700 debate gets emotional; council members express concerns

Public open house, town hall meeting to discuss project today

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Steamboat 700 timeline

- 4:30 p.m. today

Open house and town hall meeting; city and Steamboat 700 officials available to provide information and answer questions

- 5 p.m. Thursday

Planning Commission meeting; annexation review and traditional neighborhood design amendments

- Sept. 17

Planning Commission meeting; annexation review and traditional neighborhood design amendments

- Sept. 29

City Council meeting; initial review of annexation plat, annexation agreement and traditional neighborhood design ordinance

- Oct. 13

Final consideration of annexation plat, annexation agreement and traditional neighborhood design ordinance

If you go

What: Steamboat 700 open house

and town hall meeting

When: 4:30 p.m. today

Where: Steamboat Springs Community Center, 1605 Lincoln Ave.

Call: City Planning and Community Development Department at 871-8258 for more information

Agenda

4:30 p.m. Topics including affordable housing, transportation, parks and open space, fiscal impact and water rights covered at individual tables.

6 p.m. Group question-and-answer session

On the 'Net

Visit www.steamboat700.... and steamboatsprings.net/departments/planning_department/steamboat_700_july_2009 for downloads and more information about Steamboat 700.

— City Council's debate about the proposed Steamboat 700 annexation turned suddenly emotional and more hesitant Tuesday on the eve of a public open house and town hall meeting to discuss the project.

A Tuesday meeting to discuss the project's capital facilities plan evolved at Centennial Hall into a debate about the overall merits of the development. Concerns ranged from Councilwoman Cari Hermacinski's newly expressed worries about the cost of U.S. Highway 40 improvements to Councilwoman Meg Bentley's philosophical problem with pedestrian underpasses.

The development's lawyer and other council members beseeched doubters not to be motivated by fear or politics and to stay the course toward approving the project that proponents think fulfills the goals of the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan and 15 years of planning.

Steamboat 700 is a master-planned community that proposes about 2,000 residences and 380,000 square feet of commercial space on 487 acres just west of current city limits. The plan reviewed Tuesday calls for various improvements at different stages of the development and identifies Steamboat 700's share of costs. Public improvements called out in the plan include major upgrades to and a widening of U.S. Highway 40 from 13th Street to the project, other road improvements, construction of a new community center, transit stops, new buses, parks, trails and a new public safety building.

At a potential cost of more than $100 million, Hermacinski said improvements to U.S. 40 alone are so expensive that they threaten the viability of the project and undermine the No. 1 goal of the WSSAP: affordable housing. She said the WSSAP was written under the assumption that the state and federal government would help pay for the improvements, a prospect that is now unlikely - at least in the near future - given budget constraints.

"One of the major assumptions on which this was based has shifted. We lost all that state and federal funding, but we've still said to the developer, 'Wrap it in gold,'" Hermacinski said, referring to development plans that demand affordable housing and amenities such as heated bus stops and 8-foot-wide sidewalks.

Steamboat 700 attorney Bob Weiss sought to reassure council. He said that cost estimates are overly conservative, grant money from the state and feds may return and that, in any event, the annexation agreement is structured in such a way that the city bears no risk.

"This is the defining moment for this City Council and this community. Do we abandon 15 years of planning because there's uncertainty in the future?" said Weiss, who noted the substantial investments made in the project by the developers. "Imagine somebody doing that again under this kind of uncertainty."

Weiss argued, as have other Steamboat 700 officials, that growth is coming to the Yampa Valley no matter what and that Steamboat 700 is a partner to help pay for several sorely need improvements. That partner won't exist if growth goes to outlying areas of the county, Weiss said.

"Then you're going to have hell to pay," he said.

Councilman Jon Quinn agreed. He said that while it is easy to say "no" to such a large and complex project at a time of economic uncertainty and as a City Council election nears, such a move would be foolish.

"We're losing sight of the ball here," he said. "We have created a framework here that obligates this development to pay for itself. : Anybody who believes we can stop growth is out of their mind. This opportunity, I think, is not going to come again."

Hermacinski, the only incumbent running in a contested race for re-election this year, said Monday that feedback has been mostly negative since she started soliciting residents' opinions of Steamboat 700 in advertisements and while knocking on doors.

"There are very few people who say they think it should happen," Hermacinski said. "There's far more opposition to it than support."

An open house and town hall meeting to discuss Steamboat 700 is at 4:30 p.m. today at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.

Comments

Fred Duckels 4 years, 7 months ago

A no vote on 700 would have to assume that we can stop growth or are going to die trying.

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Vince arroyo 4 years, 7 months ago

The people whom have had wide-eyes during this whole idea , hoped to get rich on 700. reality is hard to swallow . We Do not need 700. We can't even sustain what we have now.

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mtroach 4 years, 7 months ago

Everyone talks about how we will sustain the owners of all these homes, when that's something we shouldn't worry about. We can't stop growth, and the 700 will just give us space to do it over the next 20 years. WE don't know what will happen in the next 20, the 700 may not even ever build out. But if we don't do it, we will lose all the potential good that this developer will bring to the west of town, and still have the growth to contend with. Without 700, we have no plan for a retail center on the west side, and no plan to build schools, transportation sites, or anything besides more McMansions on 35 acre plots.

Don't think that the 700 developer isn't going to build something on that property if this development plan fails. They aren't going to walk away from a $25 million investment with nothing to show for it.

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addlip2U 4 years, 7 months ago

....." if we don't do it, we will lose all the potential good that this developer will bring to the west of town..."

mtroach, please tell me to what potential GOOD are you referring to?

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flotilla 4 years, 7 months ago

"Steamboat 700 attorney Bob Weiss sought to reassure council. He said that cost estimates are overly conservative, grant money from the state and feds may return and that, in any event, the annexation agreement is structured in such a way that the city bears no risk."

This is disgusting. Mr. Weiss, you are a liar.

Lastly, if Cari Hermancinski votes for 700, we'll know she was bought and paid for:

"There are very few people who say they think it should happen," Hermacinski said. "There's far more opposition to it than support.

So, your vote is No, is it not? Are you not representative of the citizens of Steamboat?

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justice4all 4 years, 7 months ago

Once again I say: These houses are not going to be "affordable". How could they with all these added costs being incorporated into the selling price of each lot? O K. They are built, sold, people move in. Now, where are they going to work and how is anyone going to cross town at rush hour? Guess I just answered my own question. Why would they need to cross town. There are no jobs to go to! We are "developing" ourselves right into disaster. I truly feel that I am not the only "local" that says."like our town as it is or leave it alone----or if you do not like it as it is, JUST LEAVE OUR TOWN!

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flotilla 4 years, 7 months ago

I would also like to note this: I am not "anti-growth". I would love to see more industry, more job opportunities outside the ski area, maybe in the 131 corridor, sustainable growth. BUT THERE ARE NO JOBS. NONE.

This will be the third time I have asked Fred, where will they work? Where will these people work? These homes are not slated as 2nd homes. I don't really know what they are slated for, actually. Maybe we they could build a heated reservoir with all Mary's water rights and sell docks with the homes? Oooh, and a rec center! A casino! That would create jobs! It would be just like Vegas... using water you don't have to built stuff you don't need.

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Scott Ford 4 years, 7 months ago

Flotilla - I will let Fred answer for himself, but I believe I can shine some light on the question of who is moving here. They are retired school administrators from New York, like Bill Kennedy who moved here to be closer to his kids. It is folks like Peter Parsons, my office mate, who designs micro chips for a living. Both live here full time and contribute to the economic, social and civic fabric of this community.

The Yampa Valley is an attractive place to live and we keep making the man-made amenities better - great hospital, schools, library, etc. This is a great place to live; very few places offer what this place has to offer. People with the desire, means and capacity to move here are coming. Perhaps not as many as in the past - but they are still coming and will continue to do so.

Will these folks occupy 100% of the homes in Steamboat 700? Of course not! I would not be surprised that over time they occupy 30%. They are not second homeowners. This group comprises a year-round growing economic driver in our community. Although not well understood, this group should not be ignored just because they are hard to see.

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flotilla 4 years, 7 months ago

But do Bill Kennedy and Peter Parsons need Steamboat 700 in order to find attainable housing? Or can they purchase one of the many homes currently on the market? I understand why people want to move here. And more power to them for being able to. But what do we do with the other 70% of inventory? Agreed that this group is not to be ignored, but are they speaking out in favor of 700? I don't see the "growth" problem. I see Steamboat 360, Stagecoach (Song Mt), downtown, Emerald Mtn annexation request, etc, all building inventory and much of it sitting vacant. So why annex in something else? I see our demand being filled. As you mentioned earlier regarding price point, the only inventory not available is 200-300K homes. Unless you move to OC or Hayden, which I happen to think is viable, but many do not. Some people in this county think that people who need 200-300K homes are greedy and should leave. I see no problems being solved with 700. I see many problems being created.

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Scott Ford 4 years, 7 months ago

flotilla If we look through the lens of the current national and local economic situation, I would totally agree with you. We have more than enough housing inventory to meet demand for the present and near term. The challenge with planning is that it must take the long-view - what is going to be needed 10, 20 even 50 years from now and how do we plan for it? No easy task. The WASSP by design recognized that growth was likely to occur and if so focused growth to the west of town. Annexation has always been a part of the long-term strategy.

I may be viewing this a bit too simplistically, however, if the demand for housing is not there - the homes will not be built in Steamboat 700. Do you think that eventually we are going to need the housing inventory options that Steamboat 700 will offer? Obviously not now but perhaps in 10 to 20 years?

I think we win as a community when we give folks options. For some folks the communities of Craig, Hayden, OC, and Yampa are and will continue to be viable housing options. I think having the housing inventory potential of Steamboat 700 will help temper home price appreciation for the entire valley.

We maybe front loading the cost of the lots in Steamboat 700 beyond the point that even "moderate" homes will be $500K+. I do not know how to get around this. I think a few owner occupied mobile homes in parks with 100+ lots that are owned cooperatively by the mobile home owners themselves could do the trick. It increases the land occupancy density to the point that homes in the $200K to $300K are very possible. However, the mere suggestion of such an option causes many folks to have significant heart palpitations. It is an option that even Cari mentioned last night that seems to be missing from the discussion.

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Clay Ogden 4 years, 7 months ago

Scott,

As always I appreciate your thoughtful and well reasoned comments. I see this as an attempt to manage the inevitable growth following WASSP plans that have been massaged and tweaked for what seems like the whole 27 years I've lived here. It's not perfect : nothing is. Unmanaged growth will certainly be worse.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 7 months ago

Today there are about 200 lots in Stagecoach for sale. The question is not how many people in the valley, but their location.

The missing element in this debate are the SB businesses saying it would be better if their employees lived in SB. And I think the reason they are not making that argument is that SB 700 is not proposing workforce housing. The income definitions for affordable housing are so far above what most local workers are paid.

Scott F. What is the main difference between a mobile home park with owner occupied lots and a housing development with a tenth of an acre lots? I think it is mobile home parks have minimal design standards and single story.

Instead of a mobile home park, just have small lots that are deed restricted to less than 1,000 sq ft residences.

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Scott Ford 4 years, 7 months ago

Scott W - Great questions - I am on the go this morning. - I get back to you by this evening. Scott F

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aichempty 4 years, 7 months ago

I have flown over vast areas of the southwest at low altitude and observed many subdivisions which were laid out and then never completed. We've got Catamount and Steamboat Lakes (Willow Creek Pass Village) right here in Routt County that are in the same situation.

The only reason the developers are behind this is the 25MM they have spent on it. We don't owe them anything. They took a risk and sometimes risks don't turn out to be good things.

The west end already proved it could not support a market and retail center when the Market at the Curve turned into Ace at the Curve.

The money pipe has been shut off and that's the real story. The developers took a risk at the wrong time and then apparently threw good money after bad.

They should sit on the property for a while and see what happens, or liquidate it to raise enough to put in water, sewers and streets for another development like Steamboat II so that working people can build modest houses there. This idea was either 10 years too early, or 10 years too late. Either way, the time is not right.

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Scott Ford 4 years, 7 months ago

Scott W - I totally agree - I am letting my development ignorance show and that was the reason for the mobile home suggestion. Small lots with small homes work for me and I think they would work for folks seeking moderately priced housing opportunities in the immediate Steamboat Springs area.

I am curious as well why Steamboat business owners are not pressing harder on the "affordable/attainable" issue. Most likely, for the present time attracting and retaining workers is not too difficult. In 2005-2007, it was an issue but that was yesterday. It is not today. Will this be an issue again? Perhaps. Will Steamboat 700 be an opportunity lost to provide such workforce housing? Perhaps.

Like most things, we have 20/20 hindsight but it is easy to be myopic looking forward. I am as guilty as anybody is when it comes to being myopic at times. That is why it is important that we allow ourselves the freedom to learn from each other. Collectively we usually are a wee bit smarter together than we are all by ourselves. I sometimes talk myself into all sorts of crazy ideas. Thankfully, I have folks that check my thinking and protect me from myself. To all my blog buddies keep up the good work!

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flotilla 4 years, 7 months ago

It is an interesting point, not owing anything to these developers, since it does seem that the Council is attempting to say that we do, since they have come this far.

Scott, all great points. I live happily in Oak Creek and wouldn't even consider living in West Steamboat. It will probably take longer to get home from downtown to 700 than to Oak Creek. Again, I agree, options are good, but this development seems too large, too expensive, and too many principles in it seem too entitled.

I feel that this project will pass, and I feel that it will do so because of City Council's tie to the development world and their personal finances. Maybe I am a conspiracy theorist, but we'll just wait and see.

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lizzie1243 4 years, 7 months ago

All of the comments lead to the conclusion that there should be a public vote. Frankly, what is the purpose of 700 other than to enrich the developers and real estate folks ? The city is being asked to subsidize private industry. There is no gain to the city.

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1999 4 years, 7 months ago

I agree with flotilla.

there are far too many people trying to make money here. it's not about growth...it's about trying to sell real estate.

it has nothing to do with quality of life. grocery stores. affordable housing or any of the other BS.

it's a bout a developer trying to make money and real estate people, builders, excavators etc etc etc hanging on for dear life...to their coat tails.

AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Duke_bets 4 years, 7 months ago

lizzie and 1999 - People actually trying to make money.........How absurd!

That argument doesn't hold water.

I'm truly on the fence with 700, but a decision needs to be made. The developers have dumped millions. Changing the rules after the game has started doesn't work.

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 7 months ago

On the other hand this is also a negotiation, and the rules are as much about what you bought, as about what the advertisement said.

Since the 8/25/09 draft, the annexation agreement now offers:

III, K - a grocery. IV, B, 4, - promise of land from SB700 if the RTF becomes a casualty of TABOR

Those are both very important, and its progress, no matter which side you might be on.

My preference would be that we take the time to make this work for both parties (the city and SB700) and in that process dissuade the people who might recall it.

This October deadline will do neither.

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bandmama 4 years, 7 months ago

Just a little tidbit to consider...... Has anyone else noticed the decline in the costs of rental properties say in the last year? I would be interested in learning what the average costs to renters was 2/3 years ago as opposed to todays costs. Look in the classifieds, homes that went for over 2 grand a few years ago are considerably less today.

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bandmama 4 years, 7 months ago

why the need to expand when it seems to me that there may be a problem filling existing space. Mr Ford?????? (you always have a good answer, any suggestions? thanks, B.M.)

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Chad James 4 years, 7 months ago

This project will introduce approximately 100 homes per year into the mix. 20-50 of these homes will be attainable and/or affordable. This is NOT rampant growth, and in fact we will not likely see the FIRST home until 2012.

This process has been going on for several years. The October "deadline" is not an arbitrary date. It's actually been moved several times to accommodate requests, by the City in particular, to modify the plan.

Several hundred meetings, several hundred small decisions, and dozens of opportunities for public input.

Will the developers (and the city) make money on this project? I HOPE so. Otherwise the project WILL fail.

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Scott Ford 4 years, 7 months ago

Duke_bets- It is easy to try to vilify developers and sometimes in frustration, this is what happens. I have no problem with those who take great risk - deserve great rewards. I know that I do not have the courage to be in this line of work. I respect those that do.

I agree with Steve that is important for all of us to remember that this is a negotiation. The rules are not being changed on anybody. If the process of annexation was so defined to the point that there were no questions or issues to be clarified, it would not be a negotiated process. I think that the City Council and Planning are in some uncharted waters - and great caution is warranted on their part. I am sure that Steamboat 700-LLC's local legal counsel carefully advised them that this was going to be a bit crazy. In addition, I am sure they were advised that there was a very real possibility that in the end - the citizens of Steamboat Springs may be given the opportunity to vote on the annexation. I am sure Steamboat 700-LLC went into this process with their eyes wide open and understood the risk. Have there been a few surprises? Absolutely - on both sides. Will there be more? Absolutely!!

Millions of dollars and hours of toil have been spent. The danger is that those involve on both sides of this negotiation are close to becoming exhausted. I saw it last night. The challenge is not letting the urgency to just get something done outweigh the importance to get it done right. This is one of the reasons why it is important we show-up at the open house if we can. Our presence is an encouragement to get it done right and not just get it done. It simply shows that we do care.

I am also on this fence regarding annexation. I am so on the fence I keep sliding back-n-forth to the point my backside is full of splinters. I am sure I am not alone. In the end I hope that we can avoid having the Steamboat 700 annexation become such a divisive issue that the conflict begins to define us as a community. This can happen when a community has more than its share of passionate and opinionated people. This is one of the reasons I support having the annexation put to a vote. Regardless of the outcome I have seen how voting resolves the divisiveness.

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 7 months ago

Aich, The vacant subdivisions you mentioned if developed will add to trafffic problems and contribute nothing to our current needs. Outlying towns will produce the same, as well as send sales tax out of town. I have observed the 700 process, and in my opinion we have a good developer, and I have worked with some bad ones. This deal is probably the best we can do to have an organized effort and a class operation. Waiting for another day will likely bring regrets. It is not likely to find a fit like the one that we have. The west commercial area will prove invaluable to any planning here, no others are going to solve this long overdue dilemna.

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JLM 4 years, 7 months ago

Hmmm, what was the state of the economy 15 years ago and how has that impacted the current environment? Not 2 or 3 years ago, 15 years ago.

The safety valve is the time period. S-700 is a 20+ year deal.

Sometimes, you just have to jump and take your chances.

Stop pulling the caterpillars feet off already!

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jimbo 4 years, 7 months ago

Fred don't you gain a lot of work if this goes thru?

I really see the point about not owing developers anything just because they bought the property...we owe current residents sane and sensible management and care of our resources and infrastucture...we do not developers the right to make a profits

The decision must be based on the needs of current residents not the needs of the development community...

be wary of how those who will profit try to frame the discussion...

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bandmama 4 years, 7 months ago

Mr. Ford- thanks for always being reasonable and level headed! I hope the splinter wounds heal quickly.... many of us are suffering form the same injuries.

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robert nestora 4 years, 7 months ago

open your eyes steamboat i see one thing everybody has overlooked. the people who bought land near or overlooking steamboat 700 didnt know when they bought their dream houses that a council president who probably will benefit financially in passing steamboat 700 can make their dream a nightmare obscured by talk of the future needs of steamboat. let consider the current environment these people live in and not subject them to the greed of a few. i think they are the people who are going to be affected most by this project. somebody mentioned catamount well at catamount if you want to change your building envelope your neighbors have to approve if they say no its no. no variances. i think .people most affected should decide not council members who are leaving. the vote should be delayed till after the election so the current voting council members cannot vote yes and then line their pockets. think of those affected their the ones who count in this

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gas4765 4 years, 7 months ago

Why the rush for 700. There will be other developers and a better time!

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greenwash 4 years, 7 months ago

This time next year Danny Mulchay will be back in his real hometown Las Vegas,just as Bobby Ginn is no longer developer of Vail/Minturn project.See todays Vail daily.No hard feeling just the nature of our new economy.

I wonder how many realtors well have next year.?

Meet me at Harwigs to discuss.

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robert nestora 4 years, 7 months ago

i forgot to comment on something else that occurs to me is this city council the same one that charged developers a high fee for affordable housing and then lowered it, let them get away with insufficent parking and bought ironhorse inn. please dont suggest you know whats best for us rather hide your heads in shame and go softly into the night. p.s. doesnt fred duckels own an excavating company near steamboat 700 wonder if he would profit from a yes vote.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 7 months ago

Scott F. You are the man with the economic data. What is the financial situation of the average local family that will be able to buy at SB 700? Will it be someone working for a paycheck? Or will it be business owners and new residents?

I think it is pretty obvious that SB 700 will be too expensive to be a direct straightforward benefit to current SB residents. There is no expectation that someone could sell their SB condo and afford a house with a yard in SB 700.

The benefits of SB 700 are limited to more subtle effects. SB 700 would tend to limit the demand for $500+K houses in Stagecoach. And that would tend to limit the demand for $400+K houses in Hayden and so on.

If SB 700 was proposing as part of their urban design a whole lot of 1,000 sq ft per unit duplexes (ie 2,000 sq ft building) mixed in with the 2,000 or so sq ft single family housing then current locals could see something there they might like and have a chance at getting.

BTW, it is my experience that it takes as long to drive from OC to Walton Creek as it does from Walton Creek to SB II. And at 5 pm the midpoint becomes the intersection with Anglers.

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 7 months ago

Jimbo, The 700 infrastructure will be handled thru a metro district and any work will meet the same criteris as other government entities. Opposition to the 700 would have to assume: 1 We will be able to stop growth. 2 Growth is not inevitable. This is the most important decision since the mountain was annexed. That decision was not popular as the area had a history of not paying bills. Were we going to pave their roads? The town board had some very capable individuals led by Jim Golden that said the deal "had to get done". They annnexed and a vote would have not been favorable. This was our finest hour in my opinion, I was not in favor until the board stood behind it. We have the same situstion today and I am calling on the council to lead the way, even if a referendum is necessary. The next election is not that important, but avoiding chaos, and following our game plan will forever benefit the community and certainly deserve my respect.

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 7 months ago

I have little sympathy for elected officials that keep their powder dry. Letting the voters decide is a copout. I expect council to lead.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 7 months ago

Fred, It is not a question of growth v no growth. I think the real question is whether the annexation will meet any of the goals of the WSSAP. The "promise" of deed restricted housing means almost nothing because that has not worked well yet.

If the residences are designed to be purchased by mobile professionals able to live anywhere and the annexation does nothing for the current population of the valley then this one opportunity for SB to grow correctly for the next 20 years will have been a huge failure.

And it is asking a lot to trust that the developers (and presumably his successors) will do it right for 20+ years.

With a City government that has been so inept on real estate matters, I simply do not trust that the agreement will still be seen as a good agreement in 10 or 15 years.

I am generally in favor of the project, but via a series of annexation agreements every 5 years or so that can fix the errors and omissions in the previous agreements.

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 7 months ago

Scott, As far as I'm concerned the AH involvement should follow the DoDo bird. The added inventory will lower housing costs in the area and the market can solve ths problem. This project has been vetted better than the Iron Horse, which was a sneaky deal to outsmart developers, and the faulty Elk River parcel that no one else was going to touch. Hopefully bloggers can prevent further fiascos. I agree that a review may be necessary, and I think that this is obvious, the city still has a lot of power in the matter and it would be unwise to fight city hall.

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honestabe 4 years, 7 months ago

Fred has been making money in this valley for a while, and doesnt need stbt 700 to keep him afloat, and he doesnt have this work already. calling him biased is the same as calling anyone else out as biased, you are ignoring his arguments. i havent seen him comment here, "lets do 700, i need the money", no, he has logic based arguments (which i only agree with sometimes). props to him for showing his true identity. ps making money and having an opinion are not illegal or immoral.

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 7 months ago

Blue Spruce and Freeby, I will explain this for the tenth time. 700 will be financed under a metro district for infrastructure, will be publicly bid with strict legal scrutiny, each of you has the same opportunity for work. I personally would have shut the gate on the pass thirty years ago if I could control growth. Growth is inevitabale, this is only a decision wether we take the bull by the horns or by the tail.

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flotilla 4 years, 7 months ago

Mtroach, I think the point some people are trying to get across is that nothing in the deal shows affordable places to build. So before you get excited, maybe you should make sure that is possible. The article before said each lot is getting at least another 44K tacked onto the price because of the infrastructure and developer's responsibilities. What is affordable to you? What would the price of a lot need to be in order to be affordable? 50K? 80K? 100K? I bet you are looking at $150K lowest lot price, and I bet you the developers consider that affordable. For me, well that is what I owe on my HOUSE and land so that would be extremely unaffordable. Let me know, I am waiting to hear some real prices. If you know where that is written in stone, please point it out. I don't want to see this community think they are getting something they aren't.

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blue_spruce 4 years, 7 months ago

I am new to this conversation, but am I correct that Fred Duckels is the owner of Duckels Construction?

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aichempty 4 years, 7 months ago

If this development was east of town, nobody would like it because skiers driving up from Denver would have to see it.

I tend to trust Fred Duckels to know what he's talking about, and I know he turns down work from time to time, so although he is in a position to profit, you can also know that if he does the work, it will be done right.

All that said, I still fail to understand where the additional jobs are coming from that will support the development. Some people will gratefully live there and work in our community, but as far as people relocating here for the cold weather, a view of the next-door neighbor's house, the sounds of kids hollering and all the traffic, I don't see that it's going to be a particularly desireable place for retirees or others looking for a get-away near a ski hill except for second-home owners.

High-density development may be attractive for some, but not for all, and just as I cannot understand why someone would move all the way to Denver and then stop short of living in the mountains, I cannot understand why someone would move here to retire and want a high-density neighborhood. If it was next to the beach . . . well, maybe. Even if you could walk to the ski lift . . . well, maybe.

People facing retirement (don't ask me how I know) consider things like medical care, how long it takes to get to a hospital that can perform bypass surgery, oncology care, etc. I can understand it if you're living near your kids, but I don't think there are enough retirees with kids in Steamboat that they would WANT to live near .

So, if even half of the homes in the built-out development are owned by locals working in the area, where are we going to find a net increase of 10% to 20% in employment, and especially in employment that will support purchase of a $300,000 to $500,000 home? Telecommuting and consulting take care of a few, but this is not Kevin Costner's baseball diamond in a corn field. Even if we build it, they won't necessarily come.

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mtroach 4 years, 7 months ago

aichey, who cares where the people come from to buy these lots, and builds these homes. Isn't that the developers problem? Taxpayers will not be on the hook to bailout this developer if he can't sell the lots, and if the developer builds a neighborhood that sits empty for 20 years that will certanly stall the advance in the price of lots elsewhere in the county, Creating more affordability throughout the Vampa Valley, and allowing those of us that have found a way to exist here a affordable place to build that is in Steamboat Springs, not Oak Creek, or Hayden.

Currently this developer is on the hook to pay for infrastructure that if this deal goes sour another developer may not offer.(schools, retail and transportation). Why not ok the 700 and get a retail establishment, and needed infrastructure on the west end of town. Clarks Market died well before Silver Spur, Maribou, West End Village, and all the work/residences in Copper Ridge were built/occupied. This developer is not asking for a taxpayer handout, just the right to move foreward with a development that meets the plan we decided upon 15 years ago. If the 700 developers still have the stomach to invest in such a large,and risky development the current economy, government should not stand in the way.

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freerider 4 years, 7 months ago

Blue Spruce you are correct Fred Duckels is the owner of Duckles construction ....and have you noticed he will NOT RESPOND TO HOW MUCH $$$$$$$ HE STANDS TO MAKE....LET'S JUST SAY HE'S BIAS

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 7 months ago

Flotilla, You are asking a key question: Who will afford the cheaper units of SB700's free market product?

We should know roughly how well our teachers, police, nurses, etc, match up with SB700's free market units. That's the measure of our negotiation's success, in my opinion. There is a lot of rental product in there which I expect they will fit. Is ownership also possible for them?

I put that "workforce fit" question to planning commission last night and to SB700 the night before. We should understand what we bought in this deal.

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 7 months ago

My suggestion is that the cheaper half of SB700's product be detailed soon. Of 2000 total units, the lower 400 are part of the affordable program and deed restricted by income. I hope to better understand what the next 600 units, all free market, will look like.

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aichempty 4 years, 7 months ago

roach,

What is it about a 15 year-old plan that suddenly sanctifies a dumb idea? It was dumb then; it's dumb now.

Building retail space out there does not guarantee that the places that move in will be able to stay in business. Where do the customers come from? Where do they make the money they will spend in those stores? Get real and think the problem through. To get to the end, you have to have a beginning and a middle.

If the developers are willing to sink the money and wait for customers to show up, good. Let them do it. Let them spend the money and let them take the risk.

Steamboat only has one thing to offer. Skiing. Is that enough to attract enough people to make the 700 project viable for the developers without taxpayer money? I don't think so.

The goose that laid the golden egg has flown south for the recession. Sales tax money from tourism isn't going to cut it for a while, if ever again. If the city commits to building infrastructure in there, city residents will eventually be paying property taxes to cover the cost. That's the only way it can work, because taxes are the only money that people can be compelled to spend. If there was private financing available to cover the 700 cost, they wouldn't be asking for city participation, would they?

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danny 4 years, 7 months ago

Aichempty- We are not asking for the City to participate; The existing residents are not contributing to any of the infrastructure, there are no new taxes to the community for anything, not water, traffic, schools, affordable housing, police, fire etc... Quite the opposite, we are contributing 30+million to affordable housing plus land donations, 15 million to schools, 2.4 for fire, 4.5 for police and 16+ million for Traffic solutions. All told we are contributing more then 100 million over twenty years to the community not including county property tax or City sales tax. All of the aforementioned are documented needs of the community without SB700; SB700 is not the cause of any of them. We are an opportunity to have a significant partner on all of them. The way the annexation agreement is written if SB700 doesn't secure or construct the appropriate improvements then we can't subdivide/plat which means we can't sell anything. The jobs have to be here before the houses are built or there are no houses built. If we don't build there are no impacts or benefits for that matter. Annexation only prepares us for growth it doesn't cause growth or guarantee growth. Steamboat 700 is an opportunity to slow the "down valley syndrome" and allow the next generation to live here. Call John Eastman, Jon Roberts, Bob Litzau, or me if you have questions that are not answered on either the City's website or ours Steamboat700.com or call me at 970-870-0244.

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aichempty 4 years, 7 months ago

Danny,

You are not asking the city to participate. You are "betting on the come." If you fold up your tents and blow away, who gets stuck with the bill?

If you're not getting anything from the city, then why is annexation an issue? Why not proceed as a development in the county and forget about the city completely?

Unless this development is possible without annexation, then you are indeed getting something from the city to make it possible, and nothing comes for free. A promise to pay is a fine thing, but payment is a different matter.

Developers do a half job and then declare bankruptcy and pull out all the time, all over the country. Are you prepared to put up a cash bond, in advance, to cover all the necessary improvements? Or do you plan to pay for them by selling property in SB700? If you're not putting the money up front, then there's a risk you won't have it later, and that's where the city and the taxpayers (or the people who buy property in there hoping to build later) get stuck. The Steamboat Lakes Subdivision is a perfect example of how good intentions go wrong, and how people get stuck holding the bag when the developers run out of money.

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danny 4 years, 7 months ago

aichempty- First- the county will not allow urban development in the county any longer- they want all urban development to occur next to the existing municipalities and be annexed into them. They do not want to provide services such as fire, police, snow removal etc... that is why they jointy designed and adopted the WSSAP. Call Chad phillips at the county to explain it to you. Second- Yes we are prepared to either construct or otherwise post a bond for all the infrastructure associated with that development. I just stated that but here is the language from the annexation agreement

"1. The capital facilities required by the Capital Facilities Phasing Plan, Exhibit F, that are required to serve the portion of the Property represented by the proposed final plat, and taking into consideration the location of the property to be served in relation to other portions of the Development, have been constructed, if so specified in the Capital Facilities Phasing Plan, or have been financially secured to the satisfaction of the City in the manner customarily required by the City for similar improvements, or in the case of the items set forth in the Capital Facilities Phasing Plan which are to be constructed by the City by use of the Capital Revenues, sufficient funds have accumulated and are available to construct the Developer's share of such improvements as specified in the Capital Facilities Phasing Plan. "

http://steamboatsprings.net/sites/default/files/page/3121/09-01-09%20Annexation%20Agreement.doc

In simple terms: We need platting to be able to sell lots and we need to either construct or otherwise secure the infrastructure associated to that level of development to get the plats approved. This includes US40 improvements and any on site infrastructure.

The City hired the biggest gun in Colorado to represent their interest in the annexation agreement -Gerry Dahl. We have all been very careful not to put the existing or future residents at risk in the event something goes wrong.

This has all been discussed at City Council thoroughly and in the minutes of those meetings if you want to review them.

If you have questions then call John Eastman, Jon Roberts, Tom Leeson, or Gerry Dahl.

I have provided the link to most recent version of the annexation agreement on the City's website.

Steamboat 700 is an opportunity to be prepared for the future and to protect the Valley from "down valley syndrome"

you can alway's call or email me if you really want the facts. 970-846-2192 Cell 970-870-0244 office.

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aichempty 4 years, 7 months ago

The whole idea assumes that the City taxpayers will get some benefit back from this development. So, what is it? It looks to me like the only "benefit" is to have the City assume a portion of the development debt against future tax revenues, and the reality is that the City will be paying for decades before the first positive cash flow from the new development ever occurs even if a City property tax was implemented today.

In my mind's eye, I see a network of roadways with underlying water, sewer, electrical and telephone service for 2000 lots, and maybe 10 or 20 houses per year going in. Will those few homes contribute the City's share of the expense back in taxes? No. It will take decades and a buildout of the development, plus a property tax, to cover the City's share of the initial expense. You guys will be long gone before the City breaks even.

Tell me where I've got this wrong.

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aichempty 4 years, 7 months ago

Danny,

"Developer's share . . . "

So somebody else has a share. That would be the city/taxpayers unless someone has a very big and wealthy mouse in their pocket.

" . . . or in the case of the items set forth in the Capital Facilities Phasing Plan which are to be constructed by the City by use of the Capital Revenues, sufficient funds have accumulated and are available to construct the Developer's share of such improvements as specified in the Capital Facilities Phasing Plan. "

". . . which are to be constructed by the City. . . "

I am not against development. I am against overdevelopment, high density and profiteering to create wealth for developers and crowding and squalor for future residents.

We are not currently in an economic climate that is conducive to development.

The City has no money for basic services at the moment, so where do they get the money for the City share of infrastructure?

In order to cover the full cost of the proposed development, it needs to have the following:

  1. Water and sewer service including treatment plants with sufficient capacity to provide service to each proposed lot independent of existing City facilities.

  2. Roadways, curbs and drainage sufficient to handle runoff as well as on-the-street parking plus two opposing lanes of traffic.

  3. Public safety facilities and schools sufficient to serve the number of proposed residences based upon the plat design.

  4. A highway entrance with turn lanes, traffic signals and other required infrastructure necessary to prevent impeding the flow of traffic between SB700 and the area where US 40 becomes 4 lanes near the library and fart park.

Without a City property tax to generate the City's share of the infrastructure expense, adding a few houses with a few people who pay sales tax is not going to cover the City's share of the expense. Adding a City property tax to the County tax already in place is the minimum that's going to happen before this is all over.

People should pay for what they get. No problem with that. The issue here is that developing an additional 2000 home sites at a cost of $100,000,000 to the developers in infrastructure already comes in at $50,000 per platted lot. The city has a share on top of that. Then I suppose you'll want some return on your investment. So, who do you propose to sell these $100,000 + lots to, and why should the City go in the hole for any share of the infrastructure when the return to the City in taxes won't be anywhere near the expense for many years to come?

(cont)

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danny 4 years, 7 months ago

Aichempty- You need to read the entire document and the associated exhibits. You are wrong in almost every point in your argument and this blog doesn't have enough space to explain the whole thing to you. Instead of conveying misinformation and fear you should actually read the agreement or call john Eastman or myself to have all of your questions answered.
I will address several of areas of where you are wrong but you need to take some responsibility and actually do some homework or rely on your elected representatives to do it for you. The discussion of "share"- everything on-site SB700 pays 100%, not one penny comes from the existing residents. not water lines, sewer lines etc.. Even streets and parks are maintained by SB700 until there are enough residents to offset the cost and we have provided facilities and equipment. Off-site is shared by future development and others and yes there are existing problems that the City has a share in whether SB700 exist or not. "constructed by City" only means we fund it but they administer the contract ie.. fire station, police station, water tank, elk river intersection, etc.. that does not mean they have to pay for it. Water.. read the water master plan adopted Nov. 18 2008. The City is conducting an infrastructure study now which will determine the timing and cost of new infrastructure. Water and sewer tap fees will be paid by NEW taps ONLY. The price of water will not go up and we have more then sufficient water supply- The City has never used water fees to pay for infrastructure. Before you argue about that read the study, call Jay Fetcher or any water engineer. 1-4 are paid internally roads, curb, etc.. Our ability to deliver these facilities and still have a middle class community are based on three principles 1. Metro district financing enables infrastructure and other capital items to be financed with more favorable terms then traditional financing. (This is a property tax only on SB700 residents) 2. We have the ability to spread the cost out over 20 -50 years so the lot cost is not based 100 million/2000 up front. 3. We have nearly 2000 units to spread the cost out against.

The benefits are to more then just the City but to the whole region. First and foremost is the ability to preserve the character of the community by enabling the work force and middle class an option to live where they work. Only about 50% of the work force lives in town today. That enables the school district, hospital, TIC, Smartwool and others the ability retain a quality workforce. It will help alleviate the some of the traffic resulting from our work force from living out of town.

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danny 4 years, 7 months ago

By growing west we reduce growth pressures from effecting Emerald Mtn- Limon Orton's master plan, South valley, Strawberry Park. It Preserves open space and Agricultural land. (Call Marsha Daughenbaugh) Then there is show me the Money $16 mm for US40 which is needed w/o Sb700 $2.5 mm for fire station needed w/o Sb700 $4.5 mm for police needed w/o Sb700 $40 mm to affordable housing needed w/o Sb700 $15 million to schools needed w/o Sb700 30 acres of parks 12 miles of trails Expanded transit service (4 new busses) Core trail connection West side grocery store, daycare, employment center, etc...

This development does not cause or guarantee growth; it only prepares us for it. Just because we are annexed doesn't mean we just start building for the sake of it. We will build as the market demands- any other way is foolish. If the economy turns around our first house can't be completed until 2012 at the earliest. We will hope for the best and plan for the worse. If economy stays tanked then we don't build until 2017 or....If we are annexed and don't build there are no impacts to the community either.

Ironically, if you are not just anti growth like you state you would probably support the plan if you actually took the time to get the facts.

If you really do care then I invite you to call me to have a dialogue before you make anymore uniformed post.

Steamboat 700 is opportunity for the community to control their own future.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 7 months ago

Danny, This is not convincing "First- the county will not allow urban development in the county any longer" is misleading because the County has been approving just about everything proposed at Stagecoach. And the "any longer" implies some recent change but the current policy goes back at least 20 years. It is also largely an irrelevant comment with everything that has been platted at Stagecoach and Hayden. This area is not facing any shortage of lots to build upon.

And the trouble with your answer to the question of what happens if the project goes belly up is that bonding in a manner satisfactory to the City is not at all specific. It would appear to allow the bonding to be secured by placing liens on all of the lots.

And the Down (or up in the case of Stagecoach) Valley syndrome is not obviously made better, or worse, with SB 700. That all depends on whether local employees will be able to afford to live in SB 700. I have no doubts that among knowledge workers able to live anywhere that some will chose SB 700. But those remote workers actually increase the need for local employees. So it all depends upon the mix of residents whether SB 700 improves or worsens the number of people commuting to SB.

And with the City has done to income definitions for affordable housing renders statements of providing affordable housing to be virtually meaningless because almost no local jobs pay anything close to those limits.

And the City getting 12 acres for affordable housing was a step in the wrong direction because modern urban design says mix it in with the other stuff, don't concentrate it.

I have great sympathy for you, but unfortunately you are dealing with a City with a long history of incompetence regarding real estate.

I think you need to go into detail of what you are planning on selling at what prices and use that to explain why SB 700 should go forward.

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aichempty 4 years, 7 months ago

Danny,

I went to your link and found that all the exhibits were blank.

The "special district financing" sounds all peachy until somebody gets stuck paying the bill. The Steamboat Lake Water and Sanitation District obtained some of that, with the result that monthly fees doubled. The residents on the W&S lines now pay $1200 per year for water and sewer service because it was decided by the Board of Directors that additional capacity was needed for development to continue. The whole community is footing the bill for the next 150 houses to be built while none of them have been built, and the District cannot charge vacant lots for the cost of improved capacity until taps are put in.

"Off-site is shared by future development and others and yes there are existing problems that the City has a share in whether SB700 exist or not."

You certainly are good at the self-serving caveat. Everything on-site is 100% paid by SB700, sure, okay, leaving everthing offsite (roads, water and sewer treatment, etc.) to be paid by the City. You imply the City will have to spend the money anyway. No, they won't, unless the development occurs.

Why not just incorporate the Town of West Steamboat and be self-contained? If the answer isn't, "That would cost us a lot more," then I owe you an apology.

The City is under no obligation whatsoever to incur the cost of offsite infrastructure if SB700 is not built.

US 40 doesn't need improvement without 2000 additional homes to serve.

No fire station is needed. When was the last fire in Steamboat II?

More police? Why? No need without the new development.

Affordable housing? Boy, that's a red herring. No such thing in this area.

Schools? Not without new development.

Your arguments are all based on a flawed assumption, which is that growth is inevitable. How much has Craig grown in the past 15 years? Hayden? Yampa? Oak Creek? Stagecoach? North Routt? The answer is "not much" and certainly not 20% in almost two decades.

I've had my foot in the local door since the early 90s and have learned that there is no free ride around here. If you folks had your personal cash and assets tied up in this project instead of all the creative financing ideas (with the Special District being a way to compel people to pay taxes in return for services) nobody would oppose you.

Why don't you admit that you are willing to spend the stated costs of development as long as the City picks up the tab for offsite improvements and long-term operation of the new facilities.

Show us how the increased tax revenue from SB700 will offset the City's costs so that this is a revenue-neutral endeavour for the City every year from now until the end of time.

(cont)

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justice4all 4 years, 7 months ago

AND WHERE WILL THE NEW RESIDENTS WORK??????? Seems no one wants to answer that. Or even address the issue. Come on Danny and the planners, answer up. Or are you wanting to just turn our valley into another industrial area? I urge all who love our valley to resist this "growth" and those that do not, just leave and leave us alone!

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aichempty 4 years, 7 months ago

You only need to do one thing to convince me this is a good idea.

Show us the costs that will be required in each year, and the income that will be generated in taxes each year, so that the City does not have to go into debt to fund the offsite infrastructure developments required by this project.

Otherwise, you need to put the money up front to cover those costs, and you can make it back by selling real estate in the new development. You take the risk.

What's wrong with that?

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aichempty 4 years, 7 months ago

More than 24 hours, and no response from the developers.

Those of you who have not backed a lawyer into a corner may not know that when you confront them with an "inconvenient truth" they shut up. Nothing more is heard.

So, lacking a detailed response showing that the City is not going to have to spend more money than it takes in from SB700, I'm going to assume that we've gotten to the bottom line and the truth is that the developers are planning on the taxpayers to give them a gift to let this project go forward. They will make a profit, and the City will spend more money than it takes in.

Show us the numbers, fellas. The ball is in your court.

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danny 4 years, 7 months ago

aichempty- I have been busy and still am. I have noticed you just don't want to actually be a resposnible citizen and do the follow- up. These comments alone discredit you:

"US 40 doesn't need improvement without 2000 additional homes to serve." Do you drive? have you been on the west side of town in the last 5 years? Have you looked at ANY of the studies conducted in the last 10 years? There wasn't even construction this year and the US 40 west was a mess.

"No fire station is needed. When was the last fire in Steamboat II?" (actually just a couple of months ago) Fire depatments handle more then fires they handle every type of emergency call. Don't believe me? call the fire department yourself! This has been a documented need for years. Just make the call

"More police? Why? No need without the new development" Read the Studies; call the police chief! Look up the Durant Study adopted in 2001 again documented long before Sb700 came to town.

"Affordable housing? Boy, that's a red herring. No such thing in this area." You are right hence the need for SB700

"Schools? Not without new development." Did you not just read the paper in the last few weeks even in this economy the elementary schools are at capacity. Call Shalee or any school board member: http://www.steamboatpilot.com/news/20...

And for the last time "The City is under no obligation whatsoever to incur the cost of offsite infrastructure if SB700 is not built" Or if it is built! It is in the annexation agreement and the exhibits are not blank. Call John Eastman

Sb700 pays all on site infrastructure roads, parks water, etc..and new tap fees pay for all the off-site Water and Sewer. Look at the Fiscal Impact Analysis to discover how all the other City Services are covered. It is all on the front page of the city website!

http://steamboatsprings.net/departments/planning_department/steamboat_700_july_2009

You won't belive me, you won't read the documents, you won't call anyone, and you probably haven't been to one public process meeting but you know everything. Just keep coaching from the couch. This is why we elect people to represent the residents.
Aichemtpy-, when you have shown that you can grasp the facts I will respond to your future post but I don't have time to correct all of your misinformation.

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danny 4 years, 7 months ago

Aichempty- Routt County grew 66% since 1990. I haven't looked at Craig but seeing how Steamboat Springs taxpayers built a transit center in Craig I would expect it grew substantially.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 7 months ago

Danny, Actually, Craig did not grow substantially. Craig used to have more people than SB, but had been losing jobs in the energy sector. It has grown in the past couple of years, but I think they are still below their previous peak population.

Also, I note that several times it has been questioned whether the developer's promised financing of infrastructure is going to be cash up front or some other plan that could result in liens or high fees on the property owners.

You have also been asked to be more specific on what will the affordable housing look like. With current definitions of affordable housing, it is entirely possible to meet the requirements and be priced well above what very few locals working for a paycheck could ever afford.

If those have been answered then I apologize.

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danny 4 years, 7 months ago

Scott- In order to sell a piece of land it has to be sub-divided into a plat; in order to recieve a final plat the infrastructure needed to serve each plat must be constructed or secured. Bonding against vacant parcels with little value doesn't get anything- any security will have to be credit enhanced.
As for affordable housing, we are supplying land and a perpetual funding source which will generate 20-40 million over 20 years. The City will decide the criteria meeting affordable over the years. The housing will be spread amongst almost every "pod" with no more then 3 or 4 acres within any given pod and even then it likely won't be contiguous. The land donation will allow the communty to build what they need when they need it- the zoning of each piece choosen will have mulitple housing type options from 2 units to the acre to 20+units to the acre. The idea is at certain times the community may need apartments and townhomes and other times condos and clustered single family. We donate the land and the community decides who builds and what to build. The idea that 700 sqft condos fits for everyone finally got thrown away.

Additionally, the majority of the housing types (80%) are scheduled to be on lots 8,000sqft or less or in multi-family. The largest house you can get on 8000 sqft will be +/-3,000 sqft. Additionally, without getting into the proforma we are scheduling our free market to range from 3-8 times household earnings with 4-6 being the majority. We have projected 1,000 units to be priced below 500k with an average below 280k(this does include a market value on apartments). Considering we are talking at least 2 years from today and the average single family home today in SS is in excess of 750k and the average condo is still in excess of 500k this isn't bad. With over a 1000 sales in Routt County last year (2008) the average price for a single family home SOLD was 1.3 mm and the same is true today in 2009 with over 700 sales. This project is trying to address all of the workforce from 70% AMI single person to 180% AMI family of 4. A 4 person household at 100% AMI across the county(not just the City) is 75K.

And back to your earlier comment about County density, I should have been more clear that the County will not approve any new zoning less then 1 unit per 5 acre and that is only with a LPS otherwise everything not currently zoned must remain 35 acre. I would have been happy to apply for this project in the County. They have an IGA with the City that said this property should be annexed into the City in accordance with the WSSAP.

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aichempty 4 years, 7 months ago

Danny,

From 2000 to 2008 the rate of growth, on the back of the financial bubble that burst last October, was 16.7%. If I was trying to make a point using statistics, I'd say that growth has slowed considerably based upon your numbers.

I think it's clear that if this issue goes to the voters, it will fail.

Speculative "studies" trying to prove a point to support growth are just so much propaganda in the end. You have to buy the flawed underlying assumptions and that's where they fail with people who know enough to dig for the facts.

Please just show us the numbers on costs of constructing and operating offsite infrastructure, and projections for tax revenue from the new development. If you're not looking for funding from the City taxpayers in advance of tax revenue from the new development, it should be a simple thing to demonstrate.

When the dust settles, if SB700 doesn't result in enough tax revenue to support what the City will spend, the taxpayers are going to lose. The assumed rates of growth are speculative and optimistic.

And, yes, I have driven west of town recently. Almost daily, in fact. Our problem is the Lincoln Ave choke point at the end of a 45 mph speed zone. How will adding 2000 units help that? Four lanes of US 40 from Milner to the library won't do a thing to help downtown congestion, and development of a bypass from the Shield Drive area to the east side of town is not likely given the actual volume of traffic that passes through town to go east. The best solution would be to ban parking on Lincoln, raise the limit to 35, reduce the cross streets and eliminate half the lights.

Steamboat sits in a bad place for a small town trying to grow. Geography and funding are against it. The jobs required to support it don't exist and probably won't.

So, show us the numbers on tax revenue versus cost of infrastructure to be borne by the City, and if the City can show a net income, you've got my vote.

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justice4all 4 years, 7 months ago

Danny, this is directed to YOU. Where will the people work?? You say that others are dodging the issues. YOU have DODGED this one. How about an answer, or are you also planning an industrial area to "create" emplotment to further ruin our valley? WAITING FOR YOUR ANSWER.

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danny 4 years, 7 months ago

aichempty- The August 11th City Coucil meeting presented that exact information. The City staff hired Economic Research Associates to conduct the fiscal impact analysis. They used actual 2007 cost data and several conservative approaches to revenue. This City council from day one was intent on not burdening the current or future(except for sb700 residents)city residents with any cost. On August 11th the City Council voted 7-0 that the development was revenue neutral- that is 7-0 even Meg and Steve determined it was revenue neutral today and 25 years into the future.

Unfortunetly, I can't find the document on the City website but please call John Eastman, Jon Roberts, or Bob Litzau to have then explain it to you.

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danny 4 years, 7 months ago

justice4all- To ease your concerns if there are no jobs then we won't build any new houses. no new houses= no impacts on the community. Call Noreen Moore with Routt County Economic development to get a full understanding of job growth in Steamboat Springs and Routt County. The City has a job generation study they adopted to assess linkage. They surveyed all of the resort towns in Colorado to determine if you build X it will generate X number of employees. An example is a hotel room generates .8 jobs and a resaurant generates 8 jobs. Most communities have these so if you don't beleive this one look up some others. http://steamboatsprings.net/sites/default/files/page/2196/community_housing_nexus_studyAPR_2006.pdf The rezoning of the base area, done by the 2006 Council created a significant amount of new density. There are over 1000 new units either planned, in permitting, or under construction at the base area alone.
SB700 is a very long term project, it doesn't increase the demand to live here, it doesn't guarantee growth; it only prepares us for growth. At the end of the day, annexation only zones vacant land and stipulates what needs to happen if it gets developed. If the economy doesn't make a turn then there will probably never be development at SB700. But if it does and the community wants to be able to allow the middle class and workforce to live in Steamboat then they need to have a growth area and plan for it.

Steamboat 700 is an opportunity to prepare for the future and allow the next generation to live here.

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justice4all 4 years, 7 months ago

Danny, Still have not answered the question: WHERE WILL THE PEOPLE WORK???

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lowclasslocal 4 years, 7 months ago

Seriously, where are there jobs in the valley that can provide any type of living, especially the skiing and living this valley is known for? Has anyone who is posting on here looked for a job lately? Just a job to get by, or a 3rd job that has been the way many people have made ends meet around here for many years? Those jobs aren't around any more, or are more competitive, and frankly, they don't make enough to afford a 2000 sq ft home. But on a side note, Steamboat has started using a different barn on some of its mailings. The end of an era, Steamboat isn't a cow town anymore, it is a place for not just speculators from Denver, or Texas, or even NY. It is a place for world wide speculators. Exhibit A: Intrawest

Exhibit B: Steamboat 700

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aichempty 4 years, 7 months ago

danny,

Well in that case, good luck.

The arguments are all good as long as the proper version of future events comes true.

I predict that in the years to come, people from outside will drive by and say, "I wonder what that was going to be?"

Take heart. I've been wrong before.

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justice4all 4 years, 7 months ago

Same question to the planning commission. You are looking to get it under construction, but how will it be sustained with no jobs? Also, where will YOU be working when we have the opportunity to put You out of office for ruining our valley and not doing what you were selected to do------PRESERVE OUR VALLEY AND THE WAY OF LIFE THAT WE LOVE HERE----

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justice4all 4 years, 7 months ago

Danny, Once again, WHERE WILL THE PEOPLE WORK?????????? Answer up. You seem to have all the answers. Where is the answer to a very important question?

WHER WILL THE PEOPLE WORK!!!!!!!!!!!

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Aspengold 4 years, 7 months ago

This is a quote from yesterdays Pilot: "According to an information sheet distributed at Monday's meeting, U.S. Highway 40 through downtown Steamboat is "the most heavily traveled section of U.S. 40 in Northwest Colorado..."

Unless the residents of 700 are able to find jobs in their neighborhood, will dine and shop only in their neighborhood, will build their own medical center, and do not plan to ski, ice skate, play golf, attend the rodeo, enjoy the hot springs, etc., the number of cars on Lincoln between 3rd and 13th streets will only massively increase.

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 6 months ago

justice, The question that you put forth is standard fare for naysayers, I have heard this all my life and it is a tactical ploy that has no downside for the initiater. In the first place if no jobs are available, no development will take place. This places all the risk on the developer. Everytime a gravel pit is proposed the opponents automatically claim that a market does not exist for the product. I have a lifetime of experience and I do not see your concerns as valid. The laws let the private sector risk and fail, and it would be a sorry place if the naysayers could micromanage with no skin in the game.

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