Steamboat 700 pledges dollars to identify workforce, demand

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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

— The Steamboat 700 development team hopes to put some faces to the numbers that are thrown around in discussions about affordable housing.

The West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan, which provides community development guidelines for land including the Steamboat 700 parcel, requires developers to provide 20 percent of their homes as affordable housing to people who make an average of 80 percent of the area median income, or AMI. Steamboat 700 proposes to target an average of 120 percent of AMI. The discrepancy has created conflict between developers and the city. It also has many wondering - whether the target is 80 percent or 120 percent - who the housing will actually serve.

"The housing plan should focus on housing people, not statistics," Peter Smirniotopoulos, Steamboat 700's housing consultant, said at the project's pre-application review before the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission on Thursday. "The purpose, as we understand it, is to provide housing for the workforce."

Steamboat 700 principal and Project Manager Danny Mulcahy said his emphasis on a higher income bracket is based on research of the community. The research suggests the workforce that Steamboat officials are interested in retaining earns more than 80 percent of AMI.

"We believe the community housing plan should consider housing needs beyond 80 percent of AMI," Smirniotopoulos said.

To help personalize the statistics, Peter Patten, a land-use consultant employed by Mulcahy, said Steamboat 700 will fund one-third of the cost for a "comprehensive demand analysis to identify the breadth and depth of the community's need for workforce housing." The city and Yampa Valley Housing Authority would partner in the study.

During public comment at Thursday's meeting, Noreen Moore said the city's policies might be too focused on service industry employees, rather than young professionals who might make as much as six figures but still can't afford to live in Steamboat Springs. She said companies like TIC are very important to Steamboat and that rapidly rising home prices are "a real threat to economic diversity."

"I'm asking you to help the industry sector we don't see but that is very important to us," said Moore, business resource director for the Routt County Economic Development Cooperative.

Housing considerations have dominated discussions about Steamboat 700. Planning Services Manager John Eastman said that is because affordable housing is the most pressing community need that needs to be addressed in west Steamboat development, and as a condition of the annexation requested by Steamboat 700 developers.

"We want a real community," Eastman said. "The fundamental community contract was that we get this part right."

Comments

jack legrice 6 years, 10 months ago

Good comment 2 stroke. We seem to be obssed with this housing BS. No one seems to be looking at the items you mentioned. Steamboat Springs residents should be able to vote on the annexation. No one should be able to tell you as a land owner that you must provide housing for those who can't afford it. If you can't afford to live here- tough. Live some where else. Let those who need the employes step up. They are sitting back doing nothing. Let the DBA get off there butts and help!! NO city or county funding for housing!

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twostroketerror 6 years, 10 months ago

OK, I'm going broken record here (surprise). Sure we need more housing, and pricey housing at that, it's how millionaires become billionaires and that's what god intended. But does anyone know what the plan is for 4000+ more cars entering and leaving SS every day is? Is the school district and waste water system set up to handle 8000+ more waste making machines? I mean, were talking about doubling the current population here yes? Or is this all just incidental stuff to be dealt with after the closing papers are signed and the realisnakes get their commissions?

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letomayo 6 years, 10 months ago

justathought, who is it benefitting "justafew"

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colowoodsman 6 years, 10 months ago

How does Noreen Moore figure that people earning "six figures" can't afford housing??? Who funds the Routt County Economic Development Cooperative? Where does she get her information? I think she is pulling numbers out of a hat!

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elkeye 6 years, 10 months ago

"Steamboat Springs residents should be able to vote on the annexation."

oneski, you are correct and its called "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".

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 "R-E-F-E-R-E-N-D-U-M" process is the only way the residents of Steamboat Springs will probably have for a vote on the proposed annexation.

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justathought 6 years, 10 months ago

They want to annex so they can get more houses on less space than the county allows (profit), they want their affordable housing to cater to the six figure + income crowd (profit) and they want the city and the housing authority to pay 2/3 of the cost to prove the "breadth and depth of the community's need for workforce housing". This project is benefiting who?

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424now 6 years, 10 months ago

Six figures! Six figures! Don't talk to me about Six figures!

Six figures!

Who do they think lives and works in this town! Yes there are some very successful people living in Steamboat springs. For every one of them we have their adhock support staff. That staff needs a place to live.

How long will this remain a premier resort destination when the resort staff can't live in town. They (The Mountain) are already shorthanded. They need to speak up!

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 10 months ago

Unbelievable.

I don't have a problem with 700 making a reasonable profit. Hell that is why everyone is in business. But this article is a complete joke.

Like others have said let's address the fundamental issues of the growth and how it will effect our community/ infrastructure.

Whether a 2,000 sq/ft home is priced at 350k or 650k it will still have 2 more adults/2.5 kids/ and probably 2 cars in the driveway jamming up steamboat.

Where is the plan to absorb the several thousand more people?cars?traffic?

If I see more of the same coming from Steamboat 700/our City Council I'd be inclined to vote NO on any annexation for this project.

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 10 months ago

And for crying out loud. The City needs to prove to us they can work this Iron Horse fiasco out first before we add a few thousand homes west of town without any real thought or planning to it.

If the City can't figure out how to make a decent buck and really provide some affordable housing out of that tiny little deal they have no business approving 700. Simple as that.

We have infill land that isn't being utilized that would have less impact on our city because of it's central location and they want to go ripping up land miles out of town without a real plan.

Rant over.

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ThreeJobs 6 years, 10 months ago

What the 700 group is doing is underscoring the fact that the city council HASN'T GOT A CLUE.

The offer to underwrite the cost of a study I'm sure is legitimate but what it really does is point up the fact that the socialist housing dictators act arbitrarily rather than on any FACTS.

The 700 group already knows the answers or they wouldn't be party to paying. On the other hand , the council has mandated policy based on nothing but "Gee, that sounds good!"

The council has steadfastly refused to examine the edicts in terms of NUMBERS because if they did it would only prove that they have no business dictating "affordable housing" and that their policies HURT rather that help the very group they target.

The trailer park purchase and the Iron Horse clearly show that the city has absolutely NO business in housing.. If there was anything to crow about the socialists would be crowing. The fact is they are strangely quiet which, when you think about it, is really not strange at all.

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