Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs Planning Commission voted 4-3 Thursday night to recommend expanding the city's Urban Growth Boundary to accommodate Steamboat 700.
The Steamboat 700 team still needs to win a recommendation for approval from the Routt County Planning Commission, and the final decision about its Urban Growth Boundary request will come Aug. 12, during a joint meeting of the Steamboat Springs City Council and the Routt County Board of Commissioners.
But Thursday's vote was a step forward for the proposed development west of Steamboat Springs.
The Urban Growth Boundary is a line that was established by the Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan to delineate between land to be developed for future urban use and lands that should be kept for rural use.
Steamboat 700 is a proposed 700-acre development 185 of which lie outside of the UGB - that could include up to 2,200 residences and 300,000 square feet of commercial space. The area that lies within the UGB is designated by the West Steamboat Springs Area Plan as a site suitable for future growth.
Tom Leeson, the city's director of planning and community development, said some planning commissioners felt the current UGB didn't seem to be based on any topographical issues and seemed like an arbitrary location.
Commissioners who did not support the boundary extension Thursday cited traffic concerns on U.S. Highway 40 and a lack of public benefit from the Steamboat 700 project, Leeson said.
Commissioners Kathi Meyer, Karen Dixon, Tom Ernst and alternate Brian Hanlen supported a UGB expansion for Steamboat 700, while commissioners Rich Levy, Sarah Fox and Cedar Beauregard voted against an expansion.
Commissioner Dick Curtis was absent Thursday.
County planning commissioners will conduct their public review of this year's five UGB applications at 5 p.m. July 17.