If you go
What: Steamboat Springs City Council meeting
When: 5 p.m. today
Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.
Call: City offices at 879-2060 for more information; call 871-7070 to listen live to meetings of the Steamboat Springs City Council
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
Steamboat 700 timeline
- 5 p.m. today: 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 culmination of two years of review begins tonight when the Steamboat Springs City Council gives preliminary consideration to a collection of ordinances and resolutions annexing Steamboat 700.
Ever since Steamboat 700 submitted its preliminary plans to the city in November 2007, the development has been subject to an exhaustive analysis by government officials and the community.
Questioning of the proposed annexation will continue tonight, and likely topics include water, affordable housing, traffic and taxes. And after two years of negotiation and review, city staff and the developer are sure to be prepared with answers.
But one big question can't be answered by a fiscal impact model, nexus study or spreadsheet: Is Steamboat ready for it? At 487 acres and with a proposal for 2,000 homes and 380,000 square feet of commercial space, some say Steamboat 700 would be a city within a city. There is little doubt the city's marriage to Steamboat 700 would alter the future course of the Yampa Valley.
Whether that change would be for better or for worse, however, is up for debate.
Steamboat 700 is within the boundaries of the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan, which contemplates growth and annexation to help accomplish a number of community goals, principally affordable housing. City Council President Loui Antonucci said, in general, he's ready to see annexation to accomplish the plan's goals. But when it comes to Steamboat 700 specifically, he still has questions and concerns.
Antonucci said he worries about whether Steamboat 700 truly will be able to create attainable housing for local workers - beyond the requirements of its community housing plan - given the large number of costs being placed on the development in the annexation agreement.
Steamboat 700 Principal and Project Manager Danny Mulcahy did not return a phone call seeking comment for this story, but he has said in the past that he has no choice but to sell attainable homes to Steamboat workers because he won't be able to compete with high-end properties in prime locations such as Old Town and the base of Steamboat Ski Area.
Antonucci said he worries about how the city will prepare itself to take over maintenance responsibility for a number of improvements to be constructed by Steamboat 700's metro districts. Antonucci also wants to see more green building practices and sustainability measures required within the development.
Council members also will be asked to discuss anti-speculation controls for market-rate units in the development, the 13th Street bottleneck problem that is not being addressed by Steamboat 700, and a revised water demand report showing the development will require a bit more water service than initially anticipated.
Antonucci said he expects Steamboat 700 will pass on first reading even if a majority of council members have lingering questions and concerns. Steamboat 700 then will have two weeks to answer questions and cure concerns before council's final consideration of the annexation Oct. 13. Council's decision at that meeting could be subject to a referendum vote of the entire city if petitioners gather enough signatures to force one.
Steamboat 700 recently won an endorsement from the Yampa Valley Housing Authority.
"The WSSAP has correctly identified the west of Steamboat Springs area as the only potential area available for significant new affordable housing stock in Steamboat Springs," states a letter from Housing Authority President Ed MacArthur to the council. "The Steamboat 700 project represents the first major project to capture some of this potential."
At 9:45 a.m. today, the Routt County Board of Commissioners will be asked to submit a similar letter in support of the project.
"The Steamboat 700 annexation is an implementation of 14 years of community planning efforts beginning with the 1995 Steamboat Springs Community Plan," Steamboat 700 consultant Peter Patten wrote in an e-mail to county officials. "If the Steamboat 700 annexation does not occur, the goals of the WSSAP will be lost and the undesirable impacts of growth outside the WSSAP : will likely occur, putting increased pressure on Routt County government : to accommodate this growth."
Steamboat 700 representatives also may bolster their argument by citing the recently released Routt County Housing Needs Assessment, which states that developments such as Steamboat 700 "will be key for the county to create workforce housing."