Fairview talks to continue

City votes to have members work with neighborhood groups


— Residents of the Fairview and Miller-Frazier subdivisions will continue to face a disagreement they say has created a rift in the neighborhood.

The Steamboat Springs City Council was set Tuesday to discuss the disagreement, which focuses on lots in the two connected subdivisions on 13th Street.

In the late 1980s, the city made moves to annex the subdivisions; an agreement between the city and the residents was required. In part of the agreement, the city said it would sell lots to adjacent landowners.

Some neighbors say that those lots were intended to be side or back lots and should not have large structures built on them. Other neighbors say that deed restrictions in the agreement did not limit residents' ability to build on the lots. For about a year, the council has passed and extended moratoriums on building on the lots.

Last week, the council voted unanimously not to have city staff draft an ordinance that, if approved, would rezone the area. The rezoning would have allowed residents to build garages or similar structures but not buildings such as houses.

Some neighbors wanted the council to rethink this decision, so a discussion was scheduled for Tuesday.

During the meeting, about 15 people, mostly residents, stood to speak about the issue.

Mike Sidinger asked council members to consider making the adjacent lots one lot. This would place certain restrictions on what can be built. Sidinger said the matter was a "hostile and divisive" part of the neighborhood's history.

"Please help this come to an end," he said.

Council President Ken Brenner asked people who agreed with Sidinger to raise their hands; nearly 30 audience members did.

Rick Flax agreed with Sid--inger. If the lots were considered to be one lot, he said, it would allow for some structures but not the same types that are allowed now.

"We are asking you to right this wrong," Flax said.

Scott Drybread had a different view. He said he paid fair market value for his lot and that he wanted to be able to build on it.

When Brenner asked for a show of hands of agreement, a few hands went up.

Also, Drybread said, friendships have been lost because of the issue. He wanted to put the argument behind him and move forward to repair neighborhood relations.

Marjorie Wilcox said she paid fair market value for her lot. She said the issue is about property rights.

Noreen Moore begged the council to make a decision so the groups would not have to negotiate again. The city hired a professional negotiator in the fall, and no agreement came out of it.

"Please do not put us at each other's throats again," Moore said. "We are all victims here."

Two former council members, Pat Gleason and Paula Cooper Black, said the intent at the time was that the lots should not have large structures on them.

"I think you have to maintain the original intent," Gleason told the council.

Council member Loui An----tonucci said he thought the council should say that a second primary structure, such as a house, is not allowed on the lots.

Council member Paul Strong disagreed.

"It's been apparent to me that we're going to make one group unhappy," he said. Strong also said he wanted to respect the property rights of people who purchased the lots and suggested that the city purchase the lots.

Council member Towny Anderson suggested that council members vote on whether they wanted to honor the original intent.

Council member Steve Ivancie didn't see the point.

"These guys, I think they want an answer," he said. Perhaps the council should extend the moratorium, which ends April 18, and find out what the groups want to do, he said.

"We've been there and done that," Anderson said.

Council member Kevin Kam--inski agreed.

"A moratorium would be put in place so we can do more of this?" he asked.

Anderson said the discussion is a couple of years old.

"The reality is that we have ultimately been asked to make a decision," he said.

The council then voted, 5-2, to have council members work with the two groups and attempt to come up with an agreement. The opposing voters were Antonucci and Anderson; both were selected to work with the groups.

The council also voted, 6-1, to have city staff look at the value of some of the properties. Council member Susan Dellinger was the opposing vote. The city could purchase those lots and make them open space, Strong suggested.

On Tuesday, the council is set to conduct the first reading of an ordinance that would extend the moratorium on building in the area. The ordinance would have to go through two readings to become regulation.

--o reach Dana Strongin, call 871-4229 or e-mail dstrongin@steamboatpilot.com

The council:

Supported a proclamations recognizing Tuesday as Matt Tredway day. Tredway is a teacher at Steamboat Springs Middle School who plans to climb Mount Everest.

Approved the development plan for Walton Creek Park II, also called The Aspens of Walton Creek. The development would be between Walton Creek Road and Mariah Court, on lots across from Casey's Pond.

Passed the first reading of an ordinance that would rezone part of the Miller-Frazier subdivision from industrial to Old Town residential. The ordinance will have to be passed on a second reading to become a regulation.

Tabled discussion about the Riverwalk Project on Yampa Street. If approved, the project would result in the demolition of Westland Mobile Home Park.


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