Land applicants denied

City Council members, county commissioners discuss Urban Growth Boundary

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Six owners who wanted to be part of future urban development plans will have to wait.

Steamboat Springs City Council members and Routt County commissioners denied six applicants' requests to have their land included in the Urban Growth Boundary Amendment of the Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan.

Land that is included in the amendment has not been annexed into the city but is marked as a potential area for urban development. Most of the applicants told officials that they wanted to build single-family residences on their land.

The applications included two near Spring Creek Road, two north of Old Town, one between U.S. Highway 40 and River Road and one between Elk River Road and the proposed Victory Highway. Victory Highway is part of the West Steamboat Springs Area Plan.

Officials denied some of the requests even though they thought they would benefit the city. Officials decided that they should go back to the community plan and review the criteria set out for the Urban Growth Boundary because they were too limiting.

The criteria were that the land must be compatible with the area plan, be able to provide a positive fiscal impact on the community, be suitable for development, be different from other parts of the Urban Growth Boundary and be a logical addition to the boundary.

As officials reviewed the Ralston property application, which is north of Douglas and Pahwintah, City Council member Ken Brenner said the council's review of the boundary was a test.

That test, Brenner said, showed that officials needed to review the criteria for the amendment again.

"I would find it irresponsible for us to move forward with this, no matter how attractive and convenient it may appear," Brenner said.

Several officials agreed that the requirement for positive fiscal impact never would allow for new housing plans because the city does not have a property tax.

Officials also decided to deny the request that their staff, the city and county planners, drew up.

Doug Monger said common sense should rule the officials' decisions, even if they are turning down their own staffers' application.

"We've got a flawed system, and we've acknowledged it," Monger said.

Commissioners and council members did not set a date to discuss the Urban Growth Boundary Amendment again. They are supposed to review applications annually, but they agreed some applications would warrant a look within months, after officials have had a chance to take another look at the criteria for inclusion.

-- To reach Dana Strongin call 871-4229

or e-mail dstrongin@steamboatpilot.com

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