Visitor Peter Llewellyn waits to cross Lincoln Avenue on Monday afternoon after shopping at several local stores in downtown Steamboat Springs.

Photo by John F. Russell

Visitor Peter Llewellyn waits to cross Lincoln Avenue on Monday afternoon after shopping at several local stores in downtown Steamboat Springs.

Mainstreet Steamboat Springs sets 2008 goals

Streetscape and business district funding dominate agenda for new year

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— For Mainstreet Steamboat Springs, the new year brings a chance for another special election to fund the Downtown Steamboat Springs Business Improvement District.

Along with getting a property tax measure passed for the district in November, Mainstreet's other top objective for 2008 is funding the Downtown Streetscape Improvement Plan, which still is in the design stages, Executive Director Tracy Barnett said Tuesday at the organization's annual membership meeting.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is planning large-scale improvements on Lincoln Avenue, scheduled to begin in summer 2009. As a result, Mainstreet plans to work heavily with consultants from Britina Design Group in the coming year, to develop Steamboat's proposed downtown improvements and implement them along with the CDOT work.

Britina's tentative proposals include the possibility of creating bike lanes down the center of Yampa Street, and making that street curve subtly to evoke the adjacent Yampa River. Other options include clearly defined, mid-block pedestrian crossings and pedestrian plazas on Lincoln Avenue.

After three general public meetings were held on the streetscape plan last year, Britina will now meet with special interest groups, such as bicyclists, to get their input, Barnett said.

Downtown is the city's biggest asset in terms of "the Steamboat brand," said Towny Anderson, president of Mainstreet's Board of Directors.

Accordingly, Mainstreet views formalizing the status of the business improvement district as essential for achieving financial stability and being able to demonstrate long-term financial commitment to its public investment projects, Barnett said.

The business improvement district was founded in June 2007 to fund marketing, advocacy, parking management and beautification projects in the downtown core. But the district lacks its own source of funding after a property tax increase within its boundaries - between Yampa and Oak streets from Second to 13th streets - was defeated by six votes in a special election last year.

Mainstreet Steamboat Springs has guaranteed funding from the city only through 2008. The business improvement district was designed to provide a clear financial future for downtown business advocacy efforts and public investment projects.

"Until we get to that position, it's going to be very difficult to ask other people to invest in what we can't invest in ourselves," Barnett said.

Mainstreet is working on forming a new business improvement district committee and developing a strategic plan for next year's election.

"It's important this year that we get more participation from the stakeholders so they tell us what they really want," Barnett said.

At Tuesday's annual meeting, Artists' Gallery of Steamboat was awarded Mainstreet's Business of the Year award, and volunteers and officers for the organization were also honored.

"Art has been elevated to a new level, and downtown becoming an art and entertainment district is closer to becoming a reality," Barnett said.

Mainstreet's membership also re-elected its 2007 leadership - Anderson will serve another year as president, Bill Moser as vice president and Ruth Dombrowski as treasurer for the Board of Directors.

Comments

Brian Watterson 6 years, 11 months ago

Watch out for that burgundy trailblazer running the yellow !

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nxoby36 6 years, 11 months ago

and you think traffic is snarled up now ... HA , wait until you see the effect several "mid block pedestrian crossings " will have . this stupid form of legal "jay walking " will do much more than allow drivers a good look at the many stores there are and make it easy for the idiots to walk in front of a moving vehicle with out any thought of the distance needed to bring a loaded dump truck to a halt ! ( I wonder what the EPA is going to say about the amount of emissions we will experience from the stalled traffic when we have an weather inversion ? ) remember all those trucks that now have to drive thru downtown just so a few special people don't have to look at a rock quarry . have you ever tried to drive thru San Luis Obispo in under a half an hour ? Oh wait the highway bypasses downtown there so if you are just trying to get across town you don't have to be stopped by every idiot that just can't walk the extra half a block to cross the street and get to another store and spend their money . gee we don't have that here . I don't know about you but personally I already miss seeing Neil Cantwell handing out jay walking tickets to the fools crossing in the middle of the block .

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summerbird 6 years, 11 months ago

Until there is a bypass for the US40 traffic with all the diesel belching trucks, you are just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic! There will be no ambiance no matter how many flower pots and outdoor cafes (in the summer) there are. Pedestrians local or tourist are the local sport.

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tmac62 6 years, 11 months ago

check out what manitou spings did to control traffic and pedestrian flows while maintaining the old town feel see manitousprs.com

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prayforsnow 6 years, 11 months ago

If we already have a bike path, why do we need a bicycle lane going down Lincoln? I know I'd rather ride on the bike path without trying to ride with the traffic and trucks.

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mtnkids 6 years, 11 months ago

A bike lane down the center of Yampa???????Lets ignore the fact that the firetrucks and ambulances access right onto yampa. And where will the tubers go in the summer when they can't wander aimlessly, stretched across the road? We do have a bike path already in place.

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handyman 6 years, 11 months ago

sbvor - I would LOVE to see a Home Depot, too.

Just as long as we don't put in traffic circles.

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shadow 6 years, 11 months ago

At least Manitou has a bypass for commuters and travellers,though! A bike lane down the center of Yampa Ave? Not enough traffic congestion in Old Town yet, with tractor trailers, buses blocking one lane of 40, passenger vehicles, backups at RR crossings, skateboards, cattledrives, emergency vehicles, tourists, delivery vehicles double parked for unloading? What's wrong with the current bike path?

To reduce congestion, #1 address a bypass, it becomes a topic once every decade and gets drops instantly because it's so tough, #2 put up a viable grocery store on the west side for Clark, Hayden, W. Stmbt residents. Planning Dept shut down City Markets attempt in the 90's, Curve market didn't have the buying power & operating system to survive.

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corduroy 6 years, 11 months ago

those of you wanting a bypass, where do you expect that to happen? Certainly not over Emerald, and I'm sure those in old town don't want a highway running next to the neighborhood. There's no place for one, unless we build it under the city or something!!

We've needed a parking garage and parking meters in town for a couple years now.. and there is space for that

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shadow 6 years, 11 months ago

Agreed more parking is needed, ask the Ski Corp.

I don't have a simple answer for a bypass, no one does. But there will be one someday. If a couple of thousand new homes go out in West Steamboat over the next 5 -10 years plus Hayden is projecting growth, plus the mountain is putting in units everywhere they aren't already, how many additional cars will be travelling thru town. It's already congested, someday there will have to be a bypass. If it had gone in thirty or forty years ago, it would have been less of an impact. It was discussed then. Twenty years from now when Steamboat is a city of 25K population, it will be even more difficult. It might be tunnel thru Emerald.;

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snowysteamboat 6 years, 11 months ago

Before too many of you end up in a tizzy,

I can assure you of two things: There will be no midblock crossings on Lincoln Avenue and no bike Lane down the center of Yampa Avenue.

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snowysteamboat 6 years, 11 months ago

  1. yes
  2. will be all cluster boxed, not needed.
  3. Unlikely
  4. Not until a significant # of rooftops are built.
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andymanout 6 years, 11 months ago

The bus service and parking structure are the best suggestions so far. Limit the tourist vehicle travel by errecting a parking structure at the end of downtown. Tourists are used to parking structures. Makes them feel at home and they will pay for the consideration. Make it easy for tourists to get from the resort to downtown without driving and they will use it. Picture Green busses stopping and dollars pooring into the downtown shops. Tourists are on vacation. They will pay for convenience.

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snowysteamboat 6 years, 11 months ago

  1. A grocery store will be included.
  2. I believe the PO will soon be a relic except for as a distribution center incoming and outgoing mail. You will purchase your stamps and supplies online. Mailing a package should not include waiting in line somewhere.
  3. I don't feel that this will result in a failure of the grocery store as there are already many more rooftops in the area and commuter traffic for those heading to Hayden. I don't believe the demographics can support a Walmart, super or otherwise.
  4. A restaurant that draws traffic to the west will only exacerbate the problems the 700 will create.
  5. Bus service will be a component of 700. The funding is the question.
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Newcomer 6 years, 11 months ago

I am fairly new to Steamboat, and until recently, did not know the paper had an online forum. So if my opinion seems somewhat broad, I apologize. I have not yet become accustomed to the forum's style.

In a link provided by sbvor, I find that the group of downtown business owners is somewhat naÃive in their position. Fighting to keep things like formula stores away from Steamboat is not what they should be spending their time on. Restaurant's such as Mazzola's and the Rio (I know there are a few of those around the state) will always survive, in my opinion, because they provide a quality product, at a decent price. However, several businesses seem to expect people to pay a local tax, on top of an already pricey sales tax. By local tax, I mean either paying a premium or receiving an inferior product. While a nice notion, people tend to speak with their wallets if given a true choice. Everyone always decries the Wal-Mart, but they seem to be doing a good business.

Of course, there are some types of sales that simply can not compete with a "big box" type chain on price. A grocery store is a great example, unless there is a differentiating factor such as organics. An independent grocery store (without the pricing power of a Kroger or Safeway, without something else to make it appealing, will be dead far sooner than 5 years, as sbvor suggests.

As someone suggested above, a bypass for Highway 40 only makes sense. Does anyone want to sit outside eating lunch with the amount of exhaust fumes that are being spewed? I know I don't, and I imagine the people that use such facilities are doing so in spit of it, and certainly would like it to be cleaned up. I imagine the impediment is cost. I can only imagine that a bypass would be expensive to build (both in actual cost, and in whatever process has to be done to obtain the land I do not know).

In the end, Steamboat and its residents need to realize that the world is changing, and we need to change with it.

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andymanout 6 years, 11 months ago

In time we will have all the conveniences of the big city. We will have our home depots and wal-marts. Lets hope they design them tastefully.

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blahblahblah 6 years, 10 months ago

Yes, but will Travis Henry return to the Broncos next year? I sure hope he does.

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housepoor 6 years, 11 months ago

I know it's a long shot but if the mountain base area ever gets their act together an creates a friendly pedestrian mall with an atmosphere similar to whistlerkeystone-river run area(both Intrawest products) the party is over for downtown. That is not even taking into consideration the major parkingtraffic issues that downtown talks about but does nothing. The main reason downtown has done well in the past is that the base area is so lame and dysfunctional. Now tell me how sweet a Home Depot in Milner would be, especially with a sales tax rate of 3.9%.

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shadow 6 years, 11 months ago

With all of the planned development in west SS, Hayden, Craig & outlying areas growing, traffic congestion will increase in downtown Steamboat. I would think that these residents will have cause to travel across town to ski, drop off kids at school, etc., and if new retail outlets go in they will get used by folks that reside on the mountain. This all equates to downtown traffic congestion. Presently around five p.m. downtown traffic can back up at stop lights to the point that it blocks the next intersection. It's not going to lessen with growth. Someday a bypass will become a necessity, planning for it should begin soon.

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 11 months ago

by pass, by pass, twenty mile road, twenty mile road, by pass, by pass...........

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btheball 6 years, 11 months ago

Yea, City Planning can't be in denial about Traffic any longer especially if they are going to approve Steamboat 700. The by pass is inevitable. And if they really want to make Lincoln "pedestrian friendly" the by pass is definitely inevitable along with making Lincoln 2 lanes Northbound and Oak Street 2 lanes Southbound. None of this is rocket science, but it is absolutely moronic of the paid consultants who are experts(?) to think that they can just throw and "bikepath" and "mid-block crossings" onto Lincoln Ave... A bike path exists on Yampa where it is nice to ride a bike along the river and mid-block crossings are never a good idea for pedestrians. Come on???

Get a comprehensive Traffic and pedestrianization plan (by a local Traffic engineer?) that considers all the growth and projects that are on the drawing board, in collaboration with what is going on at the base area for mass transit.

Let's STOP paying people to simply throw out buzz words.

There are more sound ideas in this blog than in the article.

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Newcomer 6 years, 11 months ago

Has anyone ever considered a parking structure in the downtown (or mountain) area? I know it is often times hard to find a place to park. Places like Breck never addressed the parking situations (to my knowledge), and look at them now. It is always a good idea to address infastructure before it becomes a problem. Just a thought.

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armchairqb 6 years, 11 months ago

newcomer, people in big cities love having dirt and grit in their food thats what the trendy sidewalk cafe's are all about. so traffic is not a problem to them.
housepoor, don't worry about the mountain getting it's act together 'cause it won't happen and if it does it will have to compete against the "Downtown Business Association" which gets funding from the city so they can keep alive the "us vs. them" mentality. as for the rest of you out there RELAX soon the will be no traffic, no need for a bypass of anything else because tumbleweeds will return to Steamboat because no one will be able to afford to live here or even to commute in once gas hits $4.00 a gallon and the lift ticket hits $100. and pay remains the same.

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Tracy Barnett 6 years, 11 months ago

Two years ago the parking committee and the Transportation Director went before City Council and recommended a parking structure for the half-block between 8th and 9th Streets, the alley and Oak Street. The City currently owns the quarter block at the corner of 8th and Oak. A quarter block would not be efficient for a parking structure because of the requirement for ramps, therefore, the rest of the block would have to be acquired before things can proceed. Currently the parking structure is not high on the list of priorities for the City. Parking studies have said that while we do have a shortage of parking spaces in the very core of downtown, technically we have enough spaces THROUGHOUT downtown to accommodate our needs. Public outcry will probably be necessary to move the parking structure up the list of priorities. A parking structure will cost about $50,000 per parking space and will never cover its own costs. What about paid parking in the core of downtown? How does that idea sit with people? Money gained from the paid parking could be dedicated toward construction costs and land acquisition for a parking structure within the next 5-10 years.

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Newcomer 6 years, 11 months ago

As my name would suggest, I am fairly new here, but I have had parking parking issues many times. While I was able to find parking nearby, as sbvor points out, the problem will only continue to grow as Steamboat grows. In any case, I am not saying the city needs to do it - seems as if a private company could do it if the market were to demand it. I am typically a big believer that the government should let the prvate sector take care of as many needs as possible.

Coming from a fairly large city, paid parking does not bother me at all. Free parking will just get paid for thru taxes - there is no such thing as free parking, except in Monopoly.

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Newcomer 6 years, 11 months ago

I believe it is called the awesome blossom.

And sbvor, you are right, it is too early to tell how everything will play out, and is no where near this town's top priority. I was just curious if it had been discussed.

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STEMBOATwannabe 6 years, 11 months ago

Why not a super Target instead of a Super Walmart?? Why not pit the two against eacy other??? West of town versus the mountain area south of downtown?

I don't know my geography that well, but couldn't there be a bypass from the south side of town that could hook up with 40 somewhere near Haden? Maybe it would need a tunnel or two.... but wouldn't that get the interstate traffic out of the downtown area??? And make a quick trip to the airport?

Has that ever been a consideration?

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Newcomer 6 years, 11 months ago

While we are listing our wishes, how about an Outback? I know they are not the greatest (I doubt Texas de Brazil will open a location here anytime soon). I have yet to find a decent steak in this town. One place even brought me my steak to cook it myself. What is that about?

Also, if anyone has any suggestions for a good steak at a good price....please let me know.

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Newcomer 6 years, 11 months ago

Can't say I have had the pleasure of the fully Portuguese experience. I imagine it would add a lot to the experience. I can speak some basic Spanish, but no where near fluent.

I have a grill, and love to cook. Brings up another great question where does one by quality meat here. The stuff in the grocery store usually has no marbling to it and it tastes like it. I know a few people that do the "meat by mail" thing, but I am guessing there has to be a good butcher in the area. Maybe in one of the surrounding towns Oak Creek, Hayden, Craig? But, sometimes you just feel like a steak and a place you can watch a ball game. Have always loved that all Outbacks have dining tables in the bar section that are "first-come, first-serve." Like I said though, there are certainly better steakhouse's out there, but not a lot of them mix the price and atmosphere.

I was pretty psyched when they opened a Texas de Brazil in Denver where the old Stapleton Airport Runways were. Fairly close to I-70, so makes for a good place to grab dinner on the way to or from DIA.

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STEMBOATwannabe 6 years, 10 months ago

Who is this guy?

"Peter Llewellyn"

Haven't I seen his picture somewhere else around town???

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Newcomer 6 years, 11 months ago

I have not tried that place - I will check it out. Many thanks.

My guess is that in time many more national influences will be coming to Steamboat, but that is just a guess.

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STEMBOATwannabe 6 years, 11 months ago

OK - you guys are making me hungry!

How about a TARGET??? It would be a good compliment to the area and a great comptitor to our Walmart! It would spice up the area!! Two Walmarts would be just the same old, same old......

If you want better tasting steak try organic beef.

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snowysteamboat 6 years, 10 months ago

The City has not prevented any of the restaurants all have mentioned from locating here. (Sbvor) Rather the demographics and the seasonality of the region make locating in Steamboat unattractive.

Most require 100,000+ within "X" number of miles or more.

Seasonality and the effect it has not on sales volume but also on labor force do not fit their corporate model.

As Steamboat grows this may not be an issue in the future but it is now.

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

Wannabe,

It would appear you are correct. I did a quick search of the Pilot, and found this article:

http://www.steamboatpilot.com/news/20....

A lot of people (percentage wise) want a Target. I am all for one coming, and would no doubt shop there.

Also, I found this article:

This indicates that a Target was going to come to Steamboat. I asked a co-worker about it, and she recalls that the city did reject it. Anyone know anything more about this?

And snowy,

Some restaurants and shops do have those requirements, but they are flexible. Particularly as Intrawest develops the mountain, more and more businesses will be looking and planning to come here. I, for one, welcome them with open arms. Hopefully, as sbvor fears, our local government will not stand in their way.

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

I have not read all the links above, but plan to do so. I find this issue very interesting. In the link I provided, 70% poll respondents wanted a Target. If you assume the poll was done to achieve an unbiased sample - how can the Steamboat Government stand in the way of the clear majority, and keep their jobs?

I hope our new city council is far more business friendly. Let the free market reign.

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snowysteamboat 6 years, 10 months ago

The proposed formula restrictions were largely at the behest of the previous council and would have applied to Downtown. The new council is largely uninterested in such.

No such restrictions on formula businesses were ever enacted.

The additional restrictions on buildings in excess of 12,000 square feet are explicit and mostly architectural.

The City has had for many years a ban on so called "franchise architecture" Basically, if you remove the signage you should not be able to tell what the store/restaurant is. McDonalds is a good example.

Walgreen's modified their proposal so no additional criteria were applicable (under 12,000). They backed out due to frustration and the ability to sell the land to a ready buyer.

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armchairqb 6 years, 10 months ago

Newcomer I like your style Now if you could just convince about 10,000 of your closest friends to move into the neighborhood, the majority might actually rule this god forsaken town. In the mean time don't hold your breath!!! Speaking of good food how about some nice crusty Italian Bread.

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ijustlookhi 6 years, 10 months ago

one thing I hate...newcomers moving here and saying they don't like it because it doesn't have the stuff like back home...uuuuggggghhhhh! Move back home and join in the rest of mainstream america in a corporate toxicity fest...

I love Steamboat and DO NOT WANT The Gap, Chili's, Target, Applebee's, Old Navy etc!!!!!!!

I like living here in the mountains AWAY from that crap...

If you want that crap, move to it...do not bring it here!!!!!

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skip 6 years, 10 months ago

Craig could be a nice place to live if you are so unhappy with the liberal fascists of Steamboat Springs. I agree with ijustlookhi-all that consumerism -IT IS CRAP.

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 10 months ago

Back to the downtown street scape plan. Bike lane down the middle of lincoln? What?

It's time "WE THE PEOPLE" raise our voices in the City Council chamber and let our voices be heard. We can bounce all the ideas we want around in here but it needs to be done downtown.

There are enough good ideas on this thread to pursue without having to pay for another overpriced study from some outside organization.

I'll see you all down there soon enough.

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 10 months ago

So the article says that these folks are the people getting the big bucks to design our downtown.

http://www.britina.com/contact.htm

They are based out of Arvada. Now what does someone in Arvada know about the daily traffic patterns and needs of Steamboat?

I'm breaking an email off to them directly. I'd encourage anyone else concerned to do the same.

I guess bike lanes in the middle of busy streets with Semis are common in Arvada but that won't work in Steamboat.

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

Ijustlookhi -

No one is forcing you to shop or dine at anything you don't want to. However, 70% of the people that responded to the survey in 03 (I believe) said they want a Target. That was long before I ever set foot in your mountain paradise, so I believe you will need to find another culprit for the invading "corporate toxicity fest."

I do respect your underlying point - presumably that you value the small town feel. I believe though, if given a chance, we can do things like architectural requirements (which make some sense in a tourist destination), and even keep the "big chains" out of downtown so that tourists can continue to believe that we locals are still living in the past. Will business be hurt in downtown if big chains open in the surrounding areas? I suppose that depends on their quality. I know I will still eat at Mazzola's and the Rio they are good products, and a decent price.

I am totally opposed to any idea that limits my choices thru regulation. The only thing that should limit my choice is what the market will bear. If you believe the town feels as you do (that mainstream America is a "corporate toxicity fest"), then there is no need to fret - the business will die. But I am willing to bet that people will be in favor of choice, and if the business provides a good product or service at a good price, then it will thrive.

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

skip -

I would seriously reconsider urging someone to leave because their opinion differs from your own. Sbvor has done nothing but present his opinion, and has supported them very well with sources.

A strong community should have room for all view points. Tools like an online forum can make for a great place to voice concerns and refine thoughts before taking them into "reality."

I look forward to hearing more from you in the future, skip.

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

ColoradoNative -

I would not worry too much about the bike lane. Features are often added (and then deleted) because a firm needs "billable hours." While I have seen a lot of crazy things, a bike lane down the middle of the street, when there is a pleasant bike not 2 blocks away near a beautiful river is unlikely to happen. I would suggest you save your energy, in case it does somehow get included in the final plans. Remember, those who can't consult.

knowitall -

As I said, I am new here, but I assure you I am a real local. However, I have been thru Milner, and I do not recall anything other than a junkyard (I think), a storage shed, and a U-Haul rental. I assume there is a local joke in there somewhere?

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

grammatical error above - should be "those who can't, consult."

Apologies for the multi-stage post there is a lot to respond to.

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oofcboy 6 years, 10 months ago

I just like living in south routt. Black Mtn. is my kind of eatery or my grill with real misquit wood

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 10 months ago

Newcomer....I was making a point. There is no freaking way a bike land will fly down lincoln. I'm not concerned about that in the least.

My point is we are blowing our tax dollars on a firm from Arvada that obviously is out of touch with the needs of steamboat. I'd much rather those design dollars at least go to a local who lives and works here.

For that matter I bet the members of this forum could put a better plan together at minimal cost to the tax payer for final sketches/plans.

Welcome to Steamboat btw newcomer. You'll understand how things work here before too long.

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

My apologies if I misunderstood you, I was reacting to your suggestion of sending the design firm emails on the subject.

I do not know if there are any engineering design firms in town (if so I assume they were given a chance to bid on the project), and I doubt that a single individual possesses all of the skills needed for a project of this scope to work (given that it impacts traffic patterns, retail habits, recreational activities, and much more). Design firms typically do good work, but it takes time to get the details down. I was being unfair to this specific firm in claiming the bike lane was only there as a result of billable hours - but if the firm consistently comes back with these types of ideas, I would suggest a new firm is needed.

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btheball 6 years, 10 months ago

"newcomer" Are you sure you've practiced as you preach about, as you say, "A strong community should have room for all view points. "...? Are you trying out this tact under this "new" alias? You seem to know enough about the ins and outs and history here to know that there are several local engineering/architectural firms and plenty of expertise LOCALLY to carry out a mainstreet masterplan that also encompasses the plans for growth in town AND the current plans of the base area and west Steamboat.

Steamboat keeps making the mistake of going out of town for it's "expertise" and getting ideas like the bikelane in the middle of Hwy 40 - uh because they need to use their billable hours? That is a disgrace. And then to flippantly say "those who can't consult" - all that taxpayer money going out of town? It's not funny with my hard-earned dollars.

There are plenty of local design professionals who are well worth their salt and KNOW what the issues are first hand.

Kind of reminds me of the Rec Center boondoggle. How much money when out of town on that effort?

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ijustlookhi 6 years, 10 months ago

I agree out of town consults have gotten sickening...use homegrown talent...!

Newcomer dude...your kinda pissin me off with your know it all attitude for a newbie...and telling us how things are and should be...

If we don't have some regulation we can't beat back the corporate shills that would unwittingly tear the soul out of this place...

Do you like traveling about the US and whoa gee it all looks the same...barnes and noble, gap, target, chilis, outback(ugh), we do have a cuople good steak houses...c'mon you really lost me with the Outback from TX needs to come here cause we don't have good steaks here in Ranch country! Please.

No I don't believe at this point "free market" helps us have great communities...this 200 year capitalism experiment has been fun....but the profit motive has shown to be a little dangerous....

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

I was really impressed with Selvin Young this year. He has been a great RB all the way back to UT...hook 'em horns.

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

I guess I have touched a nerve. First, btheball - I am not sure why you think I am someone under a new alias. I promise, I am fairly new here, thus I have no knowledge of local engineering firms. As I said though, they presumably had a chance to bid on the project, and either could not compete with the Arvada firm's price, or did not submit a bid.

My comment of "those who can't, consult" is a common saying, and I did say in my follow up post that it was probably unfair for me to throw this specific firm into that category based solely on this. For all I know, someone requested the bike lane. I truly do not know. I also said that most design firms do a good job - it is just a matter of the process.

I think you are seeing a conflict where one does not exist.

ijustlooksayhi -

I did not mean to "piss you off," but if I understand your argument correctly, you are telling me that because I am new here, I should sit in the corner for a while. At what point does my opinion become valid? Unfortunently for you, I get a vote too no waiting periods.

I respect every one of your positions, and respect the fact that you are presumably a "long time resident." I am not trying to be a "know it all" - I assure you I do not know it all. I am merely expressing my opinion, as you are. I am also not saying anything "needs to come here," but rather we should not throw up roadblocks for them to come here if the market is demanding it.

I am curious about your last line - you believe the free market has failed us, and that capitalism is bad? Are you suggesting that we abandon capitalism in favor of something else? I have not heard such a claim before, and would be very interested in your logic. I look forward to reading it, and I hope you will post again.

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shortbus 6 years, 10 months ago

Wow, be careful what you ask for. Chain restaurants and suburbia? When I was in the military I saw that attitude of wanting a Chili's next door and Wal-Mart down the street plus farmland (not forest in this town) buldozed for tract housing literally destroy a town of 30,000. If you go there today it has no downtown... it has a bunch of boarded up buildings. The "old town" saw real estate values plummet. They even built a bypass so the tourists would not even have to see it to get to their million dollar beach house. The town lost its personality and what made it so desireable for touristas in the first place.

You think the touristas are stupid? When I travel somewhere the first thing I do is look up where I can find a Wal-Mart or a familiar chain restaurant. If there isn't one only then do I ask a local for a good place to eat. What makes you think they won't do the same thing here bypassing downtown all together?

Yes, it is a little inconvenient to drive to Avon for Home Depot or Glenwood for Chili's.... but isn't it worth it? I too love the Awesome Blossom, but I think it is worth the drive.

Sbore, since when is it being a liberal facist to support small-town local businesses and wanting a say so in how our community is developed? If we, as a small town, allow big business to dictate we are in trouble. Study after study proves that big box stores damage local economies more than they help them (I know they are all written by liberal facists and the whole academic community is a conspiracy of liberals trying to take over the world mhaaaaa haaa haaa).

Were you around during the 1980's when Wal-Mart wanted to come to town? I, like many other locals, was a very strong supporter of it. I wanted a cheap place to shop for inferior goods made in China ;). In retrospect perhaps the those opposing were not so stupid. Does anyone remember Boggs Hardware (when it was a hardware store and not a tourist knick knack shop)? What about True Value or the rest of the businesses at Riverside? The impact of our decisions take years to be fully realized.

I find it very ironic that several of our county small businesses shop at Wal-Mart for sodas and other commodities to sell to tourists that come through our small towns.

I say preserve downtown and preserve our way of life. Build the by-pass, but be careful where. We don't want to make it too easy for our visitors to go around downtown unless we want to kill it.

"Downtown is the city's biggest asset in terms of "the Steamboat brand," said Towny Anderson, president of Mainstreet's Board of Directors." -- it is what makes Steamboat Steamboat. Outside of that it could be any other non-descript tourist town in America; and not one of the most convenient for our touristas to get to.

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STEMBOATwannabe 6 years, 10 months ago

short - you bring up some very interesting thoughts.. thanks!

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

I know I said I was going to bow out of this discussion, but the recent comments have stirred some questions and thoughts. Before getting to those, I am not trying to imply that I know what is best, merely that I am asking questions and sharing my opinion.

shortbus -

You state that chain stores ruined your town, but you also state that you like them when you go to a new town. Only if they are not available do you go to a local for a recommendation. If you think chains are so bad, and destroy towns, why do you go to them first for your needs?

I also respectfully disagree with Towny - the mountain is the town's biggest brand. When my friends and relatives come to visit, "Steamboat" does not mean shopping for knickknacks downtown, it means skiing (or snowboarding).

MTroach -

I agree that involvement is a good thing, but a lot of people have participated in this thread. I went to dinner last night (at a locally owned business), and discussed these issues with friends. While having no impact, community forums can help shape a lot of opinions, both of those who read it, and those that the reader knows. I for one have learned a lot from the posts of others, both about the issues, and the divisiveness of the issues.

I would also guess (purely a guess) that a few people of influence read the online version of the paper.

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Obviously "free market" and "regulation" are both factors shaping this valley's growth. Too much of either would be bad.

The valley just south of Steamboat would look a lot different without the state's 35 acre min per new residence and our own urban growth boundaries.

Without the above, the free market would have sprawled across that valley floor. In my opinion such sprawl would have reduced the attraction to newcomers and new very-high-end construction would be a much smaller part of our economy.

Our downtown has height limits on new buildings. The above arguments again apply.

The height limits and growth boundary each limit buildable space and drive up real estate values.

Stop there with very basic (and well-known) dynamics. I'd like to hear if anyone regrets the height limit, the 35 acre rule, or the urban growth boundary. If you would take back all those regulations, would you accept ANYTHING the free market proposed in this valley? -Steve Lewis

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 10 months ago

Newcomer...You have come across as a know it all and it's just common sense you would take the time to learn about our city, get to know the people, get to know the business owners who make this city function, know what resources and people we have here before you go running your mouth about how some front range design firm is capable of understanding our traffic issues.

With that being said. Welcome to Steamboat. It's a great place to live but it will take you YEARS to really get to know your way around and it's people. It can only happen with time.

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

Steve,

I can not speak to how successful those regulations have been, as until you just stated them, I did not know they existed.

However, I agree with your point that the community has a right to impose standards by which everyone must abide. My point is only that if a big chain is willing to conform to our standards, why not allow them to compete?

The chains, theoretically, know the rules. If they deem it appropriate to enter this marketplace with the same barriers to entry as any other shop, I say let them come.

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

ColoradoNative -

I was truly not trying to do anything of the sort. If a local design firm wanted the job, they easily could have bid on the project (assuming the government here bids contracts the same way every other government agency I have ever seen does things).

However, I will not be shouted into a corner for questioning why things work the way they do. For what it is worth, I said "relative newcomer". I have been here long enough to see two elections, and meet a couple of our city council members. I just did not know the pilot had an online forum until recently.

The overwhelming majority of the people in this town have welcomed me, and before today none of them have suggested that my opinion should be discounted because I am not a long time resident.

I only offer my opinion as a means for discussion. I could be totally wrong - it would not be the first time. I appreciate the people who have responded to my questions and thoughts with other serious thoughts (sbvor, armchairqb, Steve Lewis to name a few). Other suggested that I, and others, leave town.

In any case, I think I will bow out of the discussion, as it is clear that my comments are becoming a source of friction.

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

New,

Chains? I'm cautious of them. Low quality merchandise and poor employee treatment are typical negatives there are no rules for. They won't be using local accountants, banks, graphic artists, etc., so where some people see extra tax revenues, I see our local dollars spent in their stores evaporating out of local circulation.

The future will find us more educated in the costs of products that come from the other side of our planet. We'll see how chains fare when that discussion comes around.

Some chains have upgraded employee compensations nationally. And tourists like that "familiar" generica product. They tend to have lower prices. These last two can make them a strong addition to a commercial district - even the anchor of such.

There are no rules against them other than store size <12,000 sq ft south of 13th St. Looks like you have nothing to worry about. -Steve Lewis

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Back to Mainstreet,

I didn't get my BID votre in last time. What a pain - Notaries? Would have voted against it. As written, primarily for marketing, Oak Street properties without retail paid the BID to fill the cash registers on the other two streets. Same applies to residential properties on any street.

As we've now seen, these ballot taxes are not TABORed. They would rise with valuation. Long term that will be very painful for people not in the business of selling BID properties.

Put a CPI index cap on the BID and use it to maintain Mainstreet's new streetscape. Then I would reconsider. -Steve Lewis

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btheball 6 years, 10 months ago

It would be interesting to find out if the Mainstreet people did actually go through and Request For Qualifications/Proposal competitive bid process to hire The Britina Design Group out of Arvada to "develop Steamboat's proposed downtown improvements and implement them along with the CDOT work."

Also on the selection of the most recent Rec Center Consultant Team? Was an RFQ/RFP process gone through for that? That cost over $100,000 for just the latest feasibility study done in 2007 (maybe even been $200,000+?) for the consultant team hired by the Parks and Rec department.

What are the criteria for having to go through a competitive bid process on public projects funded with taxpayer dollars?

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snowysteamboat 6 years, 10 months ago

Mainstreet did not hire the Britina group. They were hired by the City after a competitive bid process that included 8 proposals. 3 or 4 were interviewed and Britina, for better or worse, was chosen.

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housepoor 6 years, 10 months ago

lewi, The 35 acre rule is bad for agriculture and terrible for wildlife.....something that we charish here in Routt County.

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mtroach 6 years, 10 months ago

I agree with 'bus, Home Depot and Chilli's willl mark the total demise of steamboat's true local businesses. You may call out for the free economy, and liberal whatever, but the truth of the matter is that these chain stores, especally Home Depot will undercut prices, and entice shopers away from local businesses. Let's all not forget the real reason that clarks market failed on the west side, no silver spur, and sold old and stale food.

native. Read the proposal, Brittania wants a bike lane down the middle of YAMPA not Lincoln. Still a bad idea, but at least lets talk aboout what's being proposed, and not what isn't.

To All, and especally sbvor: Remember that this is just the papers forum, while you may think that this is some sort of all reaching public debate, think again, if you are not addressing the proper oficials, in their meetings, you are wasting your breath.

Show up and participate, the world is run but those that attend these longwinded public meetings, not nameless posters on internet forums. As the article said the next step is to get with special interest groups to finalize the design. you can attend the meeting, and debate the merits of the bike path I'm supporting, or continue to moan to the wind on this forum, If I'm at the meeting talking to those that matter, and noone disagrees with my position, and you are here on the forum, Who do you think will make a difference?

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 10 months ago

newcomer, you are right about that, we have few people of influence that can read......:)

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

Sbvor,

I did read a lot of the materials you posted with respect to affordable housing. I must say, I have never read a more well laid out case than the one you make against affordable housing. I have rarely seen a person on any board spend as much time researching their positions.

While I not a fan of the current approach to affordable housing the point that I find most disturbing is that the people of Steamboat have voiced opposition to the plans that our government seems to be going ahead with. When the government is not responding to the needs of the people, that is not a good thing.

I am more than fine with accepting the choices of the community, even if I am in a minority viewpoint - I will still voice my opinion, but in these cases, it seems as though the government is flying directly in the face of the clear majority. That is a problem. I would guess that is why most incumbents were removed from office in staggering numbers.

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armchairqb 6 years, 10 months ago

shortbus, you lost all credibility as soon as you mention anything with towney anderson's take on something Notice his name is not in CAPITALS he isn't worthy of it He is an IDIOT

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btheball 6 years, 10 months ago

and to reiterate sbvor's 1B), FIRE Alan Lanning!

Substitute Alan Lanning's name for the words "the government" in Newcomer's statement, "it seems as though the government is flying directly in the face of the clear majority. That is a problem." and you hit the nail on the head.

Lanning's flagrant disregard for what Council and "the people of Steamboat have voiced opposition to" has been pointed out many times on this forum. We need someone who will be accountable to the citizens and Council, and in that, makes sure that City Staff is following suit. Until we do :

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shortbus 6 years, 10 months ago

QB:

"shortbus, you lost all credibility as soon as you mention anything with towney anderson's take on something Notice his name is not in CAPITALS he isn't worthy of it He is an IDIOT". Are you kidding me? Are you telling me that you think that Downtown Steamboat is NOT one of its biggest assets? You base your decision on whether I have any credibility whatsoever on who I quoted and not the validity of the statement?

Newcomer: It wasn't my town... just one I was stuck in while in the military. My home is Routt County.

I am just like any other American. I go to what I know first when travelling(the devil you know is better than the one you don't). If there were a Mazzola's in Myrtle Beach I would definitely frequent it. If I coult have Double Z's in Denver (does anyone remember Scotty's), I would go there first. I (just like most people) have bought into the whole commoditization of our society.

Sad, I know. It makes me a hippocrite, I know; but true none the less. Am I flawed; yes. However, I don't think that it changes the fact that I woud rather see our downtown saved from the commodization that has happened elsewhere!

It is the same phenonemenon that will get a complete moron re-elected when times are good (believe me this is no reflection on the current administration).

sbvor: I know you and I don't agree on many things (you tend to go to extremes in your comments "liberal facists" when someone disagrees with you ;) ), but I do think that your previous post has A LOT of merit.

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

I was about to write a response, and sbvor's points 1 and 2 summed it perfectly. Quality will always survive and thrive.

I do not know much about Alan Lanning - based on what you are saying though, it sounds like he has maneuvered himself into a mayoral-like position. I assume the council is the only group that can do anything about it?

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shortbus 6 years, 10 months ago

sbvor, How long has Sports Authority been in town? It took years for Boggs and others to die... time will tell on that (an entrepreneur will stick it out much longer than a chain in a battle of wills). Yes, there are several chains and there always have been. The most successful ones are those that make themselves so that they don't look like chains. The question is whether you want to dilute the profit pot even more? Ask any small business owner about the impact of a chain. Many times at the very least they experience a profitability hiccup when a chain comes to town.

As far as your previous post; without going one by one and attacking individuals I am in complete agreement that:

  1. Socialized housing should not be mandated.
  2. Deed restrictions have their place (like New York), just not for socialized housing.
  3. The 35 acre rule is stupid and should go away (talk about over inflating the values of property in the county). I know of too many long-term family ranchers in Routt County that were forced to sell much more of their property to survive just because of that stupid rule.
  4. There is no shortage of buildable land (some of the Mc Mansion owners might not like having a normal neighborhood next to them, but so be it.
  5. The current regimes have done very little to actually help those that call Steamboat home.
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mtroach 6 years, 10 months ago

Ok I think Ski Haus and Sports Authority are apples and oranges. like most chains SA sells the less that top shelf gear, and at a lower cost, with poor customer service. Ski hous sells top name brands, and has excellent customer service, Why do we need SA then, only to fill space in our next to newest strip mall. I do not see that as social progress, just infill that took away open space. I do not shop at SA. I prefer to continue to shop at Ski Haus, where the ski techs know me by name. IF our "guests" were not presented with the option of SA, a local businessman would be better off, and locals that work in his shop would heave beter job security, and benifits, and the profits going into this local businsess would be refiltered into the local economy, and not readministered to a out of town corporation. It may seem like a foreign idea to buy locally, and keep the money in town for another round, but I think it helps our economy to support local businssses.

As for the forum, I don't read sbvor's links, but wonder if he is so persusave why not take this beef up to the city council and let them know that not all of steamboat shares there views on the housing issue? I never hear of anyone dessenting at the meetings, and think that action in the public forum would be far more effective than wind in this paper's forum. Just because you may think that the powers that be are reading your posts does not mean that someone at a meeting is going to say " on the online forum noone wants this ". Take part in the process and tell your elected representatives how you feel about the policies that they inact.

PS. I only singled out sbvor because he seems to have the biggest beef with what is happening at CC. If everyone got involved maybe we wouldn't have such a beef with our elected officials in the first place.

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STEMBOATwannabe 6 years, 10 months ago

"3. The 35 acre rule is stupid and should go away (talk about over inflating the values of property in the county). I know of too many long-term family ranchers in Routt County that were forced to sell much more of their property to survive just because of that stupid rule."

In some areas the larger acreage rules are so that the school districts do not get overcrowed and unable to fully service the student body. It gives the schools a way to determine any future growth in their districts.

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snowysteamboat 6 years, 10 months ago

The 35 acre rule is a state law, not a local one. It exempts the requirement of obtaining subdivision approval of land splits that result in properties of at least 35 acres.

sbvor, you should know this.

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STEMBOATwannabe 6 years, 10 months ago

NO I was not

but of course this may not be the rationale in Routt / Colorado.. But in some areas in the US it is used as a tool to regulate the growth of the school system.

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

Very, very interesting stuff. I had never heard of this before reading this thread, but it seems to me that if you limit how far a city can grow horizontally, and then limit it vertically, then supply shrinks. If demand remains a constant then the price for the commodity (in this case, land), will go up. Economics 101.

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

I had asked above (1/29 11:30):

"... the 35 acre rule, or the urban growth boundary. If you would take back all those regulations, would you accept ANYTHING the free market proposed in this valley?"

Some have said they would take away both the 35 acre rule and the UGB, largely in the name of cheaper land. Criticizing policy as bad is the lazy half of citizenship. The harder half of citizenship is stating a replacement policy. So... what sensible policy would YOU set to govern this valley? Would you accept ANYTHING?

Can we have resonsible conversation and dispense with the "liberal facsist" crap - the State of Colorado imposed the 35 acre rule. Our Community Plan set the UGB in 1995. These are longstanding policies set by a majority of stakeholders.

-Steve Lewis

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snowysteamboat 6 years, 10 months ago

Routt County has a policy, where written I don't know, that they will no longer approve urban densities in unincorporated areas. To put it more simply, they will not approve any more residential subdivisions like Silver Spur or Heritage Park. They feel they are not properly equipped to provide the levels of service (snow removal, police etc.) that are requested/required.

Hayden has approximately 2,000 platted residential lots on the books ready to go. That would seem to be an approach to the affordable housing issue but some argue that people who work in Steamboat should BY RIGHT get to live here. In that lies the problem.

The community character issue is a valid one but attainable housing is only one component.

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snowysteamboat 6 years, 10 months ago

The state law says that you can develop at 35 acres or more WITHOUT complying with LOCAL subdivision regulations.

The state will issue well permits on as little as 5 acres.

As for the UGB, there is about 1,000 acres WITHIN the UGB that is currently undeveloped. It would seem premature to extend the UGB until that is developed.

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snowysteamboat 6 years, 10 months ago

Subdividing is a local matter. The state doesn't throw up red tape if you are creating parcels less than 35 acres, the county does. That red tape is called "subdivision regulations"

Subdividing is a technical process with no subjectivity. If you meet the requirements, you get the subdivision.

And again, you do not need 35 acres for a well permit in all cases.

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snowysteamboat 6 years, 10 months ago

If one complies with the County regs he has complied wit the State regs. You only undergo one review under one set of criteria. The state law is enabling legislation. The County regs essentially encompass the state regs.

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

Steve Lewis did bring up a good point, what do we do about it? It seems unlikely that the rules will get repealed - assuming it was put to the people. As sbvor has mentioned, and proved to my satisfaction, the people of Steamboat are generally opposed to spending money on affordable housing. If we repeal these rules, property values will fall (supply will be increased, with no change in demand).

Do we simply repeal the laws, or do we replace them with something more forgiving? Maybe some form of pre-determined growth that can be adjusted. I do not know the answer to these questions, but I do appreciate the discussion that is making me think about possible answers.

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

I should amend my previous post - it would apply only if there are more property owners than non-property owners in the area. Does anyone know the percentages on that?

And knowitall, I believe that is why sbvor referred to them as "ranchettes"

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ijustlookhi 6 years, 10 months ago

4) To provide more affordable housing, local government should:

A) Increase the supply of land in parcels suitable for wage earner housing (1/6th of an acre is typical elsewhere).

You do this by either ditching the 35 acre rule in the county or expanding the "urban growth boundary" (or both).

B) Increase the supply of private market housing built on that more affordable land.

You do this by building as much private market housing on those smaller parcels as the market will absorb.

Up to now, local Liberal Fascists have done NOTHING but drive UP the cost of housing. They have done this in many ways. The most notable examples are shockingly similar to the way OPEC manipulates the price of oil (by manipulating supply). Both the 35 acre rule in the county and the refusal to expand the "urban growth boundary" have limited the supply of land suitable for development of wage earner housing. Without suitable land, there is no hope of developing the housing.

We have NO SHORTAGE of suitable land! What we have is artificial, political constraints on the AVAILABILITY of that land (to the financial advantage of ALL who already own their property).

by Sbvor above...

I totally agree with this!

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

To clarify, I totally agree with sbvor, but I am asking if the people that have become accustomed to high annual growth rates on their homes and condos would support a policy that would curtail that growth? And if they did not, do they have the numbers to stop it.

I think the most telling line in your post is this one: "It is HIGH TIME we gave our work force some REALISTIC expectations that we MIGHT have a PRAYER of delivering on!"

Very well said.

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Didn't get any policy suggestions so I take it we should just drop the UGB and the 35 acre. No, the result won't be concentric circles of development. It will be fingers and pockets finding the cheapest land to build on. The valley floor is easiest, so the hay meadows and ranches are first to go. That's cool with you all.

No these aren't my sacred cows. Just rules I thought were "mandates".

If you would eliminate a policy, you need to put one in its place. Doing only the former places accountability and criticism on others that you are unwilling to carry yourself.

I am simply trying to see what your better ideas are. And would I like the result. -Steve Lewis

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Newcomer,

You write that "sbvor has... proved to my satisfaction, the people of Steamboat are generally opposed to spending money on affordable housing." I believe the suvey he points to is that they don't want a property tax for it. Generally, newcomer,who wants any property tax?

-Steve Lewis

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 10 months ago

that's right Steve, generally, I don't mind you spending your money on affordable housing, but generally opposed to spending my money on affordable housing.............

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

You are correct, I did substitute "money" for "property tax," and incorrectly so in the context of the statement.

However, in one of the links, didn't one of the surveys show that affordable housing is a top priority, but the survey in question shows a clear majority do not want a property tax? That tells me that people care, and hope the problem is fixed, but do not want to give up any of their cash to do it. I would bet that if you changed the wording to any other form of tax, it still would not be welcomed. A sales tax may be slightly more palatable as you have the tourist dollars helping out, but we already have a high sales tax.

Typical of most programs, in my opinion, people want them until the bill shows up.

Just my opinion there, though.

Sbvor,

I do agree that 700 will stabilize the market, as the quote suggests, but won't property owners not like that the growth has stopped (or slowed)? I guess it depends on a number of factors if that will truly happen. I just know that if I was making 30% a year, and now if an event might happen that would slow that growth, I would be opposed to it from that angle. That does not mean I do not think the positives of the idea are not very, very strong.

And, I had no idea that Steve Lewis was on the planning commission. I think that goes back to the post about whether the forum matters. Apparently an influential person does read it.

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

I can not access the page either. I was going by what Steve said, as I was unable to access it. If he was incorrect, then disregard my statement.

I also do not like to make money by climbing on the backs of others, and I think we will have a considerably healthier economy (and town) if this were to happen.

However, I do know quite a few people that are gleeful about the price appreciation.

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btheball 6 years, 10 months ago

Are the Planning Commission folks influential, really? My experience is that neither Council (the former Council at least) nor the City Manager/Staff heeds the advice of these unpaid commissioners or appointees. Alan Lanning is on record as saying he will phase as many of these positions out as possible. Probably many of them could be without consequence.

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

I would also say that your study is fairly accurate. According to page 43, the rec center had a "willingness to pay" of 24.4% among voters. I think it failed by about that margin.

Very interesting stuff, thanks for the link.

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Nitro 6 years, 10 months ago

Once again we are diverted from the topic of the article back to the soapbox. Perhaps if sbvor would stop siting the old survey from 2002 and look at the 2005 survey, we would all see that affordable housing is more important to this community than others like to portray. Is it in anyone's best interest to continually site old data when in fact there is more recent information available? Or does it simply allow sbvor to stand on his soap box with the same message day in and day out without any credibility? If this Forum's "All Knowing, All Wise" regurgitater really did his homework, he would find that the City's website is www.steamboatsprings.net and not the old address listed for the 2002 survey. For more recent survey information, check out the following link: http://www.nwc.cog.co.us/Programs/Reports%20&%20Studies/reports_&_studies.htm

Sbvor calls for Mr. Lanning's firing but I must ask, have you ever met the man and sought his opinion on any issue or is it easier to speculate from old newspaper articles, the local press and other's opinions. I suggest anyone who has an issue with a person in local government, whether they be elected or selected, just try communicating directly with that person rather than casting aspersions in this Forum.

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Newcomer 6 years, 10 months ago

Thank you for the link, Nitro. Reading the survey though:

http://www.nwc.cog.co.us/Community%20Surveys/2005%20Steamboat/2005%20FINAL%20Steamboat%20Springs%20Survey.pdf

Page 43 shows that 43% of full-time residents "support" affordable housing, but only 21.3% of them are willing to pay for it. If you go by the voter column, then it is 46.8% that supports and 24.6% that will pay.

Interestingly open space is the top priority, but it seems to be opposed to the affordable housing goal.

If anything, I see this as proof that support for affordable housing taxes has eroded since the study sbvor has cited, not increased.

Assuming of course, I am reading the results correctly.

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btheball 6 years, 10 months ago

re: Alan Lanning. I have had direct dealings with him and very recently had the experience of his pronouncing that he had NO intention of listening to or heeding the opinions guidance of a Council appointed group to explore the recreational needs of our community. Further, he really hadn't listened to Council on conducting the studies on a Rec Center, AND that HE had never lost a ballot initiative. (As if it was HIS and not the citizens ballot initiative?)

He didn't listen to the survey that HE had conducted (with bias as many thought) that said the Rec Center they put on the ballot would fail. Those pronouncements came off as unbelievably egotistical and fascist to me. HIS ballot initiative failed miserably even worse than the survey said it would as had been pointed out here. And what a shame and a waste of many people's time and sincere effort when the survey also said a scaled down version that addressed the needs of Youth/Teens could pass - not the behemoth version fraught with delusions of grandeur that was concocted with taxpayer monies and little community involvement.

Lanning's flagrant disregard for what Council and "the people of Steamboat have voiced opposition to" has been pointed out many times on this forum. We need someone who will be accountable to the citizens and Council, and in that, makes sure that City Staff is following suit. Until we do :

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Wow. Hope you folks got some turns in today before work.

Thanks for the poll update Nitro. I stand corrected on the type of tax in the older poll. My point remains that the poll says people just don't want AH to come out of their own pocket.

And yes the AH policies have cost everyone, as developers pass costs on to the market. But the AH cost is not even close to the level of other forces on market prices. I looked at Inclusionary Zoning for Woldhorse Meadows, back when the ordinance was being formed: 15% of units as 900 sq ft AH units.

I believe the avg free market unit was 2700 sq ft. So if 3 AH units fit into one free market unit, you really have 5% of your residential sq feet in AH units. You do get to sell them at the lower price. So if the AH value is 1/2 market value, the developer's cost is 2.5%. Compare that to the market's 30% annual rise.

Also. The base area got something back. The old restrictions of FAR (max floor area/ lot area ratio allowed) were dropped to allow much bigger projects.

Planning commissioners are not influential people. Sigh... Sometimes people do thank me for the time we put in. Lots of people are ahead of me on that one. It takes a village.

And no, sbvor, the Pilot blog doesn't match the comments I hear at the public meetings of planning commission or city council. I agree with the other poster - take your complaints to those who offend you. You should consider speaking to the city council on 2/12 when they will meet with the YVHA.

-Steve Lewis

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 10 months ago

in the end steve, with all due respect, if the people really, really understand affordable housing, they oppose it............... the anvil that the city has is the renter community think they are going to benefit, and the owning community just sits idle and watches the value of their property increase, some folks earn more in appreciation than they earn on the job. all this does is throw an anomaly into buggering up the market, you just wait and see...............

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Condo, Yeah. A friend noted last year that their modest home on Pamela Lane was appreciating $10,000 a month. And much of the nation is flat-lined or worse. We are living an anomaly.

I'll agree this blog leans against affordable housing. But I've also spent a January morning in a roomful of people leaning the other way. There weren't any wannabe renters there. Employers are feeling the need for employee housing. Probably a different product than deed restricted housing.

I do hope we get more new lots online. Attainable free market homes are the best solution. Just not a solution for the lower incomes. -Steve Lewis

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

sbvor, Please re-read your last post, wherein your links below my quote completely support my quote.

Cherry-picking that survey? Doubt you support its other popular conclusion - growth management.

The last council election was affected by: - a historic preservation moratorium, - several tax initiatives - rec center funding - building dept contract - 4 to 1 ratio of campaign ad space - anger at downtown construction - Iron Horse Inn - Paul Hughes firing - etc One housing issue out of eight or more. The election was not an anti-housing mandate.

Apologies to Mainstreet. Its that daily communist detour. -Steve Lewis

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

sbvor, "1) The OVERWHELMING MAJORITY rejected your INSANITY in the 2005 survey" Where in the survey, exactly? page 41 says the opposite?

"2) The OVERWHELMING MAJORITY voted EVERY ONE of your Socialist Housing Clowns OUT OF OFFICE" They lost on the list of issues in my earlier post. Not on your single issue of housing. Meg ran and won with affordable housing in the top of her platform.

Why do you have to insult me so frequently? -Steve Lewis

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 10 months ago

Oh the irony of this thread.

"We need more workers in Steamboat!"

"We need cheaper houses for them!"

"We need to address the traffic so we can have cheaper houses!"

"We need workers to build the cheaper houses"!

Rinse...Repeat......

I'm going skiing.

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424now 6 years, 10 months ago

sbvor

I have an idea.

Pose the question of affordable housing to this forum. insure your state it clearly. (pro's and cons) If possible refrain from using words like "socialist" Refrain from posting links in the question. State it simply.

Do this, in this public forum and lets see what we hear, yes or no. We know that some influential readers post here lets see if they care what we say.

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

sbvor, Apologies. In my last Feb 1 post. I meant to say the survey's page 40 indicates interest in AH. (p.41 was about the growth management the survey wants, but we both reject. i.e. we are both cherry-picking the poll)

424now, This blog has good ideas. But its not representative as a voting booth. Besides, isn't your answer forthcoming everyday?

Native, I understand your ironies. Except this one: "We need to address the traffic so we can have cheaper houses!" Can you explain? -Steve Lewis

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Nitro 6 years, 10 months ago

sbvor, I should let you hang out there on your question regarding my identity. You pontificate day in and day out (Critic rather than Doer) and then have the nerve to ask who am I. Rest assured, I am not Lanning, but thank you for the compliment.

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shadow 6 years, 10 months ago

I just got my property tax bill, I'm not supporting any additional increases unless it gets me through the downtown traffic congestion quicker.

If business owners can't find workers because of housing costs then let employers either pay decent wages & salaries or provide living allowances or provide housing. It's a cost of doing business in a remote resort community.

Taxpayers subsidizing housing only means that business owners can pay substandard wages and reap greater profits. This ultimately equates to taxpayers subsidizing the profits of business owners. I'd like to pass on that one, thank you.

Why should any of us pay for housing other than that of our families? No one paid for mine since I left my parents home. Supply & demand will ulitmately prevail.

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shadow 6 years, 10 months ago

I also think Lanning is a square peg in a round hole. He needs to get in touch with the taxpayers (quickly), or be gone.

City Council was changed for a reason, some still are in denial.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

sbvor asking an identity when never providing one? Say it ain't so! LOL!

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mtroach 6 years, 10 months ago

anyman, You can't have a frank and open discussion if people know your identy. Citizens like sbvor are too scared to allow their friends know how they really think and feel about issues. He even harpes on those citizens that take the time to express themselves in public meetings, evidenced by his criticism of the citizen on the BLM hike with him this summer. For all we know sbvor is Ken Brenner excersizing his right wing demons for the entertainment of the democratic party. Who really knows???

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we_re_all_suckers 6 years, 10 months ago

On a different - but sorta the same vein- I copied this from another board to play it here too!

LOL - the city definitely is NOT afraid to waste taxpayer money-or to spend it for the benefit of the few vs. for the benefit of the many. For the city and the outside consultants to use traffic concerns as a ruse to build the "Victory Highway" to access the 700 is downright irresponsible fiscal favoritism. The highway goes from nowhere, to nowhere with a stop at the 700 in between, then will merge back onto hiway 40, eventually. 2000 more families converging into an almost overwhelming traffic jam, morning - and evening, will be lots of fun won't it. Give the 700's access thru the Brown property which they bought. 2 accesses a problem? It's not for Steamboat II, Heritage Park, Sleepy Bear, Silver Spur and others. I guess you could say Silver Spur has two - but I don't imagine many people going out four mile road to Saddle Mountain to access HiWay 40!, it seems more in the masterplan for travel(plus common sense), that they would go the short distance to the hiway from their subdivision and enter hiway 40 from the East of Steamboat II. What nobody is willing to face is the plain and simple fact that to relieve congestion, A DOWNTOWN BYPASS IS MANDATORY!! I'll even show them how for a modest consultation fee. LOL Oh - that's right - I live here, we NEED outside consultants!?!?!

Oh - I forgot - the 700's from Vegas, oughta use county rd 44 on the north end of the Riparian property they bought as the secondary access. They go almost to it, and it wouldn't displace businesses nor would it come out in a commercial zone, leading, as always back to HiWay 40. I think the city is trying to help the develpers out of the predicament of the 700's having bought a "pig in a poke" lol

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andymanout 6 years, 10 months ago

What a blog thread! Here it comes. Can you hear it?

That my friends is the sound of the inevitable. That is poor parking due to haphazard infrastructure design. The sound of cars running at idle as they sit in gridlock. These concerns and the cry for housing. That rumble will soon grow into a roar.

What we need is for the appointed and elected officials from top to bottom to listen to their constituents. We need a plan that makes sense. Now is the time good leadership, before the bulldozers roll on the 700.

These are the kind of issues that require that extra effort on all our parts. Lets all get together one night soon. How about next Friday? Lets burn a little midnight oil. Sort of like a normal council meeting but lets hear from the people that put them in office first. We could discuss...hmmm,

(see every post above)

Andyman Out!

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btheball 6 years, 10 months ago

What Shadow said...! Very well said on the housing issue. Pay people more (and that is how REALLY to prevent one group from profiting on the backs of others) and the law of supply and demand regulates - so yes, Lewi, expand the UGB. sbvor has said it and said it - and provides backup to support the arguments. What is it about NO that you folks don't understand?

Get out there and play in the snow!! We live in a gret place and we'll survive the FEW bad eggs. This chat does much to provide a fuller picture of what is happening on many subjects - not just the paper's or City Staff stances. We can all be influencial. One only has to look at the '07 election - as sbvor points out like it or not to the minority voters. We are still waiting to see if the current leadership paid or pays any attention.

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armchairqb 6 years, 10 months ago

Great book on Polls and Surveys "LIES, DAMM LIES,and STATISTICS by Wheeler you can munipulate numbers any way you see fit.

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Shadow states a core sentiment: "Taxpayers subsidizing housing only means that business owners can pay substandard wages and reap greater profits. (Pay higher wages instead)"

This refers to City purchase of the Iron Horse Inn and running it as employee housing. At least this is the only subsidzing I'm aware of. Others have made the same argument. I'll argue that the CITY is actually SAVING YOUR TAXDOLLARS.

The Iron Horse currently houses some city employees and other occupations as well. I believe from the school district, ski corp and the hospital. I could be wrong, but I doubt the other occupations are getting a free ride. Those employers are likely paying the breakeven rate or better toward the Iron Horse budget. Only the city employees would be subsidized.

If I'm correct above, what's the difference between the City paying them more vs. providing cheaper housing? I'd say the difference is the City is making housing available in a very tight housing market. The extra wage to the employee living elsewhere is more expensive than the Iron Horse solution. The city is saving you tax dollars. It's EXACTLY the same logic the ski corp and other FOR PROFIT companies apply in subsidizing their own employee housing.

The higher wage solution also presumes the rentals are out there. The classifieds' columns of "help wanted" outnumbered the "apts, rooms, etc, for rent" columns by more than 7 to one back in December. Again, the for-profits are making sure their employees have housing. The City is too. Smart move, or folly?

The spreadsheet Cari published with Iron Horse losses (rough estimate) showed $50K losses per year as employee housing with no remodel. That's so small!! The property will appreciate over $1 million in its first year!! The city is making your tax dollars grow. -Steve Lewis

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we_re_all_suckers 6 years, 10 months ago

Making our dollars grow at the ironhorse! haha harhar! Old decrepid property on a nice parcel is all. The city is now a slumlord - pretty much, lol. If the building were gone what a nice river property for open space! Ironhorse appreciating - sheesh - 40 some year old piece of junk more like. How many out there, remember the train there, when it was a restaurant?

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

No one wants to address that $1 million first year appreciation the Iron Horse property is seeing as they criticize it for losing $53,000 in its first year.

Asbestos impacts are a function of remodel. Left "as is" there is no abatement. The 10 year redevelopment option (loss) would include the abatement costs, and still comes in cheaper than one year's appreciation.

That seems to leave you guys with calling all it names. You just don't have much to hang your argument on do you? The Iron Horse Inn purchase wasn't a bad deal. It just goes against your anti-housing politics.

Al White was honest in describing your approach in a past Today article. Roughly put, during an election year, nothing your opposition did (good or bad) can be allowed to stand as a good thing. -Steve Lewis

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

Of course Al was describing Dem and Rep behavior. I'm the one who thinks that behavior must explain the highly derogatory, but largely groundless argument posed against the Iron Horse Inn. -Steve Lewis

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btheball 6 years, 10 months ago

Did you see that $1 million appreciation in your crystal ball? Can you share your spreadsheet data with us on that?

Those who have kept abreast of the following policies - adopted without a vote - do not agree and believe they are contrary to attaining affordable housing and will only exacerbate the problem:

1) The Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance

2) The Iron Horse Inn purchase for employee Housing. I know it doesn't seem to matter to you people, but THE CITIZENS don't want it. I wonder if it isn't about the bureaucrats creating their own job security? (See the other current discussion.)

Take a look at Cari Hermacinski's Iron Horse Inn report before making statements about the "City making our taxpayer dollars grow" please.? Especially if you are one of our influential planning commissioners, right? By the way, Cari doing some independent fact-checking really po'd Lanning. Why would that be?

3) The city recently creating a housing coordinator position and hiring Nancy Engelken while also contributing $105,000 in 2008 to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority's operating budget.

"Lanning says Engelken will be instrumental in developing an affordable housing strategy. He also says a number of agencies, including the Housing Authority, need to be involved in this community-wide endeavor." "Lanning appears to very much want to be in the housing business. Conversely, City Council President Loui Antonucci said this summer the city has no business in the housing business."

This is simply Empire Building. And the funny thing about these (recent) surveys is that the questions/answers/numbers ARE manipulated (I have witnessed it) and yet, the city still doesn't succeed in obtaining statistical data to support these policies/jobs/departments/ballot initiatives that they entitle despite the data saying NO. Who works for whom?

Maybe the most preposterous thing in the original "Mainstreet 2008" article is the part about Britina's proposal to make Yampa Street "curve subtly to evoke the adjacent Yampa River." WOW, that sounds like a HUGE priority!

Along with the bike lanes down the center of Yampa Street. (I was mistaken in a previous post saying it was proposed on Lincoln - but the question remains the same.) WHY when we have a bikelane in between Yampa Street and the river ALREADY? So that we can make the road curve every more slightly for aesthetic appeal??? It does already! That is what the city (we) PAY people to come up with?

Does that illustrate to you why the Majority don't want the city in real estate?

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btheball 6 years, 10 months ago

I should have said, "This is simply Empire Building on the part of Alan Lanning".

I got shy to post it, but, it's just the fact of the matter. Good Night!

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shadow 6 years, 10 months ago

Lewi,

Your statement that "the City is actually saving your tax dollars" is a is one I cannot buy into. Maybe you should scrutinize the purchasing decisions made by city staff more closely. Alot goes on , behind the scenes.

That's one reason that the old council members are out. Yea the building dept issues, moratorium, Paul Hughes firing etc. were the frosting on the cake.

The times are a changing.. How long you think Lanning will be around ?

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 10 months ago

steve you don't really believe the iron horse will appreciate $1mil this year, that is 23.8 %, per year, I know anything is possible but that's very optomistic in these uncertain times don't you think? question is this property now tax exempt, or still paying real estate taxes as other similar properties???

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Whistler Village units- over 20yrs old- were going for approx $160,000 each during the summer of 2005. 1 year later, they were $250,000 range. Almost 3yrs later, they are $320,000-ish now.

I'm sure the same could be said about the Iron Horse, possibly.

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btheball 6 years, 10 months ago

Its called speculation. Is that what we want to pay city staff to be doing? Theres allot of other very experienced folks that do it much better.

I like ColoradoNative's idea:

"The city should approve some high density apartment plans for the site. Sell it do a developer at a nice profit for the city and they can knock the pile of crap down. They city could make a few million bucks and cut some of our taxes!

Build a freaking 6 story market rate apartment building there with underground parking.

Then all the people that want to live and work in Steamboat seasonally will have an affordable place to live."

Or even better stated by ColoradoNative in today's blog - most current comment.

Not a public-private partnership on this! Only if the city is a silent partner. Let's not create another bureaucracy to build/renovate and run this. Is that what Nancy Engelken is for? We could get rid of that position if we had a private developer with some experience that we had some confidence in undertake this whole thing, right?

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outsiderlookingin 6 years, 10 months ago

Should the Iron Horse appreciate a million dollars in one year than the city should buy a dozen of them and eliminate all local taxes. barring that sell it at the end of the year and the profit will pay off the certificates and be done with the whole mess. OR, how about a 6 story apartment house (Commonly known in the big city as a PROJECT ) ask Whoppie Goldberg about the Projects and then rent them to welfare recipents and see where it takes Steamboat.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

Speculation is what City Council is about. That's how you run a city, basically. That doesn't mean speculation is done completely blind. There is still research (I'd should hope) that led them to this purchase to be good in the long run.

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btheball 6 years, 10 months ago

You are being sarcastic, right? In saying "Speculation is what City Council is about. That's how you run a city, basically.".....? You do try to be funny on this and sometimes it works better than others - as any comedian's material.

Please, I challenge you to go ask each Councilperson if that is what they think they are doing in their Council seats - 'speculating, basically'. Please, let us know each of their responses. I would love to hear!

Or just speaking from experience! D'oh!

Pretty funny.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 10 months ago

I see: you don't research and speculate on how doing one thing affects your plan. You just wing it.

All people here are doing is speculating the it will go bust. Same difference, except the City is the one who did it.

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another_local 6 years, 10 months ago

Lewi, a point of fact regarding your post some days ago about the BID tax: No taxes whatsoever would be paid by residential property under this tax if it were passed. The residential property owner and the resident (if different) do get to vote, but the tax burden fall ONLY on commercial property.

What the money is spent on would be determined by the BID board not city council or any other group. This is a tax which is actually spent by the people who pay it. Your suggestion that it be used for streetscape issues is a good one and one which has other support. Rather than snipe, why don't you get involved?

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Steve Lewis 6 years, 10 months ago

local, I did spend a couple months meeting with Mainstreet's economic restructuring board during their first year. That's where I felt I was seeing the mission being narrowed from downtown vitality to downtown retail vitality and marketing.

I was simply against the BID as written - mainly for marketing and advocating (for retail vitaility, I would expect).

You are right. Its only commercial owners that are taxed. Residential owners get to vote, not be taxed. Disagree with that part too. -Steve Lewis

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424now 6 years, 10 months ago

btheball, cyourfuture,

Is a six story apartment complex what we really need downtown? When one of those goes up it never sits alone for long. The projects reference was accurate. I've seen it before.

The city can't build cost effective condos/apartments. They shouldn't have to. Thats what developers are for. Do we want the Steamboat expansion to go up or out?

There is a nice flat valley down south. I know no-one wants to see a bunch of shotgun houses disrupting their idealic view but this city has to go somewhere and we need affordable housing.

I think that the Iron horse is done for. It is just a matter of time. Did I hear Asbestos? Make it go away! The city can sell it to a developer. Let them do what he needs to make a profit with the site. (As long as it includes safe/responsible removal of the debris)

Just get the Iron Horse out of city hands and off the face of the earth.

nanananananana

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another_local 6 years, 10 months ago

Lewi,

So it has been a couple of years since you were current on what Mainstreet is attempting to do. Perhaps it is time for another visit? You might be suprised.

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424now 6 years, 10 months ago

sbvor

You and your links.

Folks they only work if you click em. Agree or not some of them are funny, some fitting and others you won't flat wont like. It's still worth the click.

I watched the video in an earlier link. CC is into the horse up to their ears. Lewi will defend it here and they will put it off along with anything else important until the end of session. Voting I see now is the only thing we can do.

Unfortunately there are some things, some folks, beleive we dont seem to deserve a vote on. They wouldn't want our input, I suspect.

I am 42 for now ask me again in October and the answer will change. I learned the song as a cadence in the 1st ID. I have an old soul and a young heart. The two serve me well.

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424now 6 years, 10 months ago

sbvor,

You and anyone else who cares to be apreciative are more than welcome. I felt it my duty. As did my father and his father. Thats three straight generations.

My sons may break that tradition but at least their in school.

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