On the 'Net
Visit www.steamboat700.... and steamboatsprings.net/departments/planning_department/steamboat_700_july_2009 for downloads and for more information about Steamboat 700.
By the numbers
- 1.2 percent: A real estate transfer tax at this rate will be instituted within the project to help pay for items such as affordable housing and a school
- 12.5: The number of acres Steamboat 700 will donate to the city for the development of affordable housing
- 13: Miles of trails
- 20: The number of years property rights will be vested if certain requirements are met
- 80 to 95: The estimated property tax mill levy within the development
- 126: Acres of open space
- 487: The total size of the development in acres
- 2,000: The number of homes - from apartments to large-lot single-family houses - proposed
- 17,600 to 21,900: The number of daily vehicle trips the development will generate on surrounding roads
- 380,000: The square footage of commercial development proposed
- $280,000 to $600,000: The average price of housing within the development, in present day dollars
- $960,000: The amount being paid to firm up some of the city's existing water rights
- Thursday: Planning Commission meeting; annexation review, traditional neighborhood design amendments and recommendation to City Council
- 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
Steamboat Springs The city of Steamboat Springs and the developers of the proposed Steamboat 700 annexation have negotiated for months and reached agreement on many complex issues, including affordable housing and water.
The two still stand in sharp disagreement, however, when it comes to the sustainability practices that may or may not be incorporated into the development that proposes 2,000 homes and 380,000 square feet of commercial space on 487 acres just west of city limits. City officials say there are no sustainability requirements in the annexation agreement, but Steamboat 700 planners say their sustainability master plan is a firm commitment to employing green features in the development.
"To be absolutely clear, there are no sustainability requirements in the annexation agreement," city Planning Services Manager John Eastman said Thursday. "If they were to do nothing in (their sustainability plan), there would be no repercussions under the annexation agreement."
Steamboat 700 planners argue just the opposite and say that if they don't follow through on their commitments in the sustainability plan, the city would have the same recourses as if the development didn't build its required infrastructure or contribute its required lots to affordable housing.
"We volunteered to Planning Commission and City Council to put a set of sustainability contributions into the annexation agreement, and that was agreed to by council," Steamboat 700 consultant Peter Patten said Thursday.
The most current draft of the annexation agreement states only this about sustainability: "The governing documents for the development will contain the provisions substantially as set forth in" Steamboat 700's sustainability master plan. Practices outlined in Steamboat 700's sustainability master plan include:
- Cooperating with local agencies to develop a carbon offset program
- Locating open spaces, amenities and transit stops within comfortable walking distance of homes
- Incorporating biking and walking trails
- Using native and drought-tolerant landscaping
- Requiring low-flow domestic plumbing fixtures
- Mandating the use of Energy Star-rated appliances
Eastman said that although he hopes Steamboat 700 will follow through on these and other sustainability measures, the sustainability plan is not legally binding. Eastman said goals that are not required sometimes are lost in the implementation stage. For example, he said that on a recent site visit to One Steamboat Place, he discovered that inefficient, top-loading washers had been installed in the luxury development at the base of Steamboat Ski Area. During the planning process, Eastman said One Steamboat Place similarly promised to employ green practices, but the city did not require third-party certification.
"Under no circumstances would you purchase top-loading washing machines if you were seeking LEED certification. It emphasized the importance, to me, of third party certification. They really make things happen," Eastman said. "My experience has been without actual requirements, the follow-through can be spotty at best."
Steamboat 700 Principal and Project Manager Danny Mulcahy, however, says he means it when the sustainability plan states the development "will" do something.
Earlier this year, the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission recommended to City Council that it require some sustainability practices as part of the Steamboat 700 annexation. City Council, however, decided it would be more appropriate to pursue such requirements citywide.
Steamboat 700 will go before the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission for a final time at 5 p.m. Thursday. Commissioners will make a recommendation to City Council on the controversial and complex development and annexation. Council is scheduled to consider the first and second readings of annexation ordinances at its Sept. 29 and Oct. 13 meetings, respectively.