Steamboat Springs Jeremiah and Jaime Baughman seem to be the ideal candidates for the 360 Village development that is being planned near Steamboat II on the western edge of Steamboat Springs.
Looking at plans and speaking with developers during an information session held Wednesday evening, Jeremiah said the couple spend $850 to $900 per month on gasoline as he commutes from Hayden to work as a network administrator for SmartWool in Steamboat Springs.
"It would be amazing to live in a community that is right here, with resources right here," Jeremiah Baughman said.
The project will cover 350 acres and include 600 to 650 units, ranging from rental apartments to entry-level family houses to "estate" plots on a ridge overlooking the area. The plan also calls for restaurants, shopping areas and grocery stores, which Jaime Baughman said would be a major benefit on the western edge of town.
"Anyone who can't see we need a grocery store on this side of town isn't paying attention," she said.
The developers agree the area needs more services for the increasing number of residents in the area. During a tour of the grounds, project manager Tony Connell pointed out where the plans call for a medium-size grocery store, a park-and-ride center, bicycle trails and a chairlift to the top of the plateau overlooking Steamboat II and Heritage Park.
"We want to offer this as an alternative to resort developments," Connell said.
The plan calls for 60 percent of the housing to be affordable, which is defined as affordable to people ranging from 80 percent to 180 percent of the area median income. New teachers and doctors straight out of medical school are among the targets, said Riley Polumbus, spokeswoman for the development.
The community aspects of the plan also appealed to Angela Silvernail, an occupational therapist at Yampa Valley Medical Center.
"It would be nice to have a place with some space, and a community to go to - places to go eat, to hang out," she said. "Now, you can either have your own place out west and drive downtown to socialize, or you rent downtown. This is the best balance."
Commuters from nearby towns and developments also would find themselves much closer to needed services and no longer would have to drive through Steamboat.
"This is our base, our community. Our community's not in Hayden," Jeremiah Baughman said. "We should be able to purchase a home here, and there are not a whole lot of options available."
No matter how appealing the project sounds, however, the development still faces several hurdles. The next challenge will be the City Council and Routt County Board of Commissioners' joint meeting Aug. 12. At that meeting 360, along with several other projects, will request the urban growth boundary line be extended to include their property.
From there, the developers also must go through pre-annexation and annexation meetings to extend city boundaries and development plan approval.
Polumbus said 360 has several advantages over other developments in the area, including its relatively small size and use of local builders.