Steamboat Springs Improvements to the Wildhorse Meadows project were significant and deserved recognition, members of the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission said Thursday.
The project is set to have a variety of residences, including townhomes, condominiums and single-family homes. Plans also include a center with commercial, educational and cultural uses as well as a private gondola that would take skiers to the base of Steamboat Ski Area.
The project is set for a 47-acre parcel south of the Mount Werner Road and Steamboat Boulevard intersection.
The commissioners reviewed the project's preliminary plat and development plan. A preliminary plat maps out parcels of land; a development plan addresses issues such as mass and scale.
The commission tabled the project after review in late June, saying that the variances were too vague and that views were compromised.
But on Thursday, commissioners complimented partners David Hill, Brent Pearson and Whitney Ward on their changes to the project, which they said made significant progress.
"I think you guys went over and above what was asked of you," commissioner Tracy Barnett said. Other commissioners agreed.
Commissioner Dana Sto-
pher said she was worried that the gondola would remain private and not go public as Pearson and Ward suggested.
"It just needs to be public. The gondola needs to be a public amenity," she said.
She suggested the commission recommend that the Steamboat Springs City Council move to make the gondola public.
"I think it's a public debate that needs to occur," Ward said. He said it is unfair for the developers to pay 100 percent of the costs for a lift that is used by a private corporation, the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.
The commission agreed to consider a motion during an upcoming work session recommending the council members look at the issue. They did not set a date.
Both the plat and the development plan were approved with 5-0 votes.
Commissioners who voted were Cari Hermacinski, Kathi Meyer, Steve Lewis, Stopher and Barnett.
To complete the planning process, the project will need to meet approval for its final development project, which addresses architecture.
The council will review Wildhorse Meadows during meetings on July 18 and 25.
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