A building on Ski Time Square houses condos and the Steamboat Mountain Theater. The City Council on Tuesday gave feedback to the developers of a 1-million-square-foot redevelopment project that will replace the existing Ski Time Square and Thunderhead Lodge. The council did not take any formal action on the project.

Photo by Brian Ray

A building on Ski Time Square houses condos and the Steamboat Mountain Theater. The City Council on Tuesday gave feedback to the developers of a 1-million-square-foot redevelopment project that will replace the existing Ski Time Square and Thunderhead Lodge. The council did not take any formal action on the project.

Nerney left to the courts

City Council will not address liquor license revocation

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— The new Steamboat Springs City Council will keep its hands off the revocation of Kevin Nerney's liquor license.

Last month, in its first meeting with five new members, the City Council - at the request of Nerney's attorney, Kris Hammond - voted to consider staying the punishment handed down by the previous City Council. That consideration was scheduled for today, in a meeting as the Steamboat Springs Liquor License Authority. But Tuesday night, the new council changed its mind, deciding in a 5-2 vote to let Nerney's appeal run its course in District Court.

Hammond called the reversal "cruel."

"That goes beyond unfair," Hammond said in comments prior to the vote. "Kevin feels as though, now, council is playing games with him. Consider how that appears not only to Kevin, but all the citizens of Steamboat Springs."

The previous City Council voted 3-2 in November to revoke Nerney's liquor license after two days of quasi-judicial hearings. The hearings were in response to allegations that Nerney made unlawful sexual contact earlier this year with a patron at his bar, the Pirate's Pub in Ski Time Square. Nerney was found innocent of the charges in criminal court, but the council, acting as the city's Liquor License Authority, moved forward with the hearings and voted unanimously - using a more flexible standard of proof - that Nerney was guilty of the allegations.

Collette Erickson, the city's prosecutor for the hearings, also spoke at Tuesday's meeting.

"I would urge you to consider that Mr. Nerney has another option available to him and that's the District Court," Erickson said. "I would urge you to let that process play out."

Additionally, City Attorney Tony Lettunich noted that Nerney could request an injunction of his punishment in conjunction with his appeal, although there is no guarantee such a stay would be granted.

Council members Meg Bentley, Scott Myller, Cari Hermacinski, Loui Antonucci and Steve Ivancie voted against reconsidering the revocation, while councilmen Jon Quinn and Walter Magill voted to reconsider and follow through with the decision council made last month.

Nerney's wife, Kathy Nerney, said she didn't learn until Tuesday morning that City Council would reconsider the action it took last month. She said City Council did not contact her or her husband. She said a letter was sent only to Hammond, who only recently returned from a vacation.

"We are in total shock," Kathy Nerney said. "They knew that Kris was on vacation."

Ski Time Square

Also Tuesday, the City Council gave feedback to the developers of a 1-million-square-foot redevelopment project that will replace the existing Ski Time Square and Thunderhead Lodge. The Atira Group, in conjunction with Washington-based Cafritz Interests, is developing the project. Cafritz purchased the properties earlier this year.

The project is in its pre-application phase, so council members only gave feedback on conceptual plans for the project and did not take any formal action. City Council, like the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission, was disappointed that the project didn't include a relocation of the existing Ski Time Square Drive. The city's Mountain Town Subarea Plan calls for the road to be relocated to the north, allowing for a pedestrian-friendly plaza at the ski base.

Mark Matthews, a vice president of development for The Atira Group, said negotiations with adjacent property owners are progressing in efforts to realign the road, but there is not yet an agreement.

Council members suggested the road realignment would be a non-negotiable condition of the project's approval. Hermacinski went as far to suggest the city consider employing its powers of condemnation.

"We're going to make this work," Antonucci said, "because this is what the community wants."

Other action

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to repeal a temporary moratorium on demolitions to structures deemed historic.

The moratorium was put in place by the previous City Council in September to serve as a "timeout" while the newly formed Historic Structures Policy Review Committee revisits the city's historic preservation policies, but the current council decided the moratorium was unnecessary for the committee to do its work effectively.

At a meeting last week, that committee unanimously came to the same decision.

Calling the moratorium a "dead horse," its proponents did not lobby City Council on Tuesday to keep it in place, but rather urged them to diligently study historic preservation in advance of considering the committee's recommendations, due in April.

In other action Tuesday, City Council appointed John Fielding and Johnny Walker to the Historic Preservation Advisory Commission, which reviews development applications involving structures deemed historic under the city's existing ordinances.

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

corduroy 7 years ago

I have yet to see a plan of what will actually be built in place of Ski Time Square as it currently stands. What happens to the owners of those condos? Are they being bought out by Atira? Honestly I'm just afraid there will be a bunch of new shopfronts that no local business can afford to buy/rent, and Ski Time Square will be a ghost town..

Anyone?

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OnTheBusGus 7 years ago

Corduroy, I think you are right! I think this will create a ghost town of Ski Time Sq. for years while the building is in the works. By the time construction is completed, the cost per sq. ft. will be so high that no local business can afford it. So, just like Aspen, only chain stores will be able to move in. Do you think Chanel, DKNY and other high end chains will move in?

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armchairqb 7 years ago

Is it true (or just a rumor) that Ritz Carlton is coming in? This has got to be really bad for the "Family Friendly" town of Steamboat. Where will they be able to eat on the mountain at a reasonable rate? You know you can't live on pizza 7 nites a week. And who will host large groups (like ski clubs) I bet they will all go elsewhere.What is happening to this town?

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seeuski 7 years ago

Ouch, The group that is developing this property are high quality and not dumb. They have indicated as written in the previous article that they have taken a hard look at the retail history of the area and seem to be compitent enough to design the area to succeed for whomever opens retail space. The ski time square retail scene has been a dead horse for years except for seasonally and specialty ie. ski shops and restauraunts. This group remodeled the waterfront in Georgetown (wash.dc) in the mid to late 80's and did a great job. As far as final plans, they don't exist until the counsel approval process has run its course. Memo. I have no affiliation with anybody or anything associated with this project. Just excited about the future of the ski area. Yippee

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