Developers sweeten offer

One Steamboat Place plan revised; fee in lieu stands


— The Steamboat Springs City Council is scheduled to act tonight on a revised community housing plan for a large development at the base of Steamboat Ski Area.

Developers of One Steamboat Place, a resort-oriented project next to the ski area's gondola building and AprÃs Ski Way, have submitted a housing plan that provides $100,000 for local housing needs and more employee residences on-site, but still proposes a $418,000 payment in lieu of including affordable housing in the project.

The City Council rejected an initial housing plan for One Steamboat Place at a meeting Aug. 22. During that meeting the council approved the project's development plan, which includes 85 residential units, more than 15,000 square feet of commercial space and a large, public plaza on a site of about 4 acres.

But construction of the project depends on approval of the housing plan, which the council, in August, said should include at least some of the required affordable units on-site, or elsewhere within city limits.

"This is where the city needs to step up to the plate," former council member Kevin Kaminski said Aug. 22. "If all of us say that we want affordable housing, then now is the time to step up in a partnership."

The partnership has occurred during the past two months, as council members and city officials met with consultants and executives of Timbers Co., the Carbondale-based firm developing One Steamboat Place.

Jim Wells, a project director with Timbers Co., sent the revised plan to the City Council in a letter dated Oct. 10.

"The resulting plan is a hybrid that provides capacity-building funding for development of affordable housing policies and procedures, and an overall high level of housing benefit to the community," Wells wrote.

The plan includes $50,000 to the city or to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, for costs associated with land purchases or housing development; $50,000 to the housing authority for development of policies and procedures; three additional, deed-restricted employee housing units on site, for a total of eight such units; and the $418,772 payment in lieu.

"This subsidy funding can be leveraged by public entities to acquire land and deliver more and better affordable housing than can feasibly be delivered on-site in the very high-cost, resort-oriented OSP project," Wells wrote.

While council members directed Timbers Co. to purchase off-site land directly, Wells wrote that attempts to do so were fruitless in Steamboat Springs.

"We looked at a number of land parcels for potential off-site compliance, but were unsuccessful in finding parcels of the right size and value to feasibly accommodate a 17-unit off-site affordable housing requirement," Wells wrote.

The city's inclusionary zoning ordinance requires One Steamboat Place to include either 13.9 affordable units on site or 17.4 units off site.

Tonight marks the second council meeting for new member Karen Post, who replaced Kaminski on Oct. 10.


mkbar 10 years, 6 months ago

I'm an outsider so I don't know and am asking. Can the city buy a parcel of land and build a 17 unit apartment for $400K? Having glanced over the real estate and house listings I don't see how they could do it. Doesn't seem like a good deal for the city to me.


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