More Barn may be preserved

Developer seeks approval for subdivision along Fish Creek

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City planners are reviewing a proposal that would establish a 64-lot residential subdivision while helping to preserve the historical More Barn within a city park.

Steamboat Barn Village would be developed on 39 acres tucked between Fish Creek and Yampa Valley Medical Center just to the east of the barn that has become an icon of Steamboat's winter tourism season.

Steamboat Springs Holdings II, led by Robert Comes, would like to create a subdivision that would permit development of five types of housing on the parcel. The types of housing would vary from a dense neighborhood of 35 single-family homes, to a few estate lots and perhaps even a pair of multi-family buildings that could create affordable housing for employees of the hospital.

"There are a lot of opportunities with this," assistant city planning Director Brian Berndt said. "I'm very excited about it. It touches on a lot of things the community has wanted for a long time."

The technical aspects of the plan, which proposes several changes in zoning, are being studied by city department leaders. No public hearings have been scheduled at this point, Berndt said.

The proposed subdivision would create 35 single-family lots laid out in a "New Urbanist" grid of streets and alleys. There also would be lots for 24 duplex units, 10 single-family lots from 0.3 to 0.5 acres in size and five single-family lots set apart on a raised bench. The largest lots would be 0.62 acres.

Yampa Valley Medical Cen--ter spokeswoman Christine McKelvie said the Healthcare Foundation for the Yampa Valley is in discussions with the developer. Those discussions could lead to the construction of 36 units in a multi-family building that would supply transitional employee housing for hospital workers.

Steamboat Springs Holdings is proposing to meet a portion of its obligation to provide 11 affordable housing units by donating 1.7 acres of land to the foundation and arranging financing to help develop the hospital housing.

The developers also are proposing to donate 4 acres of land that contain the More Barn and a homesteader cabin to the city for the creation of a public park. They propose donating $50,000 to the city to be used to help preserve the site, plus up to an additional $50,000 to match grants the city obtains for that purpose. The developers say they would leave a smaller red barn on a building lot and attempt to market it to a preservation-minded buyer who would consider it an asset.

The subdivision proposal anticipates developing a network of trails in the project and leaving 10.4 acres of open space, about 10 percent more than the required 15 percent.

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