The emergency moratorium putting a stay on permit applications for demolition of historic buildings has caused quite a bit of confusion and outcry, particularly among residential property owners. Most of the concerns have been addressed by a clarification memo accepted by City Council on Aug. 28, which resolved the issues surrounding non-demolition and non-historic building permit applications.
Our city attorney intends to introduce a follow-up moratorium Tuesday, which will clearly state that the moratorium pertains to applications for demolition of historic buildings only. The moratorium, if passed, will also provide for the appointment of a committee whose purpose is to engage the community in a discussion regarding the following: Does the community of Steamboat Springs want to protect its historic resources? If yes, how would it recommend doing that?
The catalyst for the moratorium is a growing awareness and concern that there is nothing currently in place in the Community Development Code that can stop the demolition of a building deemed historically significant to this community. Every other Western Slope resort community with significant historic resources has this regulatory ability.
The fate of our historic resources - like all our natural and cultural resources that make this a special place - deserves this attention and community-wide discussion. I hope everyone will take this opportunity to make their voices heard.