Officials to discuss affordable housing, bridge

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The Steamboat Springs City Council tonight will take a first look at a proposed affordable housing tool and ponder renaming the James Brown Soul Center of the Universe Bridge.

The council will do a first reading of an inclusionary zoning ordinance, which would require that new residential developments include a certain percentage of affordable housing. The ordinance, if approved on second reading, would make an affordable housing contribution a requirement for projects' approval.

What: Steamboat Springs City Council meeting

When: 4:30 p.m. today

Where: Citizens Meeting Room, Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

The ordinance would require that 15 percent of residential developments include affordable housing. Half of that housing would be for those who make 80 percent or less of the county's annual median income, or AMI, and the other half would be for households who make 120 percent or less. The annual median income for a family of four is about $72,700.

Developers would have several options for compliance to the ordinance: developing the units, dedicating lots on the same site as the market rate units, dedicating lots off site, dedicating land or paying money in lieu of directly providing housing. Developers also would have the option to create their own proposals for contributing to affordable housing.

The council is also responding to a recent petition to revert the name of the James Brown Soul Center of the Universe Bridge to Stockbridge.

In 1993, the city conducted an opinion poll to name the West-side bridge. More than 26,300 people responded to the poll; 7,717 of them voted for the James Brown name. The No. 2 choice was Stockbridge, which received 7,459 votes.

The bridge's name has continued to spark discussion. In the fall, a group of ranchers visited a City Council meeting to promote the Stockbridge name. And city staff recently received a petition with about 170 signatures of people who want the name changed to Stockbridge.

City staff members are in support of the resolution the council will review tonight. The resolution would adopt the Stockbridge name and states that the name honors Steamboat Springs' ranching and agricultural heritage.

As part of the planning agenda, the council also will review the proposed Steamboat Barn Village project. The residential project incorporates 70 lots with 115 residential units on about 46 acres. The residential units would include single-family residences, duplexes and townhouse units.

Tonight's hearing will be a pre-application, which means council members will share comments but will not make any formal decisions.

The project, which would be northeast of Pine Grove Road and northwest of the Yampa Valley Medical Center campus, incorporates the More Barn. The barn would be moved 100 feet to the west to provide space between it and the residences to the east. The group behind the project, Patten Associates of Steamboat, plans to preserve the barn.

City planning commissioners discussed the project earlier this month. Several neighbors of the proposed project expressed concerns about it. Neighbors' main concern was the proposed re-zoning of the area to allow for higher residential unit density. Some commissioners expressed support for the project's density. Some also said that they did not want to see the More Barn moved.

--o reach Dana Strongin, call 871-4229

or e-mail dstrongin@steamboatpilot.com

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