Housing decision on hold

Council delays action on design standards for affordable units

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— The possibility of relaxed design standards for affordable housing is a debate for another day, the Steamboat Springs City Council decided Tuesday.

The council unanimously passed an ordinance adopting design standards and entry corridor concepts for commercial, mixed-use and multifamily developments outside the mountain base and downtown areas after little discussion Tuesday. At the ordinance's first reading, council members Scott Myller and Cari Hermacinski discussed amending the standards to relax the requirements for affordable housing projects, but on Tuesday, the council decided to revisit the affordable component at a later date.

Hermacinski has said relaxing design standards for affordable projects will encourage their construction and better address the city's affordable housing crisis, but some fear relaxed standards would make affordable housing stick out and negate attempts at socioeconomic integration.

Hermacinski said the relaxed standards would only apply to people building affordable housing from the ground up and not developers who are required by the city's affordable housing ordinances to build it along with higher-end projects.

During public comment Tuesday, Steamboat resident Bill Jameson cautioned against such an approach.

"I think you need to think very carefully about setting up double standards for affordable housing based on who the applicant is," he said.

New Victory deal

Also Tuesday, City Council passed two ordinances related to the acquisition of rights of way for the New Victory Highway. The yet-to-be-built road is intended to provide parallel capacity to U.S. Highway 40 for future development in the west Steamboat area. The deal approved Tuesday between the city and the owners of the West Acres Ranch parcel has been under negotiation for about two years.

The deal essentially requires the city to pay $200,000 for two right-of-way parcels, three construction easements and other considerations. The deal waives certain requirements of the municipal code for the West Acres Ranch subdivision and requires the city to construct a park, fencing and landscaping improvements. The deal also requires the city to waive its right to require West Acres Ranch to contribute to the cost of the highway's construction.

Liquor board split

Also Tuesday, the City Council approved an ordinance dividing the local Liquor License Authority into two divisions: administrative and compliance. The council will continue to serve as the administrative division that approves new licenses, but the city will hire a hearing officer on a contractual basis to review all liquor violations and failed compliance checks.

The ordinance is in response to liability concerns and creates an arrangement similar to those in other Colorado communities such as Aspen, Vail, Breckenridge and Glenwood Springs.

Hermacinski, who spearheaded the proposal to remove council from the licensing business, hopes the city will go even further and remove itself from administrative duties as well. Council members will consider that proposal some time in the future, once city staff has had time to gather more information and prepare an ordinance.

Comments

armchairqb 6 years, 10 months ago

Good job City Council--- putting things off again for another day. Get off your duffs and make a decision for a change.
A hearing officer? with requirements that they be licensed to practice law in CO. Except for Carrie no one on the Council is a lawyer and the reason she wants out of Alcohol Licensing is the liability issue.Lawyers don't have mal-practice insurance and if Carrie won't touch it I'm sure no other lawyer will either. Unless Dan Foote is looking for a little sub contracting side money. Just another joke to laugh about around the water cooler. Why don't they hire that guy from the Pirate' Pub I heard he's looking for a job.

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424now 6 years, 10 months ago

ACQB

Agreed,

In this article I read the term "socioeconomic integration" This doesn't make sense in the housing market. It looks as if the CC is allowing developers to build million dollar homes and insisting they sell a percentage at a loss.

How does that motivate a developer?

The fact is we have a large number of people in town that want to buy a home. They can't afford the mansions built for the part timers. They need a couple of decent rooms and a roof over their heads. Uh oh, I think I'm channeling George Bailey. So be it.

No one in town wants a potters field hidden out back. What we need here is a Bailey park. A bedroom community, designed for young families. Three and four bedroom single family homes. They don't have to be cheap to be affordable. We need to let the city council know that we are here. If in fact you are a member of one of the families mentioned above, get to city hall.

The Steamboat Springs City Council meets on the first, second, and third Tuesday of every month at 5 PM in Citizens' Hall, 124 10th St. Special meetings are occasionally held as needed, on no set schedule.

Have a look at their site. http://steamboatsprings.net/index.php?id=106

The only way the meek are going to inherit Steamboat Springs is if they stop acting meek.

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