Steamboat 700 proposal faces concerns during three-week meeting blitz

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Steamboat 700, before revisions

Size: 700 acres

Buildout: 10 to 25 years

Residential units: 1,827 to 2,243

High-density residential units (condos, townhouses, apartments): 45 percent

Small, single-family lots (under 8,000 square feet) or duplexes: 36 percent

Square footage of commercial/nonresidential uses: 272,000 to 331,000

Affordable housing target: 80 percent to 150 percent AMI (area median income)

Permanently deed-restricted housing provided by developer: 20 percent (367 to 448 units)

Topography: Most slopes 5 percent to 15 percent, some 30 percent or more on bluffs and hillsides

"Village centers:" three to four stories

Open space: 221 acres (32 percent)

Trails: 10+ miles

Infrastructure cost: $103 million

Additional off-site automobile trips a day generated: 14,000

- Source: Steamboat 700 Initial Submittal, November 2007

photo

Courtesy of Steamboat 700

This rendering shows ideas for a future city center in the proposed Steamboat 700 annexation west of downtown Steamboat Springs. The Routt County Commissioners will review the development's pre-application at 6 p.m. today.

— The enthusiasm that carried the day at Steamboat 700's first major public presentation last month is likely to be replaced with concerns when the project goes before Routt County officials tonight.

In a report prepared for tonight's hearing with the county planning commission and board of commissioners, city and county staff identify a number of potential issues with the development as currently proposed, including its departure from the affordable housing requirements laid out in the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan.

"They're not even close," said John Eastman, planning services manager for the city of Steamboat Springs.

The WSSAP envisions developers providing 20 percent affordable housing for people making an average of 80 percent of the local area median income. The area median income is an income that 50 percent of a population makes less than, with the remaining 50 percent making more. Steamboat 700's community housing plan targets people making an average of 120 percent AMI.

In a letter submitted for today's hearing, which she will not be able to attend, Routt County Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush described the WSSAP's requirements as a "very bare minimum" and Steamboat 700's departure from them "unacceptable."

"Increasing the supply of affordable housing for our resident workforce in Steamboat Springs is the single most compelling benefit that has been cited for this development," Mitsch Bush wrote, "yet this application would not provide the needed supply."

According to 2007 data for Routt County, a family of four at 80 percent of AMI has a household income of $58,880. At 120 percent of AMI, it makes $88,320. From a housing-cost standpoint - and using the same 2007 data for a family of four - Steamboat 700's proposal would result in affordable units ranging in price from $235,700 to $441,900 while the requirements in the WSSAP would result in affordable units priced from $176,800 to $294,600.

"That's a huge difference," Eastman said. "The whole idea of the WSSAP was to have deed-restricted affordable housing for the people who truly need it. : Our real concern is it will turn into a second-home community out there, and that's not our intent."

Steamboat 700 principal and Project Manager Danny Mulcahy responded to the affordable housing concerns in a letter in which he emphasized his willingness to discuss revisions to the community housing plan. Mulcahy writes that he is proposing the higher target AMI to provide a larger percentage of ownership affordable units rather than rental ones.

Other issues likely to be discussed tonight include Steamboat 700's anticipation of a 200-acre expansion of the urban growth boundary, the financing of public improvements such as roads, and debate about the project's Village Center, which the staff report claims "does not create the pedestrian- and transit-friendly focal point that is envisioned in" the WSSAP and "is disconnected from the majority of the proposed development."

On Wednesday, Mulcahy said he needs to spend more time analyzing the city and county's concerns before responding to them.

"They were extensive comments and they were thoughtful and we want to give them the same consideration," Mulcahy said. "At the end of the day, we're not that far apart. : This is the very beginning of a very long process."

Steamboat 700 will next go before the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission in meetings scheduled for Feb. 14 and 21.

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

boatski 6 years, 10 months ago

John Eastman and the planning commission will continue to drive up the prices of homes in the valley the longer they drag out this development process.

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sickofitall 6 years, 10 months ago

Got it wrong bud. SBS is a DESIRABLE place to live. Heck, my rectangle is worth way more than it should be.

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424now 6 years, 10 months ago

Dang that blade has two edges!

That is precisely my problem. I need the 700. Its job security for me.

I also need to buy a house. Renting in SS is a %&#%$!

I feel like I'm sliding up to a craps table. (I DON'T GAMBLE!)

Come on 7! Hundred!

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dave reynolds 6 years, 10 months ago

No developer wants affordble housing they lose money..I'm lucky enough to own my place but for future generations,the work force..no one really cares..there is a labor shortage now..God bless the county and city plow drivers..but local busineses are going to suffer the most as long as you think 170,000 is affordable at 17 to 20 dollars an hour then I want what your smokin.yeah right a Quarter of a million dollors at these wages..Good luck steamboat

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