Steamboat 700 talks advance

Development plans to be presented next week

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In other action

- Council passed a resolution accepting the water and sewer infrastructure for Cook Chevrolet and the Loggers Lane Commercial Center

- Council approved the first reading of an ordinance approving a lease agreement with Sensis for space to be occupied by air traffic control equipment at Steamboat Springs Airport

- Council approved the first reading of an ordinance amending the revised municipal code to impose penalties on people who damage underground utilities in public places

- Council approved the second reading of an ordinance rezoning property in the Steamboat Barn Village from residential neighborhood to commercial neighborhood

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Steamboat Springs Transit bus driver Gary Campbell, reflected in a mirror on his bus, makes a stop along Lincoln Avenue in Steamboat Springs on Tuesday afternoon. The city plans to discuss the shortage of seasonal bus drivers at the Oct. 23 City Council meeting.

— The first glimpse of plans for the proposed Steamboat 700 development could come in the form of a "presubmittal package" delivered to city officials next week.

The presubmittal package will allow the developers to bounce tentative plans and concepts off city personnel. The feedback likely would be incorporated into more formal plans submitted to the city at a later date.

Steamboat 700 is a proposed 700-acre development west of Steamboat Springs that could include more than 2,000 homes and a commercial center.

The presubmittal package could allow for broader community dialogue in the earliest stages of the development's life, Planning Director Tom Leeson told the Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday.

Steamboat 700 is bound to occupy a lot of the city's time in coming years, and that likelihood was on display during Tuesday's council meeting, when council members were given a presentation about annexation by City Attorney Tony Lettunich. The presentation was intended as a refresher on the subject as the city prepares for anticipated annexation of areas west of the city, notably Steamboat 700. Many believe annexation and the growth of west Steamboat will be the most significant issue to face the city in coming years.

"This is the most significant legislative act we've considered in a decade, maybe longer," Councilman Ken Brenner said.

The actual annexation of the development looks like it will be a relatively painless process. The property would meet the eligibility requirements of state law and it has the approval of county officials, who have no interest in governing urbanized areas.

A city-required "preannexation agreement," however, will involve an intensive negotiation process between the city and developers. Leeson said the presubmittal package will provide the basis for that agreement.

"The preannexation agreement is everything," Leeson said.

Lettunich also gave a presentation on special districts, which could be established to help fund infrastructure improvements in the Steamboat 700 development. Lettunich focused mainly on Title 32 districts, which can be established to provide services such as fire protection, parks and recreation, street improvement and water. Benefits of such districts are that they provide a means to fund improvements, and they limit the costs of new development to those who will benefit. However, Lettunich said there are concerns that such districts, which are governed by a separate board of directors, balkanize communities.

"You lose a little control with these districts," Lettunich said.

Concerns were also raised regarding Routt County's planned adoption of 1041 Regulations next week. If enacted, they would give the county a much stronger voice in projects brought to the county by other entities.

"The new 1041 Regulations do allow the county to take a look at any expansion of our water and sewer facilities," Lettunich said.

Council unanimously passed a resolution that will ask the Routt County Board of Commissioners to exempt projects that are part of master plans the county has approved, such as the West of Steamboat Springs Area

Plan. It was the only action taken on a subject the city plans to address for many months to come.

"This is just the initial foray into a long-term discussion," City Council President Susan Dellinger said.

Comments

beentheredonethat 7 years, 2 months ago

Will the City look to annex Heritage Park, Steamboat II and SilverSpur as well? Can anyone explain the pros and cons of such a move?

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addlip2U 7 years, 2 months ago

Who is benefiting by the annexation? Certainly not the City or its residents.
Why annexate...for the benefit of the developer?

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Neil O'Keeffe 7 years, 2 months ago

You got it, the buyer (Steamboat 700) and the seller (Mary Brown) also a former councilman. Apparently she was not going to get her $24 million unless the city ignored it's west steamboat development plan that requires developers to pay for infrastructure. Most of city council turned a blind eye to this and have subsequently buried the details of this back room deal to hide it from the public. It is all sure to come out in greater detail before or after upcomming elections as many of the city council running for re-election voted for this. Let's all make sure that the public is aware of this so we can avoid it happening in the future as well as gain leverage in future negotiations with this group. Believe!

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rodcarew 7 years, 2 months ago

The benefit is affordable housing - at least 20% of the total, keeping a portion of the middle and service class in town for the long term.

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elkeye 7 years, 2 months ago

How do you spell "R-E-F-E-R-E-N-D-U-M"?

The residents of the City of Steamboat Springs (not the seven members on the City Council) will probably have the final vote on the proposed annexation of the seven hundred acres known as the "Steamboat 700".

As stated by Councilman Ken Brenner, "This is the most significant legislative act we've considered in a decade, maybe longer" and I would be amazed if the residents of the City of Steamboat Springs do not review any approval of such a significant legislative act through the referendum process.

Does anyone seriously believe that "at least 20% affordable housing" will persuade the voters of the City of Steamboat Springs to destroy their quality of life and/or pay for any of the off-site infrastructure costs that will be required because of the proposed "Steamboat 700" development?

"The actual annexation of the (Steamboat 700) development looks like it will be a relatively painless process". Would the Steamboat Pilot like to place a bet on that one at this stage of the process?

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id04sp 7 years, 2 months ago

ROK de Boat,

Nice catch. This is the kind of info we need. It supports my own frequent allegations that stuff tends to happen in a way that benefits the people who make the decisions.

Now we just need to trace back any arrangements that will benefit the council members who support this development issue and see if anything improper has occurred.

Thanks.

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elkeye 7 years, 2 months ago

Just to clarify my prior post regarding "R-E-F-E-R-E-N-D-U-M"

Councilman Ken Brenner stated: "This is the most significant legislative act we've considered in a decade, maybe longer".

The quote of Councilman Ken Brenner was only in regards to the consideration of the legislative act of annexation of the proposed (Steamboat 700) development.

I (elkeye) would be amazed if the residents of the City of Steamboat Springs do not review any approval of such a significant legislative act through the referendum process.

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elkeye 7 years, 2 months ago

And why would the residents of SBS II, Heritage Park, & Silver Spur vote to be annexed into the city?

I'm sure they would like to pay the extra city sales tax on purchases, especially when they purchase a new vehicle!

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id04sp 7 years, 2 months ago

It's going to take them a while to get the city limits out past Clark.

Thank God.

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Lovesteamboat 7 years, 2 months ago

Benefits to annexing SBS II, Heritage Park, & Silver Spur include:

  • Those residents would be able to vote on city matters. (ie city council) Currently, this group pays taxes used by the city, without a vote on important several local matters.

  • City services, such as snow removal from their streets would be provided by the city. (HP and SS pay for snow private snow removal...for some reason, the County plows SBS II, but not the other two...as a result of friendly negotiations with the county)

  • Currently SBS II / HP / SS have their own water & sewer. They actually buy part of their water off the city....strange, huh?

  • Currently, SBS II / HP / SS have their own parks & rec. management for trails, fields, etc. Annexing would bring this into the city Parks & Rex, and would likely create some true efficiencies.

  • The city already "missed the boat" on sales tax $$ from construction. Did you know that ALL the building materials on ALL those homes did NOT pay city sales taxes? (only county sales tax). That's a 4% savings on construction costs! These residents also don't pay city sales tax on purchases such automobiles.

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