City may cite Space Station

Owners of vacant business could face future legal action

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— Growing skeptical of assurances that the Space Station gas station and Go-fer Foods convenience store is perpetually a month away from reopening, the city of Steamboat Springs has begun to explore taking legal action against the owners of the vacant lot in the heart of downtown.

Planning and Community Development Director Tom Leeson and City Attorney Tony Lettunich said they are working with code enforcement officers in the planning and police departments, as well as municipal prosecutor Collette Erickson.

"We're just exploring at this point what options we have looking at nuisance issues," Leeson said. "We haven't provided any kind of notice of violations at this point, but we're looking at what our options are."

The vacant lot at Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue has attracted litter, tall weeds and graffiti. It is surrounded by a chain-link fence in an effort to prevent parking on the site.

"You have to maintain the property at least in a manner compatible with adjacent properties," Lettunich told the Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday. "There's a lot of things we think we could do in terms of a nuisance."

In April, City Attorney Dan Foote said the property couldn't be cited simply for being vacant, but it could be cited for aesthetic reasons, for being unsafe or for attracting illegal activity.

Monument Oil owns the site. Paul Brown, owner of the Grand Junction-based company, has told the Steamboat Pilot & Today since November that a reopening of the Space Station site is imminent.

"We are currently in negotiations with two different parties," Brown said in April. "If we can get these guys moving, I would hope we could get it open in the next 30 to 45 days."

A message left for Brown at Monument Oil's offices was not returned Friday. Space Station and Go-fer Foods closed Dec. 22, 2006, after former operator Dan Bonner decided not to renew his lease after a decade. Brown has said a failed sale of the property last year and unsuccessful attempts to negotiate a deal with a new local operator have plagued efforts to redevelop or reopen the lot.

"We're as anxious as anybody to get that remodeled and reopened again," Brown said in April. "We're bleeding from the property tax and just the maintenance up there. : We're working diligently to get it operational and to get that fence down, obviously."

Since November, Brown has said that if he did not reach a successful negotiation with a local operator, he would come to Steamboat to reopen the store himself as a company-operated business. Also in November, Brown said he would replace the chain-link fence with a more attractive barrier, such as planters, before the height of the 2008-09 ski season.

In late December, Brown said factors such as the holidays and the moving of Monument Oil's headquarters slowed his plans.

"I just haven't had time to get up there," Brown said in December. "I will be moving forward to get up there shortly."

Comments

oldskoolstmbt 5 years, 6 months ago

SAD?????....we are sooo SPOILED....drive(#1 spoiled factor)....soda(#2 spoiled factor)...ice cream(#3 spoiled factor)...poor you downtown.

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oldskoolstmbt 5 years, 6 months ago

wait, i'm not done yet...you can always take the FREE bus as well:)

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Martha D Young 5 years, 6 months ago

It's reassuring that after two and a half years of the Space Station being closed city staff is considering action against Brown. I wonder when they'll get around to dealing with the former Texaco station at the corner of Third and Lincoln?

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aichempty 5 years, 6 months ago

The City should condemn the place, put an equipment shed type shelter over part of it, and allow homeless people to sleep there as an affordable housing solution.

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1999 5 years, 6 months ago

In my opinion...the five story structures which now block the veiws from downtown are far more of a nuisance.

of course not if you have the penthouse

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Troutguy 5 years, 6 months ago

If he were smart, Mr. Brown would propose to build a 12 story condo development with more unneeded retail space, slip the city council a few bucks in the name of affordable housing, and just sit back and wait for approval. I'm sure any zoning issues could be taken care of for the right price.

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greenwash 5 years, 6 months ago

Perfect place for the farmers market.

3rd and lincoln was a Shell Starion BTW.

and just think several months ago someone actually proposed a park because we need more green space.I laughed then and am laughing now.

And why is it any more of an eyesore than any one of the numerous other vacant propeties located between 3rd and 13th and yampa and oak.Leave Mr. Brown alone hes no different than any other landowner in town.Its vacant....OH WELL!

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oldskoolstmbt 5 years, 6 months ago

greenwash?....which vacant props between 3 & 13..(.besides the old shell station)...and which one's out of those have chain link fences around them collecting trash and grafitti?...the shell station should be in the same boat as mr. brown.....it's main street, not the back 50 of a 100 acre parcel...something needs to be done, not OH WELL!

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downtown 5 years, 6 months ago

The Sad part is that the Greed of Steamboat has gotten out of control and you can't have a soda and icecream unless you drive 2 miles in either direction.

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greenwash 5 years, 6 months ago

ummmm how about Olympian,Howelson place,Victoria,Old shell station, several other retail spaces on Lincoln and I havent gone down Yampa or Oak yet.Oldschool your losing it.Take a drive look around.trash and graffitti your wrong on that too.Why should Brown provide free parking on a vacant property?Its the economy stupid....OH and the realtors too.

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oldskoolstmbt 5 years, 6 months ago

and which one's has a chain link fence?....your right,he shouldn't have to provide free parking.. maybe mr. brown should charge for parking there, that would eliminate the fence and he would have to clean it up, and any of these other properties should be complying with covenant's and codes as well....anyone have ideas to solutions?...instead of calling names and throwing our hands up saying OH WELL!

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Martha D Young 5 years, 6 months ago

oldskoolstbt & greenwash: Excuse my time warp; it was a Texaco station before it was a Shell station. Anyway, nothing's happening there, either, and it's not a parking lot!

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greenwash 5 years, 6 months ago

FOR RENT or SALE ! $10,000 per Month or $2,0000000 Any Takers?

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trump_suit 5 years, 6 months ago

Didn't the Shell station get purchased by a developer?? The old owner would not be the offender in that case, the new one would.

I have seen even 1 5 story development downtown, please let me know where that bldg is at.

This owner needs to S*&( or get off the pot. That property has been an eyesore for too long now. It looked better when people used it as a parking lot. It is time for the city to take action.

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 6 months ago

I think the fence should come down, and use the site for parking. It could be striped and the merchants could police the trash, and have extra parking. This is a win win for all, along with the old Texaco station. Times are difficult and we may see more sites abandoned. Let's not be too hasty with the precedents.

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greenwash 5 years, 6 months ago

I think the OWNER OF THE PROPERTY should take the fence down let everyone park there and tow everyone away and charge to get car returned,thats a good way to collect rent.

OR on another note hopefully the OWNER OF THE PROPERTY will take the fence down SO the next JOE who parks there can trip and fall and sue the OWNER For neglect.

HMMMM go figure?

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oldskoolstmbt 5 years, 6 months ago

ooorrrrr...let's see, the next joe could fall while attempting to climb over the fence and sue the piss out of the owner as well...once again, greenie...no solutions...just bith, bith, bit*h w/ no real ideas...we would just like to see mr. brown 'mean what you say and say what you mean'....i think the town has been more than patient!

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jk 5 years, 6 months ago

So this guy owns his own oil business, probably already has a fleet of trucks to deliver that petrolium, and can't figure out how to open a store he already owns to sell his own product?? Am I missing something here??

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Gaylan Hellyer 5 years, 6 months ago

It would be great if they could make it DIAGONAL parking around the sides and a park/green space in the center. Or parking along the alley and park in front. So many people tend to gather there and it would be a great open space in town. I heard that thought circulating around town and I think it would be the best. No more tall buildings blocking the sun and the views. We can't fill the retail space that already exists.

. . . .And on another note: the fence went up after the awning over the pumps started sagging in the middle when snow built up without any maintenance. I stopped parking there because it just didn't look safe.

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