Statements like these have been getting a lot of print lately: "Preserve the past, while investing in the future"; "A classic mountain community"; "Steamboat is alive and there is history to be learned"; "Create a legacy:" These are not quotes from a Partners in Preservation Meeting, but rather from recent ads and publications for Realtors and developers. Steamboat Springs' community character is not only important to those of us who live here, but it is also used as a marketing tool.
With the recent unprecedented rate of new construction projects, in place and pending, our unique character is being challenged. Although the Steamboat that we know and love means different things to different people and may be difficult to define, it is important to preserve it - and by so doing, enhance it.
Historical preservation is neither anti-growth nor anti-development (case in point: Larimer Square in Denver). Historic preservation does not lead to a decline in property values. Studies show it actually improves the value of a property.
This past week, City Council boldly moved to put the issue of historic preservation on the agenda for its Tuesday meeting. This is an important and critical opportunity to show support for incorporating preservation guidelines that are not just "voluntary," but codified in an ordinance.
Cities, big and small, have taken this initiative, and it is time for us, citizens of Steamboat Springs, to follow in their footsteps. The process will take time and will involve everyone who wants to participate. But we cannot wait any longer. We need to help define how our community grows, and at the same time not lose the sense of where we came from. Help "Create a Legacy." Come to City Council on Tuesday and show your support and gratitude to the council for having the political will to make historic preservation a higher priority in Steamboat Springs.