Thursday, October 26, 2006
Steamboat Springs City planners are scheduled tonight to review a smaller version of a proposed subdivision around the historical More Barn.
Steamboat Barn Village is a proposed residential subdivision on a 39-acre site north of Central Park Drive and east of Pine Grove Road, on land including the rustic barn. Original plans for the subdivision included more than 90 housing units.
After the Steamboat Springs City Council postponed taking action on the subdivision last month, citing unresolved issues with road access, Steamboat Barn Village applicant Robert Comes of Steamboat Holdings II submitted scaled-down plans to the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission, which will review those plans tonight.
Steamboat Barn Village now includes 50 units on 45 lots. Forty-four of those lots are for single-family homes. The remaining lot is for multi-family units that would satisfy the affordable housing requirement in the city's inclusionary zoning ordinance. The new proposal also includes a small neighborhood park in the center of the subdivision, a 4-acre park surrounding the More Barn, and a $100,000 donation to the city for barn restoration.
In analysis of the new plans, city planning staff wrote: "The newly revised project loses many of the attributes of the original proposal. : The uniqueness of the original housing blend with its neo-traditional neighborhoods, duplexes and, ultimately, a mix of housing units with (Yampa Valley Medical Center) are gone."
Brian Berndt, assistant director of city planning services, said the high amount of large, single-family lots does not meet the housing diversity needs expressed in Steamboat's community plan.
"We have quite a bit of large-lot subdivisions in the community," Berndt said. "That's why we're saying, 'Maybe we need to rethink this and go with more of a variation.'"
The decreased number of housing units allows Steamboat Barn Village to have one access road into the subdivision. Proposals for secondary road access stalled last month.
Should the Planning Commission approve the new plans, the City Council will review Steamboat Barn Village at a future date. City staff and council members have expressed concerns that without immediate restoration efforts, the More Barn may not survive the coming winter.
Tonight's meeting comes two days after the City Council discussed increasing the Planning Commission's authority to approve development projects.
After a lengthy work session Tuesday night, City Council President Ken Brenner directed city staff to prepare two proposals that could be the first steps toward turning over much of the council's development review process to the Planning Commission.