Community center vote today

Approval would clear way for Stock Bridge Transit Center site

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— The new Steamboat Springs Community Center could be approved for construction tonight.

At its regular meeting tonight, the Steamboat Springs City Council is scheduled to take action on the new community center, which has drawn significant praise and criticism from the public throughout a lengthy planning process. Also at tonight's meeting, the council is scheduled to review a proposed subdivision near the historical More Barn and consider revisions to city building regulations for commercial development.

The meeting is at 5 p.m. today at Centennial Hall.

At a meeting May 23, the council voted 6-1 to approve a 2.3-acre community center site bordering the Yampa River and adjacent to the Stock Bridge Transit Center west of downtown.

Council member Towny Anderson cast the only vote against the Stock Bridge site.

On Thursday, the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission strongly recommended approval of final plans for the proposed 8,400-square-foot, nearly $3 million center, designed by architect Nan Anderson of the Golden firm Andrews and Anderson Architects.

Commission members praised the center's architecture, with its three gabled roofs, a covered walkway across much of the building's front façade, increased landscaping, and the use of new building materials including stucco, stone and shingles. Commission member Dick Curtis said the design shows "a signature building we're looking for as a gateway to downtown."

But commission members Nancy Engelken and Steve Lewis raised concerns with Anderson's statement that because of parking area adjustments in the center's design, the site's parking availability is "maxed out," which could prohibit future community center expansion.

City Council approval tonight would allow construction to begin at the Stock Bridge site in the spring.

Also tonight, the City Council is scheduled to discuss revisions to the city's Planned Unit Development, or PUD, regulations. The regulations apply to development projects that seek variances to city building codes, and to any commercial development of more than 12,000 square feet.

The council approved a first reading of the revisions on Dec. 5. Council member Loui Antonucci cast the only vote against the revisions, citing potential financial burdens for local small businesses.

Finally, the council is scheduled to take action on the proposed Steamboat Barn Village subdivision, which includes more than 90 housing units of various sizes on 63 lots, spread across a 39-acre site near Yampa Valley Medical Center and east of Pine Grove Road. In addition to the housing units, the proposal also includes a 4-acre public park surrounding the More Barn, a historical structure that has been a local icon for decades.

Comments

another_local 7 years, 4 months ago

If you feel that the Stockbridge site for the community center is a bad idea, tonight is your last chance to do something about it.

It has been said by council members that voted for it last time that the stock bridge site is not a good one, but that they felt bound by the commitment to build a new center quickly and it was the best option on the table. The old center is going to be torn down well before ANY new center can be built. The "promise" to the seniors is broken as it is. Don't let a question of how long an interim center is needed drive us to a bad decision.

Our council a heading toward an action that will degrade the usefulness of one of the few examples of forward planning our city has carried out if it uses much of the multi-model center for this project.

The current plans up for approval tonight call for spending of $350 per square foot not including land costs which is outrageous. The opportunity to combine the community center with the rec center idea or with remodel at the old high school are still viable ideas which would save this community a lot of money and avoid duplication of effort and facilities.

When you consider that the city will need to staff two facilties if it builds both a rec center and a community center these cost issues become even greater. (The city has not even created a budget for operations on this project at this point so ongoing expenses are not even being looked at!)

Please show up at the meeting tonight and let council know that they have an obligation to ALL of us to spend money responsibly. This project does not meet that test.

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