At its meeting tonight, The Steamboat Springs City Council will consider adopting design standards for areas outside the mountain base and downtown area. The adoption may include more relaxed design standards for affordable housing.

Photo by John F. Russell

At its meeting tonight, The Steamboat Springs City Council will consider adopting design standards for areas outside the mountain base and downtown area. The adoption may include more relaxed design standards for affordable housing.

Council to consider relaxed standards for affordable projects

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Past Event

Christian Sportsman's meeting

  • Thursday, November 2, 2006, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Anchor Way Baptist Church, 40650 Anchor Way, Steamboat II neighborhood, Steamboat, CO
  • All ages / Free

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Agenda

- 5 p.m. City Council will convene as the local Liquor License Authority to set a hearing date to consider a new license for Off the Beaten Path Bookstore and to hold a hearing on a new license being requested for Pirate's Pub

- 5:30 p.m. Second reading of an ordinance approving the West Acres Subdivision, waiving certain requirements of the municipal code; second reading of an ordinance approving a contract to purchase rights-of-way for the New Victory Highway from the West Acres Ranch Partners; second reading of an ordinance authorizing the city to require the owners of property benefited by the construction of public improvements to share in their cost; second reading of an ordinance adopting urban design standards and entry corridor concepts for commercial, mixed-use and multifamily developments located outside the mountain base and downtown areas; second reading of an ordinance reorganizing the Local Liquor License into administrative and compliance divisions

- 7 p.m. Public comment; Planning Commission referrals; council and staff reports

— Affordable housing is just that for those who live in it, but some officials say the term is a misnomer for those who actually build it.

At its meeting tonight, the Steamboat Springs City Council will consider the second reading of an ordinance adopting design standards and entry corridor concepts for commercial, mixed-use and multifamily developments outside the mountain base and downtown areas. When the ordinance was before the Steamboat Springs City Council, the biggest debate concerned whether to allow parking on the street-side of businesses.

But that was before council members Scott Myller and Cari Hermacinski brought up the idea of relaxing design standards for affordable housing projects at the ordinance's first reading two weeks ago. The idea pits the enticement to build such housing against the point of providing it in the first place. If council agrees to grant architectural relief, it will force the reversal of a strong stance taken by the city's planning staff.

City staff officials fear that if standards are relaxed for affordable projects, those properties will stand out. City Manager Alan Lanning said the point of providing affordable housing is to create an integrated community rather than single out the less fortunate.

"If you have a $1 million house and you have a trailer next door to it in the same neighborhood, it creates class warfare," Lanning said Feb. 7.

"You don't want to drive past and say, 'Look, Mommy, that's where the poor people live,'" added Nancy Engelken, the city's community housing coordinator.

Hermacinski said the issue is less dramatic.

"It's fine to have modest homes," she said Monday. "People need houses to live in. We need to make sure they get built without totally overburdening developers."

Hermacinski noted that the relaxed standards wouldn't apply to developers who must meet the requirements of the city's inclusionary zoning and linkage requirements. In other words, a posh riverside development would not be able to meet its on-site housing requirements by erecting a few trailers out back. Rather, Hermacinski said the design relief would help the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, Habitat for Humanity and others who set out solely to build an affordable product.

Housing Authority Project Manager Curtis Church said Monday that he would need to know more about what the city is proposing to take a stance on it. But he did say, in general, less demanding standards would be good for affordable housing.

Liquor licensing

Also today, City Council will convene as the local Liquor License Authority to consider Kathy Nerney's liquor license request for the Jade Summit restaurant and its upstairs bar Pirate's Pub in Ski Time Square. The license could come with strings attached if the council approves it.

City staff is recommending a condition of approval that Kathy Nerney's husband, Kevin Nerney, not be allowed on the premises during business hours. Kevin Nerney, the original owner of the establishment, had his liquor license revoked Nov. 8 in response to allegations that he made unlawful sexual contact with a patron at his bar in February 2007. He was cleared of the charges in criminal court in August, but the City Council, acting as the city's Liquor License Authority, held its own hearings and decided that Kevin Nerney violated state liquor codes.

On the same night that it considers Kathy Nerney's request, City Council also may adopt an ordinance that would prevent it from being embroiled in similar controversies in the future. The ordinance would divide the local Liquor License Authority into two divisions: administrative and compliance. The council would continue to serve as the administrative division that approves new licenses, but a hearing officer would review all liquor violations and failed compliance checks.

Hermacinski wants the council to go even further and remove itself completely from liquor licensing. She said Monday that she hopes the Nerney situation will give her leverage to convince her fellow council members.

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

boatski 6 years, 10 months ago

If you have a $1 million house and you have a trailer next door to it in the same neighborhood, it creates class warfare,"

Take a drive up to West End Village were their is a $700,000 home next to a trailer (modular). Wasn't that project the City's bright idea?

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STEMBOATwannabe 6 years, 10 months ago

What is really affordable??? $400 thousand price tag or $1000/month rent

SS needs to get real. Not everyone can afford the big price tags

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JustAsking 6 years, 10 months ago

"If you have a $1 million house and you have a trailer next door to it in the same neighborhood, it creates class warfare," Lanning said Feb. 7.

I guess Lanning is talking about like property the city owned trailer park? What is your solution for this Lanning?

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letomayo 6 years, 10 months ago

I heard in Rio there are box houses on the hills behind the wealthy people. Why not the city have developers build affordable houses out of sight on the other side of the railroad tracks somewhere and inspire songs like in the old days about romances between poor and rich. Why not the city by land behind some hill somewhere and sell it to developers to build for the servants then you don't have to worry about looks and a nice clean place that we can buy and live in is better then a dump that we pay $1000/month or more.

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bloggyblog 6 years, 10 months ago

this seems like a logical step forward towards true affordable housing. is alan lanning for real? blog thinks its people like him who are sending us down the road to becoming a giant gated community

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btheball 6 years, 10 months ago

"Affordable" projects should NOT be excused from adhearing to any of the minimum quality standards that all other projects adhere to as set forth in the Community Development Code.

Council needs to listen to their head City Planner Jonathan Spence - a paid professional - that there should be no difference in architectural standards between affordable projects and others.

Council, please vote NO on revising the CDC's design standards just for the City's "affordable Projects". They are not that stringent!? Lessening them will only serve to adversely differentiate these buildings.

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OnTheBusGus 6 years, 10 months ago

Has anyone driven down I-70 near Avon/Vail? Cordillera (gated community) sits high above a huge trailer park. Why does the "affordable housing" always have to mean nice condos that still are NOT affordable. Who want to buy into deed restricted housing? Someone build some affordable places to rent, not all of us are here for the long run because we cannot afford to even get in these days.

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 10 months ago

The problem as I see it isn't so much the cost of the standards as it is the cost of the land and a developers ability to increase the density.

Sure higher standards cost more money but if a developer can build 100 units on a 35 acre lot vs one home it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out he can spread the costs around.

This whole affordable housing and government subsidies is a joke. If the city really wanted affordable housing it could easily happen in the free market. Instead they are proposing to build junk.

It's a supply and demand issue. The demand for housing is greater than the damn supply. How hard is that to understand?

Increase supply demand goes down.

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424now 6 years, 10 months ago

C.N. has it right.

The developer wants to see a healthy profit. They want to build high end homes. Insisting that the affordable housing compliance be an identicle home in the same development is defeating the profit significantly. You are asking them to build a million dollar home and sell it for 400K. The class warfare comments are inflametory and counterproductive.

There will always be people who have money and want to spend it. A large number of those people choose to spend here in SS. Currently we have these developers designate a percentage of their high end housing for affordable housing requirements.

How many affordable houses does that come out to be.?

There will always be the rest of us. We who build those houses with our own hands. We cook and serve the meals. We wash the dishes and clear the roads. We don't make 100K a year. We can't afford $2500.00 a month rental payments. If we work real hard and eat an awful lot of top ramen. We can save a 10K down payment over a few years.

Developers, Builders, City Coucil and the County please,

Think 1/6th or 1/4 acre lots

Think 3 & 4 bedroom 2 bath homes with a two car garage.

In my opinion afforadable in the current market is in the 400K range. Sorry about that but its what I think the market will allow.

Density be dam#&%.

35 acres cut into 1/4 acrea lots, paritioned into quaint little neighborhoods will serve the community. Thats something like 140 new homes that these developers can sell for 400K

hmmmmmm. $56,000,000 that just might attract a developer and his builders.

As far as rentals are concerned we need those condo's. More of them. Pick a spot, clear the lot and build the RENTAL DISTRICT.

Like it or not more people are coming into SS. It is not of question of "IF", it is "WHEN". The answer to the when is now and for a long while to come.

What will our County do about the need for denser housing regulations.

What will our City Manager do about this issue?

What will this council leave when they have completed their terms.

How will these people be remembered by the people of Steamboat Springs?

Do any of the above mentioned people or agencies care?

What should we do about it?

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Books 6 years, 10 months ago

Three cheers for Scott Myller and Cari Hermacinski, it's a step in the right direction.

I always find it amazing that the city planning staff is always demanding affordable housing, yet their life mission is to make housing as expensive as possible. All of their great ideas cost more and more money making affordable housing more and more of a pipe dream. Sounds like bad planning to me.

I wonder if they could get a refund on their planning degrees.

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