Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs City Council took a stand for affordable housing Tuesday night.
Citing a need for residential units, not cash, the City Council unanimously rejected the housing plan for One Steamboat Place. In doing so, the council rejected a payment of $418,000 that Timbers Co., developers of the project at the base of Steamboat Ski Area, had proposed "in lieu" of including required affordable housing within the multi-story, nearly 500,000-square-foot development.
"This is where the city needs to step up to the plate," council member Kevin Kaminski said before the vote. "If all of us say that we want affordable housing, then now is the time to step up in a partnership."
Despite the housing plan vote, partnership will continue with Timbers Co. The council approved the development plan for One Steamboat Place, which includes 85 residential units, more than 15,000 square feet of commercial space and a large, public plaza. Council President Pro-tem Susan Dellinger cast the only "no" vote. Approval of the development plan clears the way for eventual construction on the site, which consists of about 4 acres next to the gondola building at Steamboat Ski Area and AprÃs Ski Way.
But before the City Council will approve specific details of that construction - to be presented in a final development plan - Timbers Co. will have to meet at least two conditions.
First and foremost is a revised housing plan.
After a lengthy discussion, council members told Timbers Co. executives and consulting staff to strongly consider building at least some of the 14 required affordable housing units on-site at One Steamboat Place, and to build the rest of the affordable units at another location within city limits, preferably south of Old Town, close to the development.
As another condition, the council stipulated that Timbers Co. pay the city $50,000 for traffic-related roadway improvements at AprÃs Ski Way and Village Drive, adjacent to the development site.
While Timbers Co. executives agreed to the $50,000 payment, company Vice President Jim Wells said the housing suggestions will "take time to digest."
"Anything is possible at this point," Wells said. "But we will need to take some time and look things over."
Timbers Co. representatives and project staff will meet with council members for a work session to discuss the housing issues at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
"We believe that we can work this out," said Peter Patten, president of the development and land planning consultant firm Patten Associates.
- To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203 or e-mail email@example.com