of a hard surface and widened to 8 feet.

Council member Nancy Kramer said that she liked the project, but she thought the trail should remain soft.

"I think this is a fabulous project," Kramer said. "I side with staff on the trail. We've got to keep people on that trail. It's a wonderful opportunity with this piece of property."

Council member Ken Bren----ner disagreed. He said that people would use the trail as a shortcut because it is set to connect to the Yampa River Core Trail.

"A consistent surface is essential to facilitating the public flow through here," he said.

Steve Ivancie also said that the trail also would be heavily traveled.

"Human nature is going to want to take that shortcut," he said.

The council voted 5-0 to approve the project's development plans, which include the trail. The approval included a condition that the applicant grants the city an easement so the city could build a wider, hard-surface trail. Until the city builds the trail branch, council members agreed, the applicant would build a narrow, soft-surface trail.

Another topic that drew the interest of the council was the variety of colors planned for the project.

"That's a really interesting color board," Brenner said. "On all my years on council, I've never seen a color board like that."

Several of the city council members agreed that they were OK with the colors, but they were concerned about the brightness.

"I think interesting is good, but I think maybe bright and showy is not good," Loui Antonucci said, adding that he's gotten complaints about other developments.

Brenner said he was concerned about the colors, as well.

"It's the shades of the color that I think are just too much," he said.

In a 4-to-1 vote, the council approved the project's final development plan, which includes architectural elements such as color.

Within their approval, council members added the condition that city planning staff will work with the applicant to tone down the colors. Brenner was the dissenting vote.

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