Riverwalk up for review


— A downtown project that would result in the demolition of Westland Trailer Park gets another review from the Steamboat Springs City Council tonight.

The council will, during a special meeting, decide whether to approve two elements of the Riverwalk project.

The Riverwalk development, which would be along Yampa between Third and Fifth Streets, would include 72 residential units, seven deed-restricted affordable units, 35 hotel rooms, more than 32,000 square feet of commercial space and 108 underground parking garage spaces.

The project has raised the ire of Westland Trailer Park residents, who would, in most cases, lose their homes if Riverwalk becomes a reality. About 150 people live in the park's 39 homes, which are considered to be a source of affordable housing.

One element of the project that council will review tonight is a plan for a conditional use of the mobile home park. According to the city's Mobile Home Preservation Ordinance, the change of a mobile home park to another use requires a conditional use permit. To receive the permit, a developer must complete what is called a conversion impact report, which includes information about who lives in the mobile home park and a listing of other parks in the area. A complete report is the only criterion for receiving the permit.

The report does not require the developer to provide any assistance to those who will be displaced. Cook has offered assistance, including a monetary donation, to help the residents of Westland. Several groups have met to discuss the possibilities for use and distribution of this donation; however, the council will not discuss the use of the funds tonight, according to City Attorney Tony Lettunich.

The other aspect of River--walk up for review tonight is the development plan, which addresses issues such as mass and scale.

What: Steamboat Springs City Council meetingWhen: 6 p.m. todayWhere: Citizens Meeting Room, Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

The Riverwalk project must go through a special review process because it includes 10 variances from city code. For the project to meet approval, council members must decide that it has enough public benefit to outweigh the variances.

If the permit and development plan are approved tonight, the project still must successfully go through a review of its final development plan, which addresses issues such as architecture.

The council's review of the project was so lengthy last month that most of the council members agreed to table it until March. At that time, council members Susan Dellinger and Kevin Kaminski said they would not approve the project. However, Dellinger's motion to deny it was overcome by a motion to table the review, which passed.

The council met again in February to give Jim Cook, who is representing the applicants of the project, more direction. During this meeting the council focused not on the Westland issue but on the project.

In other business, the council will decide whether to approve a moratorium affecting building on certain lots in the Miller-Frazier and Fairview subdivisions. The council has continued to extend the moratorium because of a conflict among residents about what they can build on the lots.

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


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