700 team floats metro district


— The Steamboat 700 development team Thursday suggested implementing a metropolitan district in the site that could be annexed into Steamboat Springs, but received little support from city planners.

Land use attorney Bob Weiss told the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission that such a district would allow the Steamboat 700 community to conduct its own reviews of some architectural standards in some new development. Steamboat 700 could one day include 2,000 homes and more than 275,000 square feet of commercial space between Steamboat Springs Airport and Silver Spur. Weiss' comments came during a continuation of the project's pre-application review in Centennial Hall.

"We don't want to be here in front of you having to debate about roof pitches, landscaping, windows, those kinds of things," Weiss told the commission. "We would like to try and do that ourselves."

Weiss said a Steamboat 700 metro district committee could work within architectural guidelines set by the city and "take the burden off city staff."

But planning commissioners said that is a burden they would like to keep.

"I'm not comfortable having Planning Commission give up its responsibilities for reviewing development within the city," Commissioner Rich Levy said. "And I've heard no compelling reason why we should."

The Planning Commission instead supported examining how city zoning could be used to streamline reviews of Steamboat 700 development projects and guide compliance with the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan.

In July 2006, the Steamboat Springs City Council strongly rejected a metro district proposal from developers of the Wildhorse Meadows project on Mount Werner Road. The focus of that metro district was raising property taxes for future Wildhorse homeowners to pay for infrastructure in the development.

"My answer was absolutely no," then-City Council President Ken Brenner said. "I think it's not only a bad policy, it's also a bad precedent to allow a special district like that to be formed inside the city limits. : I think it would be completely irresponsible of city government to do that."

No formal action was taken Thursday. Pre-application reviews allow developers and city officials to discuss ideas and assess proposals before the formal application process.

Peter Patten, a land use consultant working for Steamboat 700, said the project's annexation proposal will use data from a community housing demand analysis, a fiscal impact analysis, an area-wide traffic study, a regional transit study and a water and sewer adequacy analysis.

"These are the big five (studies) that are being enacted right now," he said.

To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4233 or e-mail mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com


SilverSpoon 9 years, 2 months ago

Lets recap the planning inforcement by the city.

The community center: They requested a $2.9 million building, and got it.
"City planning officials strongly criticized plans for the new Steamboat Springs Community Center on Thursday night, calling the building's proposed architecture "blatantly institutional" and "extremely bland." nov 3 2006

Then planning sent it back to redesign; and to no suprise, over budget by $1 million of the Tax payers dollars.

I hope planning can step out of the way, so that the developer doesn't have to pass additional costs of hoop jumping to the S700 residents.


factsfirst 9 years, 2 months ago

I urge everyone to attend the PUBLIC hearings as responsible citizens before passing judgement based on innacurate and out of context reporting from the Pilot.


Brent Boyer 9 years, 2 months ago

factsfirst: Please let me know if there are inaccuracies in this story.

Brent Boyer Editor, Steamboat Pilot & Today (970) 871-4221 bboyer@steamboatpilot.com


vanguy 9 years, 2 months ago

The issue of a metro district isn't just about architecture and the planning department.

Metro districts enable developers to cover the enormous infrastructure costs through bonding. These bonds are paid off over time through special taxes levied on the properties (metro disctrict = special tax district)

To the eventual buyers of Steamboat 700 properties, this means infrastructure costs can be paid over a longer period of time via property taxes.

The alternative is to load the entire infrastructure costs to the up-front sales prices of the initial offering.

City Council and City Planners....which scenario is better for the citizens of SBS and the goals of the WSSAP?

Is the goal to keep the price of housing in SBS 700 as attainable as possible?

Don't let the need for architectural review get in the way of creating the ideal financial model for this development. Both can be achieved...


factsfirst 9 years, 2 months ago


The inaccuracy is this: The planning commission did not object to Metro Districts being established. The metro district structure was not up for discussion. What WAS up for discussion was whether or not the development could provide its own CDC required review for buildings other than single family & duplex residential rather than going to the municipal governing body for review. What the Planning Commission objected to was establishing 2 distinct & separate governing bodies within a single municipality. The Planning Commission expressed that the better way to approach the issue was with flexible zone districts. The design standards by which the City may govern would be outlined in the CDC for those zone districts.

So, not only was the first paragraph inaccurate by saying that the Metro Districts received little support - the entire story failed to capture the essence of the discussion and the issues on the table.


Mike Lawrence 9 years, 2 months ago

Facts, Thanks for your reply. I reported on last night's meeting. I do not agree that the article is inaccurate, and in fact think that your take and mine are very similar. For example, you wrote that "the Planning Commission expressed that the better way to approach the issue was with flexible zone districts." So did I: "The Planning Commission instead supported examining how city zoning could be used to streamline reviews of Steamboat 700 development projects..." You wrote: "The design standards by which the City may govern would be outlined in the CDC for those zone districts," referring to a framework for internal 700 reviews. I referred to the same framework: "Weiss said a Steamboat 700 metro district committee could work within architectural guidelines set by the city." As to the metro district, city staff presented the commission with two options: (i) Design a metro district based development review system that incorporates WSSAP design guidelines. (ii) Explore options to create flexible west steamboat specific zone districts...for small-scale residential and mix-used development in compliance with WSSAP design guidelines.

After discussion, the Planning Commission unanimously supported the second option. I call that "little support" for a metro district.

Again, thank for your reply. Feel free to contact me any time.

Mike Lawrence City editor 871-4233 mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com


factsfirst 9 years, 2 months ago

Mike, Thank you for that clarification. If the sentence had read "...little support for development review being performed by the financial-based Metro District(s)" it would not have been misinterpreted by me and perhaps others. Perhaps a paragraph devoted to the purpose of Metro Districts as a financial mechanism for the creation of infrastructure vs. the proposal of using these Metro Districts as a Governing body for the review of development standards would have been helpful in informing the readers of what was actually receiving "little support."


ColoradoNative 9 years, 2 months ago


2,000 homes=Chaos for a city with one road through town.

FactsFirst my gut says you have some financial stake with 700. Can you tell me how a town that already has traffic issues is supposed to absorb 20+Thousand car trips every day. Yeah I know the estimate is 14,000 but that is an assumption. Either way Steamboat is a mess downtown and 700 can only make it worse.


factsfirst 9 years, 2 months ago

ColNat, I do not have a financial stake in 700.

I am a believer that people should get involved in the processes that shape their community.

You have mentioned an important concern. Is traffic in "the bottleneck" a problem now and will it be when development occurs west of town? Yes. Are there solutions that have been identified? Yes. Are they going to be adequate. Debatable. But here's the thing. The City has designated an area west of town as its primary target for urban-scale residential growth. The target market for this planned development is the full-time resident who works in Steamboat and needs affordable / attainable housing. It's not a secret that there is currently a severe shortage of this product. A potential annexation which will accommodate a portion of that planned growth is now on the table. This is a really big deal. If done correctly, the development will provide a huge benefit for the City. That's not to say there won't be growing pains and problems to overcome.

I encourage you to educate yourself - read the SSACP & the WSSAP - don't rely on the local rag to be your source of information. Attend public forums. Speak out. Get involved. Be a part of the solutions.


inmate2007 9 years, 2 months ago

The traffic solution is to dump them on CR129 and and the road that goes to Silver Spur, that way they don't end up on US 40 until the above mentioned roads intersect, but hey that's not the 700's problem.

Has anyone questioned why a roundabout has been proposed at the intersection of CR 129 and US 40 ? Where does the Victory Hwy start and stop? I really want to hear the State's position..................


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.