If you go
What: Steamboat Springs City Council meeting
When: 5 p.m. today
Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.
Call: City offices at 879-2060
5 p.m. Proclamation of historic preservation month; final report on a proposed U.S. Highway 40 access control intergovernmental agreement; resolution adopting the agreement; resolution adopting an alternate use study for Steamboat Springs Airport; resolution adopting a master plan and layout plan for Steamboat Springs Airport; resolution amending community housing guidelines
7 p.m. Public comment; Planning Commission referrals; development plan, final development plan and preliminary plat application for a Yampa Valley Housing Authority project at Elk River Road and U.S. 40; pre-application review of Steamboat 700; second reading of an ordinance revising the city's vacation home rental ordinance; second reading of an ordinance that in limited circumstances would allow payment in lieu of required sidewalk construction; City Council reports, introduction of topics for future work session agendas; staff reports
Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs City Council has plenty of items on its agenda when it meets today for the first time in three weeks - but Triple Crown won't be one of them.
The first reading of an ordinance extending Triple Crown Sports' contract with the city through 2010 had been scheduled for tonight, but City Manager Alan Lanning said officials need more time to prepare for the discussion. The ordinance will be postponed to the May 20 council meeting.
"We're still putting together numbers," Lanning said.
Those numbers include two in particular, which Lanning is referring to as the "shock number" and the "shock-and-awe number," because of their magnitude. The shock number is the cost to upgrade the fields Triple Crown uses for the baseball and softball tournaments it hosts in Steamboat and neighboring communities for 10 weeks each summer. Triple Crown is requiring such upgrades for a contract extension in Steamboat for two summers after 2008.
"They've been asking for that for years," Lanning said. "There's a standard they want our fields to be at. Some of our fields are not at that standard."
The shock-and-awe number is the price to build a regional sports complex and secure a long-term contract with Triple Crown, or "what it takes to get a 20-year deal," Lanning said.
"Shock because I think the number relative to upgrading our fields and helping Hayden upgrade its fields is a little bit bigger than people think," Lanning said. "And, of course, the shock-and-awe number is building the complex for the long term, and that's a much bigger number."
Lanning could not offer even a ballpark figure for the shock number. Past estimates have put the cost of a regional sports complex in Hayden at $8.5 million. Triple Crown officials have said they may leave Northwest Colorado if such a facility is not built.
In recent weeks they have said there is no reason to sign even a two-year deal with the city without progress on a long-term plan. The company recently issued a nationwide request for proposals to gauge what hosting their tournaments would be worth to other communities.
"At the best case, we have a two-year period to satisfy the long-term requirements, and it was clear to us that Mr. King would like to have the long-term solution done concurrently with the short-term one," said Lanning, referring to Triple Crown President Dave King. "That's part of the delay here. We're tying to do both."
A consultant's report released last year states that Triple Crown brings about 32,000 visitors and $1.19 million in tax revenues to Northwest Colorado each summer. But some residents oppose the company's tournaments because of noise, traffic congestion and other impacts that accompany the influx of visitors.
The debate came to the forefront recently because of Triple Crown's controversial request to use Emerald Park fields in 2009 and 2010. To date, the fields have been reserved for local use, and many residents say past council members promised Triple Crown never would be allowed to use them. There also are traffic concerns because the park has only one vehicular access - along residential Pamela Lane.
"There is no easy answer to all of this, and I hope that the public and those either connected or not connected with Triple Crown will understand or at least consider that this is part of a larger economic development strategy for the community," Lanning said. "I think it's easier to think of this as a long-term strategy rather than compartmentalizing it into smaller details."
The cost of upgrading current fields and constructing a major sports complex would be incurred by local governments, Lanning said. Although he said there are compelling arguments for Triple Crown sharing in those costs, Lanning said it makes sense for governments to cover them entirely.
"Primarily, in my mind, we are reaping the benefits of the sales tax derived from their presence, and upgrading the fields benefits our residents in the long-term, as well," he said.
City Council will review a pre-application tonight for Steamboat 700, the proposed 700-acre development west of city limits that proposes about 2,000 homes and hopes to be annexed into city limits.
"Basically there are just a few things that we're going to discuss that did not get covered last time," said city planner Jason Peasley, referring to the council's first review of the pre-application.
Issues not discussed include the proposal's lack of light industrial uses as envisioned in the city's West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan and the location of its main commercial centers, which city officials have said they would like to see more centrally located. The Steamboat 700 development team also has issues of its own it would like to discuss.
"They don't feel that they've received enough direction from the elected officials so they can amend their proposal," Peasley said. "Their application is feedback-based. What they're looking for is as much feedback as possible."
Peasley said he expects this to be City Council's last formal review of Steamboat 700 before an updated proposal is submitted. Steamboat 700 Project Manager Danny Mulcahy has said he hopes to make such a submittal this summer.
"Once this process is over, the ball is in their court," Peasley said.
Also tonight, City Council will consider the second reading of an ordinance that would allow developers - in limited circumstances - to make a payment in lieu of required sidewalk construction.