Council to set priorities

Wide-ranging discussion to include goals for 2007 and beyond



4:30 p.m. Executive, or secret, session to discuss possible land purchases to meet city needs including affordable housing, open space and the relocation of public facilities; and to discuss issues related to the alignment of the New Victory Highway west of downtown Steamboat Springs.

5 p.m. (or after conclusion of secret session) Discussion of City Council priorities and goals for 2007.

7 p.m. Public comment

If you go

What: Meeting of the Steamboat Springs City Council

When: 5 p.m. today

Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

Contact: Call city offices at 879-2060 for more information.


Drahota Constructions' Landon Hawkins controls traffic along a street in front of the Alpenglow development site in downtown Steamboat Springs on Monday afternoon. The project is one of several that will change the face of downtown. Tonight, the Steamboat Springs City Council will attempt to prioritize economic, housing and growth issues related to Steamboat's construction boom.

— Steamboat Springs officials are taking a broad look at how to manage booming growth with the city just weeks away from a season of unprecedented construction.

The primary agenda item for tonight's Steamboat Springs City Council meeting is a discussion about the council's priorities and goals for not only 2007, but years to come. Based on a spreadsheet of topics prepared by several council members, the group will conduct a wide-ranging discussion about issues including affordable housing policies, redevelopment at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area, economic development, and infrastructure growth west of downtown Steamboat.

Councilman Towny Ander-son, who drafted the spreadsheet with City Council President Susan Dellinger and Council-woman Karen Post, acknowledged Monday the scope of tonight's meeting is huge.

"We're looking at somewhere between 20 and 30 weeks of work," Anderson said of issues to be prioritized for future meetings. "I think the conversation starts by saying: 'Here is the stuff that is in play.' This is a way of making sure that things don't fall through the cracks."

Anderson is skiing in western Canada and won't attend tonight's meeting, but said the council's three points of focus should be planning growth in the base area, downtown and west of Steamboat.

"You can really organize this around those three, and then start to prioritize," Anderson said. "But the theme that runs throughout, no question, is affordable housing."

Dellinger said she hopes tonight's meeting will lead to concrete council actions, such as purchasing land, that will allow the city to enact housing policies in the future.

"If we start buying property now, we can start planning for what's coming," Dellinger said Monday. "We've been talking about affordable housing for 25 years, but we didn't buy any property."

Buying land also would help the city plan for a possible future relocation of the U.S. Post Office at Third Street and Lincoln Avenue.

"We may not see it happen as our council, but I'm hoping that we'll put it there for the next one," Dellinger said of a post office move. "(Buying land) is not going to be easier for anybody else."

Numerous mixed-use development projects are scheduled to begin construction this spring, both downtown and at the ski base. The city also is building a new Steamboat Springs Community Center, a massive expansion of Bud Werner Memorial Library is planned, and the Steamboat Springs School District is scheduled to break ground this summer on a new Soda Creek Elementary School.

Councilman Ken Brenner, who also prepared a list of priorities for tonight's meeting, said he hopes developing Steamboat's renewable energy resources will top the list, along with finalization of city housing policies such as financial or building requirements for developers.

Brenner noted the council has intended to address the priority list for the past several months, but kept postponing the discussion due to more immediate needs.

"This has been so long overdue," Brenner said. "There's an awful lot going on in our town, and it's changing very quickly. While we may have thought about a lot of these issues in the past, we have to begin acting on them now."


elphaba 10 years, 2 months ago

Good Grief! This Council is going to "plan" for growth after they've just "presided over a period of unprecedented development approvals? The horse has been stolen from the barn guys - and it was on your watch. With this Council one of the members was probably riding the horse out. I agree with WZ -- we'll be lucky if we look as "good" as Silverthorne


WZ4EVER 10 years, 2 months ago

This is like trying to decide which floats will be in the parade after its already passed by....should have thought of this before. It's going to be a wild summer. The legacy of this Council will be inaction and ineptness, conflict of interest, and self serving member(s). Is this the best we can do? We'd be lucky to have all this turn out as well as the feared Aspen ....we'll look more like Silverthorne.


steamvent 10 years, 2 months ago

wz4ever ... You are so right! City Council is discussing the ingredients of the main dish after it is in the oven, and the dinner guests are due any minute. While such an important agenda is slated, Towney is off taking his ski vacation someplace else. What happened to stopping leakage by spending your money locally? Or does that only apply to Home Depot runs?


mfishon1 10 years, 2 months ago

Where can I get some more info on how these deed-restricted "afforable" housing units work? Bascially, I want to know what types of profit restrictions, if any, are placed on the units when they are sold on the open market. Is there a city website page where this info is documented?

I need to get educated on this issue before I go off running my mouth at one of the city council meetings.



WZ4EVER 10 years, 2 months ago

Council was too busy to tackle this issue, but kept approving new projects? How ironic....Brenner's "more immediate needs" include being out of town going to the Colorado Water Congress, multiple meetings of various groups of the Colorado Municipal League, stays at five star Denver hotels, meals on the road and much more. (you paid for it all) Just ask him. While he was in town, we got the Community Center mess, the affordable housing fights, and spent $250,000 on in-stream water rights fights.

While Rome gets ready to burn, Nero/Brenner fiddles with behind the scenes Health and Rec issues, spending $100,000 in sales tax tax dollars to "study" closing the airport and scrambling to justify his ski pass. What worries me is the adage that says the you get the government you deserve....I had hoped we were better than THIS.


id04sp 10 years, 2 months ago

A few words to the wise.

Buy low.

Sell high.

Sell high SOON.

If the value of your property has tripled, sell high NOW!

Steamboat is beginning to feel a bit too skanky to want to hang around for the next crash and recovery cycle. Your horizon for taking the profit will begin to close in November of 2008 and it will be too late by November of 2009. People are going to start selling their properties for a profit about a year before the tax cuts expire in 2010 and the market will be flooded. Steamboat will be competing for second-home buyers with all the other real estate markets, and prices won't stay as high as they are now unless you are TRULY in the big acreage and custom/luxury market.


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