The future of this 1940s era home located on the site of a development being proposed by Kim and Peter Kreissing will be a source of discussion when the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission meets Thursday night. The home, along with several other structures, is located on 2.79 acres directly behind the Safeway grocery store on Pine Grove Road where the new Rollingstone project would be located.

Photo by John F. Russell

The future of this 1940s era home located on the site of a development being proposed by Kim and Peter Kreissing will be a source of discussion when the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission meets Thursday night. The home, along with several other structures, is located on 2.79 acres directly behind the Safeway grocery store on Pine Grove Road where the new Rollingstone project would be located.

Project in affordable housing flux

Rollingstone development proposal totals 100,000 square feet


If you go

What: Steamboat Springs Planning Commission meeting

When: 6 p.m. Thursday

Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

Call: City offices at 879-2060 for more information


Courtesy illustration


— A Pine Grove Road development proposal touches on a number of Steamboat Springs' hot-button issues, including affordable housing and historic preservation.

Kim and Peter Kreissig are proposing 61 condos and seven commercial spaces on 2.79 acres directly behind the Safeway grocery store on Pine Grove Road. The project, known as Rollingstone, would total more than 100,000 square feet. The site also borders Fish Creek and Rollingstone Drive.

Like any development proposal making its way through the city Planning Department these days, the project finds itself in an awkward position in relation to the city's community housing ordinance, which the Steamboat Springs City Council is in the process of overhauling.

Under the current scheme, the proposed project generates a requirement of 11.62 affordable housing units. The ordinance requires that nine of those units be built within the project and allows a payment in lieu for the rest. The developers are proposing payment in lieu for the entirety of their affordable housing requirements. The city's planning staff is recommending that the request either be denied because it does not satisfy current requirements, or tabled pending amendments to the community housing ordinance.

"I think it is the only approach that the (Community Development Code) allows us to take," city planner Jonathan Spence said. "It does make it more challenging."

City Council is considering a number of changes to its affordable housing policies, including making payment in lieu a right for inclusionary zoning. Also, if council approves a suspension of linkage next week, Rollingstone's affordable housing requirements will drop by 2.18 units.

Regardless of the requirements, city employees think the project represents an ideal site for affordable housing because of its proximity to the grocery store, other retail and a Steamboat Springs Transit bus stop.

"We think it's an appropriate location," Spence said. "The purpose of inclusionary zoning was just that: to include affordable housing in projects."

Historic structures

Six structures sit on the proposed development site, including a house and detached garage built in 1941.

"They are good examples of Rustic style architecture and therefore most likely eligible to the Routt County Register of Historic Properties," a city staff report states.

The Historic Preservation Advisory Commission recommended denial of the project in a 4-0 vote, thinking the proposed mass and scale of new buildings would not relate well to the existing structures.

Planning staff, however, is recommending approval of the project as a whole but does not support a requested water body setback variance. City codes require the development to stay 50 feet from Fish Creek. Developers requested a reduction in the setback to 30 feet to allow an expansion of the detached garage.

"It's large mass and scale do not conform with our design guidelines," Historic Preservation Planner Alexis Casale said about the proposed addition.

Once again, city employees' recommendation conflicts with that of HPAC, which recommended approval of the setback variance in a 3-1 vote.

The Kreissigs also are requesting a seven-year grace period instead of the standard three years before they must pull a building permit. Spence said the request is being made because of the economy; the developers of the proposed Thunderhead project at the base of Steamboat Ski Area made a similar request to extend their vesting period from three years to five.

"With the Thunderhead one, the City Council seemed somewhat unreceptive to that idea," Spence said about the project that was tabled to April at a meeting last week.

Spence said planning staff is recommending that if an extension is allowed for Rollingstone that it only be for five years rather than seven.

Kim Kreissig did not return a message left on her cell phone Monday. In September 2007, after the Kreissigs acquired the parcel for $5.75 million, she said the couple envisioned creating an arts neighborhood consisting of high-end condominiums combined with low-intensity commercial.

"We want to maintain the feel of the property," Kim Kreissig said at the time. "It's a stirring piece of land back there in the forest. There are 100-year-old evergreen trees. It's a place where you can have a Zen moment. Peter and I will try to be as sensitive as we can."

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail


Scott Wedel 8 years, 1 month ago

If they need 7 years to start building then city should say that the project must meet the affordable housing and all other regulations that were in effect no less than 3 years prior to start of construction.

It is not entirely unreasonable to grant longer times for developers to get presales and financing and so on. It is very unreasonable to allow a developer to have a project approved under one set of rules and then 7 years to decide to build that or to seek approval of a different project under whatever the rules are then.


JLM 8 years, 1 month ago

There is a reasonable argument to be made that any approval process is subject to expiration and that is not necessarily a bad thing; however, it has a huge impact upon the public's confidence as to whether SBS is a fair and attractive environment for real estate investment.

Today that is particularly critical given the implications of contracting credit. When a municipality gets a reputation for being difficult to deal with the existing property values rise as there is no dampening new supply and banks are reluctant to lend for deals which have regulatory risk.

The unintended consequence of imposing short deadlines will be the reluctance of property owners to come forward with plans on a schedule which will allow thoughtful reflection on the plans and negotiation with land owners on particularly sensitive issues.

There is an equally sound argument that approvals vest and create property rights which are transferable with the land but also which set standards for reasonableness in the actions of the City of SBS. Some approvals --- site plans, variances --- become encumberances on the land. Some may be as useful as they are restrictive.

Our community is not served by having a body of rules that are disconnected from the realities of the economy and the marketplace. Market forces are real --- ask anybody who has lost their job in the last 6 months if this is true.

Markets do not move in 3 year cycles and the idea that 3 years is "enough" may be quite arbitrary.

Jobs may be held in the balance when these decisions are made.

Municipalities have some responsibility to get their rules figured out and to stop moving the goal posts.

If ever there was a time to encourage financial commitment to development in SBS and to provide broad assurances to prospective investors, now is that time.


Steve Lewis 8 years, 1 month ago

I completely agree with Tele's first post. Extended approval periods are not in Steamboat's best interests.

JLM raises the perspective of "whether SBS is a fair and attractive environment for real estate investment". That perspective allows real estate interests to trump the goals of our community. That's wrong.


Steve Lewis 8 years, 1 month ago

Tele argues the longer vesting simply enhances the value of that parcel. JLM argues the longer vesting enhances financing appeal, and thus the cost to build on that parcel will drop. Prices will drop.

Opposite results!

Tele is correct. With longer vesting the parcel value is enhanced relative to other parcels.

JLM will be correct only if the parcel is not flipped. The original owner might actually use the better financing to deliver a product that increases our supply of homes. But once a new buyer assumes the parcel, any enhancements are consumed at the negotiating table. The community, the new owner and his banker, are back at square one. Except the cost to build just went up!


JLM 8 years, 1 month ago

Scottie, babe, read the comment more carefully. I had already offered a compromise --- note the comment says "5" years not "7" years.

I slipped that in just to show that the nihilists never really listen to the other side, they just rant on without ever really considering the other party's view. You have proven the theorem. Of is this just a simple reading comprehension problem? LOL

Is the City of SBS in the business of supporting the legitimate objectives of its folks, its landowners, its citizens --- or is it in the business of erecting every single possible barrier to the legitimate interests of the real estate community?

It is not the City's business to interpret the real estate market for a landowner but it is a legitimate request from a landowner to ask for help given the realities of the real estate market.

The City has no legitimate public policy interest in opining as to what the land owner may or may not do with his property when it relates to the financing market. Who cares if nobody buys the units? That is not a public policy issue, that is a free market issue.

What is important is the creation of tax base in SBS at times when the only alternative may be to INCREASE the taxes on the otherwise contracting base. That is not good public policy.

This is what "no growth" public policies feel like --- the failure to accomodate reasonable requests from the electorate.


4genlocal 8 years, 1 month ago

JLM why would the city want to increase its tax base. lets face it these others just keep voteing for more taxes for the rest of us. they they go and complain about the cost of rent, food and living. they do not get it all starts with the city and their belief in controling the deep pockets of a developer.


JLM 8 years, 1 month ago

Steve ---

I was very careful to couch my comment as a balance between competing interests and finding the "reasonableness" of both views. I tried to restrain from characterizing either view as right or wrong. I don't believe they are --- they are just in "contest" with each other. The correct course is likely a bit of both.

I make no comment on the "cost" of building as that is simply a market cost and is related to commodity and labor prices. I don't see the linkage between my comment and anything related to construction prices.

The financing is likely to be binary --- either you get it or you don't. I don't see any party as getting "better" or "worse" financing. Deals either get done or they don't.

I argue only that the longer vesting period is a reflection of the times we currently live in --- again, ask someone who just lost their construction job in SBS whether SBS should be "cooperative" or jab a finger in someone's eye. I would only be guided by that reality.

This is typical of the anti-growth element which must justify their position by demonizing the development community. This is symptomatic of why things --- really important things --- never really seem to get done.


Steve Lewis 8 years, 1 month ago

JLM, Why don't we just leave the "goalposts" where they are. A Development Permit lasts 3 years. A Building Permit lasts 3 years.

Tele is right. This is not about creating jobs. There is a possiblity even with current vesting the related jobs are 5 years away. 7 year vesting stretches possible job creation to 9 years away. Apply for permits when you have a project to build.

When the demand curve reapproaches our market, it will choose its own timing, with scant attention to any local "goalposts". I admit we will slightly affect the timing of that return. By 2-4 months is my guess. I'll trade that delay for a town with its standards intact.

I am by no means anti-growth. I've posted in this site for 2.5 years and nowhere in that record will you find even "growth control" comments by me. I understand completely the relation to growth controls to affordability. But count me in when it comes to smart, sustainable growth!!


JLM 8 years, 1 month ago

"These requests are ALL about increasing the potential return on developing the property and removing the variable risk of the approval process in order to increase the value for sale to a buyer who is willing to wait out the economy."

OK. Not sure I agree, but just for the sake of a bit of intelligent debate --- the problem with that would be exactly what?

What is the public policy ill created by accomodating a citizen, a land owner in positioning his asset to legitimately profit from a legitimate busness?

The acquisition of a piece of property and the acquisition of zoning, utility service, subdivision, site plan, the drawing of building plans and the acquisition of building permits are all legitimate undertakings to increase the value of real estate --- none of these incremental value additions require an owner to actually build something. A future owner should be willing and anxious to pay for the accomplishment of these intermediate and perhaps risky steps. Each adds incremental value to the real estate.

This is what developers do to create value and ultimately make a profit.

Is the purpose of government to forestall and diminish the fruits of the labor of its citizens? Is it government's job to erect barriers to capitalism?

Or conversely, is it the role of government to SERVE the legitimate interests --- including business interests --- of its citizens? Of its taxpayers?

Regardless of who or when the property is developed, a government is not intended to be the enemy of its citizens. Of any of its citizens.

Neither is "profit" a 4-letter word --- after all, somebody is going to have to pay Pres Obama's new taxes, right?

If the building permit meets the current standards (even if variances are granted in accordance with the current policies), what is the argument that they don't simply vest and what harm is done to the public?

Smart growth would recognize the reality of the potentially desperate real estate market SBS may find itself in and act to diminish barriers to successful growth and the creation of tax base and jobs.

Look to downtowns which have been saved from ultimate destruction (Austin, TX; Columbia, SC, Lodo; Greenville, SC; Raleigh, NC) and you will find a regulatory and development community which embraced the realities of the marketplace and worked together to make a better future.

Small minds beget small results. If you want a better future, then you gotta reach out and take a risk. When your knee jerk reaction is to always say "no", it is damn hard to get to "yes" and that's what chases business away.


Steve Lewis 8 years, 1 month ago

The harm that longer vesting does to the public good? Projects that pull a building permit 3 years after DP approval are in step with the community's codes. Projects that break ground 7 years after DP approval are not.

JLM, as a counterpoint, what is the harm in keeping the vesting at 3 years?


JLM 8 years, 1 month ago

"in step with the community's codes" --- is that like a Nazi goose step? LOL

The harm to the public good is that the projects are not "in step". "in step"? Really? "In freakin' step?"

That's all you can come up with?

I N S T E P ???

Please preserve the order of the universe, oh God, that we may all be "in step" with arbitrary time deadlines for the benefit of order here in SBS!

Please dear God save us from the chaos that will ensue if we fail to be "in step" with the temporal deadlines of our sacred codes!

That is one of the best laughs I have had in a long, long time. Thank you, kind sir! LOL

The harm is the lost opportunity cost of failing to be pragmatic, resourceful and attentive to the changes in the city's fortunes as a result of the economic downturn which is sweeping over the country.

We are missing a potential chance to encourage the development of tax base by being arbitrary in the enforcement of arbitrary time deadlines.

We have made the rules the master of the enterprise rather than reality. The City of SBS and its City Council will develop a rather brutal appreciation for reality as it deals with its budget in the face of this economic crisis. Just a smidgen of empathy would be useful across the board, doncha think?

The harm is the erection of a meaningless beauracratic resistance to serving the needs of the public, the rightful beneficiaries of its own government.

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds."


JLM 8 years, 1 month ago

See that's the problem with alarmist small minds, they extrapolate every little "small" thing into the end of western civilization and thereby rouse themselves to man the ramparts as the transgressors storm the barricades.

I never said a single thing about being opposed to any forms of regulation in any manner.

My thought was very simple --- don't be afraid to allow government to serve its people by granting a simple one time request with an extended deadline.

Nothing to do w/ being opposed to anything. I just want rules with a brain behind them. Maybe even a little heart.

This is not more difficult to undertand than when trash pick up happens on a holiday. You gotta deviate from the plan because there is a changed condition.

A flick of a pen changes a 3 to a 5 --- and western civilization dodges another bullet and everybody can go home and eat pancakes w/ real maple syrup. Sheesh!

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small mnds." But it's gonna be OK, I promise you. Go ahead, take a chance. Take a small step for man. You'll feel like Neil freakin' Armstrong!


Scott Wedel 8 years, 1 month ago

7 years is a big deal because it is 7 fricking years with vested rights to build. So if something dramatic happens and in 4, 5 or 6 years from now there is absolutely no way the project as proposed now would be approved. This project could still be built while every other property owner would be blocked from doing a similar project.

That is unfair.

On the other hand, these sort of projects typically need presales of 50% of the units and in this economic climate, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they'll need at least 75% presold to find financing. So 3 years might also doom the project.

So maybe tweak the rules so that 3 years of planning permit + 3 years of building permit is instead 6 years to complete the project. So they could start construction in year 4 or 5 if they build it fast. Just giving them more time makes no sense because what sort of person is going to buy into a project that could take 10 (7+3) years before moving in? Potential buyers need to see that the project is going to built during their lifetime.


JLM 8 years, 1 month ago

@tele ---

I think you're quibbling. I see it as very simple, indeed, but I may not fully understand it.

There seems to be a high probability of being granted the variances, no?

Then when the variances are in effect, the landowners want to apply for a building permit, no?

There seems to be no great opposition to their having a 3 year time period in which to begin construction, no?

Then the landlowners would like to request a 4 year extension to the expiration of their building permit, no?

If that is correct, then doesn't the entire issue devolve to whether or not the City of SBS is prepared to grant that extension?

The variance requests are what they are --- either they will be granted or not. The variances will be determined on their own merits and, if reasonable, will be granted.

The building permit and the 3 year time period are not controversial.

So, the only real issue is whether they can ask for and receive an extension. Whether a citizen, a landowner, a member of the electorate can ask for assistance from the government which is composed of similar citizens and which exists solely to SERVE the needs of its people.

I end where I began --- citizens should be able to ask their government for favorable consideration of a reasonable request which is based upon uncertain and changing market conditions in the municipality in which the government holds that authority.

Government is not our enemy --- haven't you been listening to Pres Obama? LOL --- and it should be our supporter.

I still have not heard an argument as to the public policy ill that is created by an "exception" being granted on a case by case basis during this enormous economic struggle in which we find ourselves.

I have however heard a bunch of baloney, unsound logic and vacuous small minded thinking that is the calling card of the "no growth" mentality. But, hey, that might just be my aluminum hat out of tune, no?


Steve Lewis 8 years, 1 month ago

The arguments are clearly stated in the thread above.

JLM, when you reject all counterarguments, and you also choose to frame that rejection in insults, the conversation between adults is over. No?

I look at other Pilot threads and see this same standard. Its very destructive.


Steve Lewis 8 years, 1 month ago

JLM, Believe it or not, the complaint has nothing to with my ego. It has everything to do with the attraction of a conversation.

And what I choose to do with my time.

Now where's that ball....


jk 8 years, 1 month ago

Pretty soon JLM will be playing in the sandbox by himseilf. It seems he likes to bully and can't play nice. HAHA


JLM 8 years, 1 month ago

When the counterarguments --- "in step" and "it's a long time" --- are shown to be intellectually bankrupt and cannot refute simple logic while failing to answer the fundamental questions raised:

"Does our government not serve its people?"

"Why should a citizen be afraid to ask their government for consideration in the face of extraordinary economic hardship?"

the argument ends --- because no credible public ill can be demonstrated upon which to truly found a "convincing" counterargument.

If you take the characterization of your arguments personally perhaps you should not argue in public. I certainly do not intend to "insult" you personally but I find the unfounded logic and small minded thinking of your ideas to be insulting to thinking persons and, yes, they are indicative of the nihilistic NIMBY thinking of the "no growth" mentality which is all too prevalent in the development arena today. Sorry to be so direct, but I am used to arguing with adults.

Now take your ball and scoot on home, shhh, the adults are talking now. [OK, that was a little insulting. Sorry. But it was done in the spirit of spoofing you. And you deserve it for your sanctimonious little schoolmarmish scolding ways.]


Scott Wedel 8 years, 1 month ago

So if I we agree on something for different reasons then that means I lack reading comprehension?

My point is not to do something because it is good or bad for business, but because it is fair. Large projects need presales to get financing. It is fair to give bigger projects in this economic climate some extra time to get their needed presales.

It is not fair to everyone else to grant vested development rights that don't expire for many years so that that development could be built far enough sometime in the future and be able to avoid the rules that are then in effect that everyone else has to abide by.


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