City seeks 700 team

Council wants help with annexation

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— Steamboat Springs City Council members admit they aren't expert negotiators.

So when it comes to working out an agreement for a massive development west of Steamboat Springs, they're going to call in reinforcements. The council agreed Tuesday night to put together a negotiating team to work with the developers of Steamboat 700.

Council members hoped the group would include lawyer Jerry Dahl, who was part of a panel that spoke to the council about the proposed annexation Monday night. Dahl's firm specializes in annexation law, City Council President Loui Antonucci said.

"We don't have to reinvent the wheel," Antonucci said. Annexation has "been done all over the state and the country; we just need to tailor it to Steamboat."

Council members said the negotiating team also could include the city manager, city attorney, and heads of the city's finance, planning, public works and transportation departments. The council intends to ask Dahl whether he is available and, if he is, have him provide a list of people who also should be part of the team.

Council members overwhelmingly supported the plan.

"I came away last night with a new appreciation for the expertise that's needed when it comes to a large endeavor like this," Council Member Steve Ivancie said of Monday's annexation review. "We need to put the best team together to look after this for our constituency."

The council also addressed one very basic question: Do members want to proceed with the annexation? The answer was a unanimous "yes."

Having an outside team participate also could help remove politics from the annexation process, Council Member Meg Bentley said, adding that the team would provide help "completely out of the political realm and into the realm of experts."

Planning Services Manager John Eastman asked how the negotiating team would be paid.

"Lawyers are not inexpensive," he said.

The council did not nail down a plan for funding.

Antonucci suggested the developer should cover costs associated with the planning and approval process. He added, however, that if that were the case, the developer probably would not pay the negotiators directly because that could be a conflict of interest. City Attorney Tony Lettunich suggested the developer could pay into a fund, which the city could draw from to cover costs associated with the annexation deal including, perhaps, the negotiation team.

Land use attorney Bob Weiss, representing Steamboat 700, expressed concern about such an expense as well as the cost of studies proposed for the development. He said developers planned to focus on four categories for those studies: the fiscal impact of Steamboat 700, housing, water needs and transportation.

"This is a package; this has to be a financially viable program," Weiss said. He also said the developers wanted to stay on schedule and get the studies under way as soon as possible for the development, which could add about 2,000 homes just west of Steamboat Springs.

The council did not set forth a timeline for the pre-annexation agreement required under the Community Development Code.

Before the council meeting, the Steamboat Springs Redevelopment Authority extended for three years the contract of Redevelopment Coordinator Joe Kracum of Kracum Resources LLC, who is coordinating public redevelopments at the ski base.

The authority also discussed funding for operations and maintenance of road renovations and a planned promenade at the ski base, as well as contingency plans in case the city is unable to expedite a bond issue to cover design costs.

Comments

jack legrice 6 years, 9 months ago

Could someone tell me just what is the advantage of annexation? It seems like the city is hell bent on doing this. It seems to me the negitive impacts out weigh the positive.

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elk2 6 years, 9 months ago

I'd like to see some regular folks on this committee. I think it would be beneficial to hear form someone who didn't have anything to gain from this annexation voice their opinion. I think by paying this committee you are going to see lots of special interest.

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 9 months ago

I believe that the city is correct, by deciding annexation of the 700. Otherwise, the county picks up the fire ticket, the Steamboat II Metro District picks up the water, and the city needs to provide sewer. Besides, this would increase the current boundaries moving toward annexation of Steamboat II and in my opinion, would make the "flag pole" annex they have on the scrap yard by the shooting range, legal. I hope the transportation issues are resolved in the area, before they start this development! Slow and easy gets the job done well!

elk2, I beleive you are correct in your veiw. I would like to see some folks that live around the area effected, on that committee. Theres an interest!

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SilverSpoon 6 years, 9 months ago

Make speculators pay for the lawyer and the team. Open up pre-annexation pricing. Speculators will buy it up. Or, mandate a fee on the realtors, lets say 1% of a sale, so that the developer can pass the cost down to the real benefactors of the project, the realtors. I wonder which city council member would appose such a suggestion?

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MtnWarlock 6 years, 9 months ago

SilverSpoon, Sounds like a good idea to me! As far as council member, your guess is as good as mine!

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jack legrice 6 years, 9 months ago

I still would like to know- What are the benifits to the city by annexation?

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threeyearlocal 6 years, 9 months ago

The city has to annex the land so the developers can build on small lots. If it stays in the county, the lot size is 35 acres or they have to do a Land Preservation Subdivision.

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jack legrice 6 years, 9 months ago

So that is a an advantage. Just so we can support cheap housing for the whinners. That is going to be to great an impact for this town. I would rather see the 35 acre lots and keep the impact small. I know a bunch of you afforadable housing supporters are drooling. You get a cheap house and town gets to foot the bill. NO TO ANNEXATION. I know this is a loosing battle. Like I said in another post, Glad I had a good 35 years of quality life here. This town is going down the greed drain. Let the county deal with it.

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