Steamboat Springs The St. Cloud Resort & Spa development proposed for the current sites of Clocktower Square, Xanadu Condominiums and the Ski Time Square parking structure received mixed reviews in its first appearance before the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission on Thursday.
The 4-acre, 781,339-square-foot project is being developed by Steamboat Springs developer Jamie Temple and Colgate Holmes, founding partner and former president of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., and a former president of Hyatt International Corp. Temple developed Storm Mountain Ranch in Steamboat with his brother Jeff as well as Water Dance in Frisco and Uptown Broadway in Boulder. Holmes' background includes operation and development of resorts and hotels form Beverly Hills, Calif., to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The St. Cloud project proposes significant height variances from what is allowed under city codes for the site. With underground parking, which the project is slated to include, the city allows a height of 63 feet on the site. As proposed in its pre-application, the St. Cloud is as tall as 126 feet.
"Not only are all (four) of the buildings in excess of the height requirements," city planner Jonathan Spence said, "but also almost all components of all the buildings are in excess of the height requirements."
Temple and his consultants justified the requested variances by noting that city area plans call for increased density than currently exists at the base area, but most planning commissioners disagreed with that explanation.
"I do agree that the plan says higher densities than current use," Commissioner Rich Levy said. "But almost anything would be higher density than current use. : I don't really see the need for anything quite as tall as this."
One concern with height is the resulting shadowing on steep Burgess Creek Road. Burgess Creek Road resident Bill Jameson encouraged the Planning Commission not to ignore that problem.
"It's hazardous now," Jameson said. "It's will be more hazardous when it's shadowed. : When you shadow that, you're going to make it a skating rink."
The St. Cloud project includes 201 residential units and approximately 49,000 square feet of commercial development in addition to circulation and amenity space, as well as three stories of underground parking to both accommodate the development and also make up for the loss of the Ski Time Square parking structure.
The development team noted many public benefits, including a commitment to obtain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. LEED is a rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council as a voluntary program to define and measure "green," or environmentally friendly, buildings. Also proposed are a ski history wall and park, public restrooms, public parking, restaurants, bars and meeting rooms.
When weighing the public benefits against the project's proposed variances, commissioners were very supportive of some items - especially LEED certification - but were unwilling to count such items as the parking and meeting rooms because Temple said there would be a fee to use them.
Commissioners unanimously approved a development plan and final development plan for an expansion to Yampa Valley Medical Center. The project proposes 10,704 square feet of additions to be built on two open courtyard areas internal to the existing hospital campus.
"It's very central to the existing campus," Spence said, "and there is very little impact to surrounding properties."
The expansion is anticipated to be complete by summer 2009.
"We are planning on beginning the project (this) spring when the snow melts, and it's a 15-month project," YVMC Chief Executive Officer Karl Gills told the Steamboat Pilot & Today in November.
Gills said the expansion is needed because of growth in services and fewer patients having to go out of town for health care. In the expansion, five rooms will be added to the hospital's maternity ward, doubling its size. The other major part of the expansion will add a fourth operating room and expand the hospital's endoscopy abilities, Gills said.
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