Steamboat Springs City and county officials agreed Tuesday to allow more flexibility in the criteria for land to become part of the Urban Growth Boundary.
In a joint meeting between the Steamboat Springs City Council and the Routt County Board of Commissioners, officials agreed to adjust two requirements for land to become part of the boundary, which defines parcels officials anticipate will be annexed into Steamboat Springs.
The discussion comes after a September review of six landowners' requests to become part of the boundary. Officials denied all six applications because they did not meet the criteria for approval, but they agreed that the criteria were too strict and should be revisited.
The criteria for inclusion in the boundary are that land must be compatible with the Steamboat Springs Community Area Plan, able to provide a positive fiscal effect on the community, suitable for development, different from other parts of the Urban Growth Boundary and a logical addition to the boundary.
Officials agreed that the fiscal effect criterion should be changed. Instead, they supported a more flexible requirement that would recognize other types of community benefits, including preservation of land, preservation of cultural resources and provision of affordable housing. Officials did not agree whether to list possible types of benefits; however, the council and board will review the changes again, after the city and county planning commissions review the proposed changes.
The other proposed change was to the criterion that required that the proposed use of the land be different than the possible uses of land already within the boundary. Officials said they would prefer that the proposed use of the land simply be consistent and compatible with the uses of the surrounding land.
Officials also discussed chang--ing language that said that the land "shall" meet all the criteria. They proposed changing it to "should," which would give officials a looser method of analyzing an application. Commissioner Nancy Stah--oviak was the only person who spoke in favor of the change, so the language will continue to read the stricter "shall."
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Heard an update about the city's efforts to build a new community center. In an earlier meeting Tuesday, county commissioners agreed to contribute $10,000 to the community center project and decided to waive some fees that the city would have had to pay. Commissioners decided they did not want to be a joint applicant for a grant but said they would write a strong letter of support for the project in hopes it would help the city leverage more grant funding.
Discussed an update about the county's plans to build a new justice facility next to the jail.
Looked at a schedule of tentative meeting dates during which county and city officials will discuss the final draft of the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan, which is scheduled to be ready for review by the end of the month.