Development plans advance

Neighbors: Mountain-area project will cause traffic problems

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— Despite neighbors' concerns, the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission on Thursday passed two elements of a proposed residential project that would have 17 single-family homes.

The project, called Gray--stone Park, would be south of Steamboat Boulevard on the west side of Clubhouse Drive.

The commission reviewed two aspects of the project. The first was rezoning a portion of the land. Rezoning would allow the developer to build more homes. The second aspect commissioners reviewed was the preliminary plat, which details the number and location of home lots on the site.

During public comment about the rezoning issue, Barry McNeil said having more houses on the lot means more traffic in the area.

"Anything that increases traf--fic on Steamboat Boulevard should be avoided," he said.

McNeil's wife, Melissa, also expressed concerns about the traffic. She said there should be an extended review of the traffic patterns on Steamboat Boulevard from Fish Creek Falls Road to the Clubhouse Drive area.

Also, the commission is required to approve projects only if the advantages outweigh the benefits. Having more houses in the area doesn't meet that requirement, Melissa McNeil said.

Cindy Ptach, who lives in Moun----tain View Es--tates, said traffic on Steamboat Boulevard has been such a problem that the neighborhood formed a task force.

After public comment, planning commissioner Steve Lewis told the neighbors that he understood their concerns, but infill and density, which avoid sprawl, are the direction the community wants to go.

Commissioner Dana Sto--pher agreed.

"We have to suck it up and, unfortunately, take it," she said.

The rezoning was approved, 6-0. Dick Curtis didn't take part in the discussion or the vote.

The City Council is scheduled to do a first reading of the rezoning ordinance June 6. To pass, the ordinance must go through two readings.

Despite his support of the rezoning, Lewis said he would not support the preliminary plat. He said the variances requested by the developer did not seem necessary on the majority of the lots.

"I don't agree that this is the least variances possible," he said.

Commissioner Tracy Barnett thought there were too many lots.

"I'm concerned about cramming this many units into this subdivision," she said.

The traffic issue is something that goes beyond the commission's scope. It's something the City Council should deal with, commission chairwoman Kathi Meyer said.

A few of the commissioners said they were concerned about setback space. However, after Eric Smith, who is a member of the Graystone Park development team, said that the houses' livable space would be limited to 4,000 square feet, most of the commissioners said they were comfortable. They voted 5-1 in favor of the preliminary plat; Lewis was the dissenting vote.

In other business, the Planning Commission:

Heard a presentation from Wenk Associates and Kracum Resources, the companies that have been working with the Urban Renewal Authority Advisory Committee, which advises the City Council about how to use funds generated from the Urban Renewal Authority. The URA's intent is to raise money for public improvements at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area.

Approved, 5-1, the final development plan for a project in the Miller-Frazier addition of Steamboat Springs. The application was to construct a warehouse with a single-family residence. Dick Curtis was the dissenting vote, and Steve Lewis sat out of the discussion and vote.

Approved, 7-0, the final development plan for two industrial buildings in Copper Ridge Business Park. They will total 17,000 square feet, and there will be outdoor storage. The commissioners did not approve a condition requested by fire department officials.

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