Developers want no 700 vote

Annexation planners say application will meet public needs

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— Supporters of Steamboat 700 said Friday that plans for their proposed 700-acre annexation will make a public vote unnecessary.

"We think this will be a quality application consistent with what the community wants so we won't have enough opposition to support a need for an election," Bob Weiss, a land-use attorney representing Steamboat 700, said of final plans for the development, which proposes about 2,000 homes and commercial space on a site west of Steamboat Springs.

A public annexation vote occurred May 20 in Minturn, where residents resoundingly approved the annexation of a 5,300-acre, resort-style project on Battle Mountain. More than 300 voters approved Florida developer Bobby Ginn's private ski and golf resort with just 34 opposing it, according to the Rocky Mountain News.

New trends and policies in annexation were the topics of discussion Friday during an attorney's workshop at the Colorado Municipal League's annual conference at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel. Jerry Dahl, a consultant attorney hired by the city of Steamboat Springs during Steamboat 700 negotiations, led the workshop.

Whether the Steamboat 700 annexation should come to a public vote has been a contentious issue for months. Steamboat 700 Project Manager Danny Mulcahy said earlier this year that a referendum petition, needed before such a vote, would add at least a year to the process and cost additional money.

If the city approves the annexation's plan through an ordinance, opposing parties would have 60 days to challenge the ordinance with a referendum petition.

For a referendum petition to happen, the opposing side has 30 days after its challenge to collect the required number of signatures. City Attorney Tony Lettunich and Weiss were not sure Friday how many signatures would be required. If enough signatures were collected, the decision to annex would go to vote - a process that played out in Minturn.

Lettunich said in Minturn's annexation vote, a small group of voters decided on a project that will approach $200 million in total related expenses.

"These numbers for the millions of dollars was astonishing," Lettunich said.

Steamboat 700 LLC purchased 540 acres just west of Steamboat Springs for $24.6 million in March 2007. The developers have 160 adjoining acres under contract.

Steamboat 700 plans to have its pre-annexation agreement finalized and approved by the city in the next 30 to 60 days, Lettunich said.

Comments

ColoradoNative 6 years, 2 months ago

There is not a single bigger issue that will effect ALL THE VOTERS of Steamboat in the next decade or so.

Mr. Weiss...If you are truly bringing what the community wants then why be afraid of letting us vote?

I've yet to hear how 700 will address the gridlock that will result on 40 and more than likely Elk River road, downtown etc.

You can't add 2000 homes to our community without addressing the chaos of summer traffic we are already suffering from.

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skygazer 6 years, 2 months ago

I agree that a project that has such a huge impact on the local economy, infrastructure, and congestion needs to be voted on. I know that Steamboat Springs will inevitably grow, but I'm not sure that enough community wide input has been given for this project. Resounding approvals of developments in other communities are no reason to not vote on local issues; it's like comparing apples to oranges. Minturn has a highway (I-70) that mitigates through traffic -- we just have congestion. The city has a history of piecemeal planning and this is too large of a project to be left to an empowered few to decide.

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hubiem 6 years, 2 months ago

if i lived in the steamboat II area, i would vote against this thing for sure. i bet everyone who lives out there would as well. if this many houses are built in that area, the home values in the steamboat II area are sure to take a huge hit.

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