People pack Olympian Hall at Howelsen Lodge for Thursday night's Steamboat 700 annexation forum.

Photo by Matt Stensland

People pack Olympian Hall at Howelsen Lodge for Thursday night's Steamboat 700 annexation forum.

Steamboat 700 forum focuses on housing, growth impacts, traffic, water

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Steamboat 700 opponent Tim Rowse answers a question during Thursday night's forum at Olympian Hall.

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Steamboat 700 annexation supporter David Baldinger Jr. answers a question during Thursday night's forum at Olympian Hall.

Online

■ Learn more about the proposed Steamboat 700 annexation at www.steamboatpilot.com/news/steamboat700/.

■ Learn more about the Let’s Vote issue committee, opposing the Steamboat 700 annexation, on the Web at https://letsvoteno.com.

■ Learn more about the Good for Steamboat committee, supporting the Steamboat 700 annexation, on the Web at www.good4steamboat.com.

Vote on 700

■ Ballots for the mail-only election have reached, or are on the way this week, to registered Steamboat Springs voters. The only drop-off location for ballots is City Hall at 137 10th St. The election ends March 9.

■ Steamboat 700 is a proposed master-planned community on 487 acres adjacent to the western city limits of Steamboat Springs. The project proposes about 2,000 homes — from apartments to single-family home lots — and 380,000 square feet of commercial development that would be built to the standards of new urbanism (dense, walkable and transit-friendly).

— The battle lines about Steam­boat 700 sharpened at a Thursday night forum, as opponents said the proposed annexation inadequately addresses affordable housing needs and infrastructure costs and has inherent financial risks, while supporters said city staff and elected officials have negotiated a phased, long-term plan that provides solutions, funding and land for growth.

Community members filled Olympian Hall at Howelsen Lodge for the event, which featured responses to audience questions by panels representing the Let’s Vote committee, opposing the annexation, and the Good For Steamboat committee in support. Representing Let’s Vote were committee spokesman Tim Rowse, Realtor Bill Moser, affordable housing advocate John Spezia and longtime builder Ken Solomon. Representing Good For Steam­boat were Steamboat 700 attorney Bob Weiss, Steamboat Vill­age Brokers principal David Baldinger Jr., investment adviser Chris Puckett and businesswoman Kathy Stokes.

Much of the debate focused on the creation of affordable housing, a key component of the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan that details how development should occur on the land designated for Steamboat 700.

Steamboat 700’s annexation agreement with the city requires developers to give the city 15 acres for affordable housing and place a real estate transfer fee, of 1.2 percent of the total sale price, on all sales within the annexation. Of that 1.2 percent, 0.5 percent would go toward a city affordable housing fund. The city could build 400 affordable homes on those acres. A draft attainability program requires 30 percent of about 480 additional homes to be marketed for one year to buyers or households earning 120 percent to 200 percent of the area median income.

“Both sides of the table adamantly support affordable housing,” Baldinger said, referring to the city and developers. Baldinger noted that the Yampa Valley Housing Authority supports the annexation and said land costs are the largest hurdle to affordability.

Moser countered that 400 homes on 15 acres would be too dense for family homes “with a picket fence,” and Spezia added that transfer fee revenues would need to accumulate “for 20 to 30 years” to fund construction of affordable housing.

“And most of you can’t afford to wait that long,” Spezia said to the audience.

Steamboat 700 proposes about 2,000 homes and 380,000 square feet of commercial space, over a 20- to 30-year time frame for development, on a 487-acre site just west of current city limits.

Steamboat 700’s payment for water costs also was a source of debate. Developers would be required to pay for all water and wastewater infrastructure within the annexation, and tap fees paid by homeowners would pay for infrastructure expansion outside of it, according to the agreement. Steamboat 700 also would pay the city $960,000 to improve the city’s existing water rights on the Elk River.

Let’s Vote panel members said the city should have required a much higher payment for water, a high-demand resource on the Western Slope.

“I think they left a lot of money on the table, and I think it’s going to cost us money in the future,” Moser said.

That caused Weiss to accuse Let’s Vote of “schizophrenia” in its arguments, which he said at the same time demanded affordability for homeowners and higher costs for developers.

“On the one hand they’re saying you’re not being tough enough on the developer, on the other hand everything costs too much so it won’t work,” Weiss said.

Loui Antonucci, who was president of the Steamboat Springs City Council that approved the annexation agreement in October, said the council considered affordability for future Steamboat 700 homeowners when approving the $960,000 figure.

“If the water in Steamboat was as expensive as it is in the Vail Valley, then west of Steamboat probably would not be an affordable neighborhood or an attainable neighborhood,” Antonucci said. “We can certainly charge (Steamboat 700) more money, and all that would do is make the development out there more expensive.”

In response to a question about alternatives for managing growth if Steamboat 700 fails, Spezia promoted growth within current city limits, where infrastructure already exists and there’s better access to mass transit.

“Infill, increased density and redevelopment — that’s where our resources are,” he said.

Baldinger said land costs and market values show that time has passed.

“The notion that we can infill … to provide meaningful affordable housing is impossible,” he said. “We’ve missed that opportunity.”

Rowse said the economy, real estate market and job market all point to risks and uncertainty with an annexation the size of Steamboat 700.

“Are we really going to ignore the lessons of this recession?” he said.

Comments

best4steamboat 4 years, 2 months ago

Steamboat 700 is a very high density project!

To provide an idea of its scope, the three subdivisions of Heritage Park, Steamboat II and Silver Spur sit on 255 acres. There are 410 lots and 396 homes.

SB700 would have 2,000 units plus commercial space on 497 acres—that’s more than five times the units on less than twice the acreage.

SB700 is “donating” 15 acres to the City of Steamboat Springs to build 400 “affordable” units. Four hundred units on 15 acres is extremely high density. This is almost 27 units per acre. It will not provide the type of affordable housing the community needs, and will most likely be comprised of small apartments.

This is out of control growth, with too many uncertainties. Drive out to the Steamboat II area and try to picture it.

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wattsjg 4 years, 2 months ago

Thanks to the City of SS, Let's Vote, and Good for SS supporters. They have time, money, and effort involved in helping us make a good decision. My major concern is risk; the City's financial risk, if SS 700, or it's predecessor, abandons the project. Is there a bond, Surety or other bond, insuring the City of SS against financial loss due to non performance? This question (is there a Surety Bond?) was asked at last night's meeting; and the answer, by Mr Weiss, was to explain Fiscal Neutrality. He did not address the bond question. A "paid up" (premium paid in full) bond would sway my vote in favor of the annexation and annexation agreement. The "fiscal neutrality", as mentioned in the Steamboat 700 handout prepared by the City of SS, is not a bond. Do we have, did the city ask for, a performance bond?

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best4steamboat 4 years, 2 months ago

The city won't be asking for a performance bond or any other surety at this point mainly because SB700 plans to sell the development to an unknown developer if they should be able to perpetrate this deceptive idea of a master planned community upon the people of Steamboat Springs and obtain the annexation.

This is a very high density project with the potential of having 7,000 residents. SB700 paid too much for the land, has a lot of money invested in it and can't wait to get out of it with their Las Vegas gamble breaking even at best.

That's why Mr Weiss has never addressed the topic.

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housepoor 4 years, 2 months ago

This is nothing but a taxpayer bailout for someone who took a risk at the wrong time, He needs this to add value to the property that they overpaid for. Go ahead and threaten us with splitting into 35ac, no way they come close to covering nut going that way.

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ride4fun 4 years, 2 months ago

I agree with Weiss

“On the one hand they’re saying you’re not being tough enough on the developer, on the other hand everything costs too much so it won’t work,” Weiss said

This development doesn't work! It doesn't create affordable housing and the risks to the taxpayers are too great.

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jaded 4 years, 2 months ago

No one ever said affordable housing has to be affordable houses. Apartments are the way to go if you want cheap housing.

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greenwash 4 years, 2 months ago

Wow remove my comment because?Realtors are an honest bunch?Realtors are really smart?Realtors have nothing to do with the problems in our economy?Sorry to speak the truth.

Vote yes on 700 and not for the realtors sake.

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1999 4 years, 2 months ago

I'm okay with 35 acre parcels.

hey sorry you paid too much for the land!!!!!!!

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greenwash 4 years, 2 months ago

They paid too much because a realtor told them it was worth it.....Stupid move.

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1999 4 years, 2 months ago

right on greenwash. guess the 700 guys aren't so smart?

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Jon Quinn 4 years, 2 months ago

The cynicism I read here is astounding. I guess we cannot trust anybody anymore. Certainly we cannot trust the City Council, surely they are all in it to line their own pockets. We certainly cannot trust our city staff nor the best annexation attorney in the state, after all they are being paid thoughout this process. Absolutely we cannot trust developers, after all they are all hoping to make a profit, heaven forbid.

I guess when we re-write our growth planning documents wee should be sure that we stipulate that only a bona-fide 501c3 non-profit organization should be responsible for building new development in Steamboat Springs. I'm certain that will work.

At a time of such turmoil in our national eceonomy, are you all so confident that turning down this remarkable opportunity for economic and housing development is wise? Are you so certain that you will have another opportunity at a master planned development? Are you okay with waiting 10 years or more for another bite at this apple? Most communities in the country would kill for an opportunity like this right now, especially given the state of the economy.

I would like for my children to have the opportunity to live in Steamboat Springs, and I am not willing to kick the can down the road for future generations to solve this problem. You may choose to plan for growth, or not plan for growth. Either way, it will happen.

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 2 months ago

Jon, I think that these wrecking ball blogs may have already made your case. Would you hire any of these bloggers to be your financial planner?

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Bobbi 4 years, 2 months ago

I am glad to see the meeting was so well attended. It is hard to watch this process from afar. It irritates me that our intellectuals are being laughed and scoffed at. They have nothing to gain from this. Our intellectuals are trying to stretch us and improve our community, listen to them. Money grabbers are seeking financial gain. Look at people's motives that represent each side. What do they have to gain? Are they looking for power, fame, fortune? Who is paying for Let's Vote and who is paying for Good for Steamboat? The answers to these questions will tell you how to vote. More importantly, please vote.

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housepoor 4 years, 2 months ago

Jon, These decisionsplans were made by Council and staff when we had unheard of growth and a rise in property values which has turned out to be unjustified and unsustainable. Now do actually think that we will return to anything close to that growth rate anytime soon, if ever? In light of the new economic reality wouldn’t it the logical thing to go back and reevaluate our growth, population and affordability projections instead of moving forward on a plan that was built on inaccurate data? We are fortunate the bubble burst when it did, otherwise we’d be stuck with another stagecoach, steamboat lake scenario.

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CedarBeauregard 4 years, 2 months ago

I rarely look at this with regard to the economics but rather its form and potential impacts. But if I do look at economics my feeling is that it will be another 10 yrs and a serious renegotiation with the City prior to any development if 700 does pass. The problem with that is that in 10 years if annexed, 700 is in our lap and we will have way less leveraging power in that negotiation. Alternatively if we reject 700 we get to look at the development with the added knowledge and insight of 10 yrs and maintain our strong negotiating position.

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weststmbtres 4 years, 2 months ago

Some things to think about. The majority of families in Steamboat have two big expense every month. The mortgage and groceries. In most cases this money is 30-50 percent of the average families income. The grocery money pays a few local jobs but mostly goes to everyone involved in the chain of businesses required to get the food to us. Loan money is more than likely mailed away to BofA, Chase, Wells Fargo or one of the other big national lenders so they can repay their investors on Wall Street. Either way it does not stay in our local economy. For the majority of us nearly every dollar we make is derived from tourism dollars spent in Steamboat. The S700 development proposes 2000 living units. Where are the jobs for these people going to come from? Nobody is planning on opening up any large manufacturing facilities in Steamboat, at least none that I've heard about. The answer. These jobs are going to be directly tied to tourism. If we increase the population we need to increase the amount of tourist dollars coming to Steamboat by a proprotionate amount. We already have a parking/traffic/overcrowding problem in downtown. Now imagine 50% more tourists and local residents exacerbating the problem. In my book there are too many questions left unanswered here. In this era of flat skier numbers can we even count on getting that many more tourists to come to Steamboat? Are tourists going to want to come to Steamboat if it's so crowded they can't find a line to ski, an open table at local restaurants or a spot to sit in the hot springs? Where are the additional tourists going to stay? What is the plan for additional beds and infrastructure at the ski area? Additional tourists need water and sewer too. Is every lift line going to be a 40 minute wait? Do we have landfill space for the waste generated by the additional tourists and residents? I'll finish with a quote I read a couple of decades ago. I think it sums up our situation nicely. "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell"

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pitpoodle 4 years, 2 months ago

Jon, You should not wonder why people are cynical about this project. You and your colleagues on council voted to pass the annexation before you had any idea about the needs and costs of water filtration and wasterwater treatment for this annexation. You continue to tell us that tap fees will cover all costs of the new annexation. At this time, tap fees will not even cover the city's current infrastructure problems. Please do not tell me it's because tap fee rates have not be increased. That's not true. You continue to tell us the city will have affordable housing on the 15 acres being donated but you disregard the fact that a real estate transfer fee will more than likely be found illegal. As you know, a real estate transfer tax is illegal in the State of Colorado. I know, you think your very smart attorney thinks there will be not problem with your transfer fee. This is his opinion, he does not speak for any judges in the Colorado court system. This whole thing is a fiasco based on promises that will never materialize and costs will be picked up by me and my neighbors. I doubt that there is a community anywhere that would accept this deal to give away valuable water and accept the inevitable costs. A bad plan for growth is worse than no plan.

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TWill 4 years, 2 months ago

Jon-

I agree with you that the cynicism in this post is over the top. Many of the NO supporters could stand to improve their arguments. But points you address are the very reason to VOTE NO on SB 700.

We do have historic economic turmoil both nationally and locally. Let this turmoil settle before we strap oursleves into a large-scale, long-term agreement with a very questionable "partner" in Mulchahy, et al. Let a small portion of the property be annexed, developed and sold first and then proceed accordingly. We don't have to dive into this head first. Our community does not have the urgency to pass this, the developer does.

Why exactly is this a "remarkable opportunity" for our community anyway? Maybe it is for the current developer to add value to something they over-extended themselves on so they might be able to pass it along to the next buyer, but there is no make-or-break opportunity for the public here. Why not let the ever-increasing supply of real estate inventory in our market drop before flooding it that much more? Regardless of how it may get spun by the developer, there is absolutely nothing that indicates these units will sell or be "affordable".

I am not a "no-growther" and want more opprotunities for people and businesses to succeed and for this town to thrive (in more than just the real estate and construction industries too). Approving this project as a whole is only perpetuating the short term building cycle. Look at similar cases in other Colorado resort towns. If this was to annex just a small phase of a master plan, this would be an entirely different issue and I would support it.

I want my kids to live in Steamboat too. Let's not bind them to an agreement that they will look back on and regret.

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bigfatdog 4 years, 2 months ago

We don't understand that Steamboat is already turning into an Aspen, Crested Butte, Telluride filled with second homeowners and without this annexation we will all be commuting from our bedroom communities. Spezia talks of infill, redevelopment with a portion of deed restricted ?? Majority of locals will not buy a deed restricted house and would rather commute! We will see infill but the buyers are & will be from out of town. Look back the last few years, the majority of developments at locals price points were built in our bedroom communities and we were "forced" to sell our city residences because the values were so high. Please learn from the Aspen syndrome. If this annexation is defeated due to fear and misinformation, there will be no small annexations as the infrastructure costs are too high. This large annexation is not perfect but it is the right step to moving forward and no homes or commercial will be built unless the infrastructure is bonded, well capitalized and a market for the end product. Steamboat requires this planned annexation as the growth is coming whether we like it or not. Yes there is risk but with time it is manageable.

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greenwash 4 years, 2 months ago

Hopefully my kids will earn the right to live here(And hopefully they wont become realtors) or they inherit the family home here in SBS... I hope they dont live in a tiny studio apt in some sudivision paying a housing authority rent and living on food stamps...Still tho I support 700 for the shear fact it will stop uncontrolled sprall.It wont in all likelyhood even happen for many years but still , Its a nice location for future growth.

Imagine.... an intersection similar to Mt Werner and Hwy 40..... at CR 42....I like the idea of giving N Routt,West SB and all those commuters from Hayden and Craig an option for shopping etc.The traffic will inherently be reduced running through town.Its not rocket science.

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bigfatdog 4 years, 2 months ago

Where did Mr. Rowse come from? Has he actually lived here more than 2 weeks and been involved in the long term planning processes. Were the Let's Vote people present during the public annexation meetings? Did they present their issues then or is this a knee jerk reaction to a plan that has been in place for a long long time? The West Area Plan has always called for a large annexation for the long term planning of the infrastructure requirements.

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TWill 4 years, 2 months ago

Dog-

Where is the market for the "end product" of this "not perfect", "large annexation"? We don't have anyone buying anything right now. Why would they suddenly line up for SB 700? For the "affordability"? I don't think so.

Prices are dropping and the only closed sales we're going to see are distressed? Other than a handful of opportunistic, shark-like, buyers, who is that good for?

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boater1 4 years, 2 months ago

best4steamboat, you need to get over the idea that affordable housing equals you're own seperate house & land. you have a skewed intitlement view of this. SS is an expensive place period, and to make things affordable it has to be dense.

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Scott Ford 4 years, 2 months ago

I have a few questions I am hoping someone reading these blogs can answer for me. Who is responsible for paying the real estate transfer fee (buyer or seller) and is the RETF voluntary? On a home-selling price of $500,000, theRETF fee would be $6,000. Since it is a "fee" and not a "tax" with legal requirements for enforcement - is it possible that the (buy or seller) could refuse to pay the fee?

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CedarBeauregard 4 years, 2 months ago

bigfatdog,

The WSSAP never specifically called out for a large annexation. In fact it has specific build out limits that tie to the bottleneck solution.

WSSAP page 28 G.

"... As noted on page 6-23 of the SSACP 'without transit improvements, only 300 housing units and 290,000 SF of commercial space could be developed before heavy congestion occurs' at the bottleneck."

WSSAP Page 41 3.2.2

"A variety of development constraints are analyzed in Chapter 2 including water and sewer service availability, soils, steep slopes, scenic preservation, transportation, and Steamboat Springs Airport. Based on the analysis, it is clear that the primary constraint on development in West Steamboat is the transportation capacity of US Hwy 40 corridor.

Assuming high levels of transit use and widening of US Hwy 40 to four lanes between 13th Street and CR129/Elk River Road up to 1,100 residential units and 1.1 million SF of commercial space can be accommodated west of the 13th Street bottleneck... "

The 1,100 units includes the existing units west of 13th and future units within the City Limits.. As we have 900 potential units currently in the City we are left according to WSSAP the 300 units above.

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boater1 4 years, 2 months ago

to everyone, i remember how years ago people came screaming to city council about how we need something like this and the west steamboat growth plan. now it's here w/ a developer putting their nuts on the line and now people are saying oh we don't want this. to all naysayers, what a bunch of double talking.

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boater1 4 years, 2 months ago

George_Krawzoff, w/o 700 you're children will not be able to afford to live/stay here. or you maybe ultra wealthy (& will buy them something) and none of this planning makes sense, becuase you live in a different world.

as far as how it affects you, where do you think all the working people might live affordably now & in the future? not in SS on a average working wage in this town. guess you just want to truck everyone in for the day to service your needs. pathetic!

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TWill 4 years, 2 months ago

Boater-

Did it ever occur to you that the current economic conditions we're in is actually an opportunity for "all the working people"? If they're not responding to the declining prices and generally favorable conditions for a buyer in the free market, why would they sign up for the deed-restrictions and other bureaucratic obligations of "affordable housing"?

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 2 months ago

Twill, Dog, Cedar, Thanks for your good example. Respectful posts allow helpful debate. Insults just end the discussion.

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best4steamboat 4 years, 2 months ago

boater1

Do you realize how flawed the WSSAP really is? It needs to be rethought, along with the SB7000 proposal.

The WSSAP is flawed in the following ways including, but not limited to:

It suggests that comprehensive roadway and transit systems be in place prior to development.

It envisions a target buildout of 1100 to 2600 units total. Steamboat 700 has 2,000 units.

It envisions a “transit-oriented” community, meaning that people will mostly take buses into Steamboat and will rarely need to go into Steamboat because everything they need will be "right there." In other words assuming that those residents will not be going into Steamboat to get to Mt. Werner, Howelsen Hill, or to activities at the middle and high schools.

It envisions a community that is “as self-sufficient as possible,” meaning people will not often need to travel through downtown Steamboat. How do people get to Mt. Werner, Howelsen Hill or Ice Rink, the downtown Hot Springs, the middle and high schools and all school related activities and functions?

MOST IMPORTANT, what Steamboat wants is "affordable" housing for its MIDDLE class, not transient, seasonal workers!!

This development will NOT provide for that our middle income workers!!!

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 2 months ago

George, We have many residents that work for a government entity in one way or another, some are wealthy, and others may not depend on the private sector for income. Attacking our business community may seem reasonable in the short run, but long term our wealth is created by this sector. They generate the taxes that provide our comfortable existence. I have lived in this valley when we had no growth, let the status quo remain for a few years and you will find that it can get pretty ugly. Let businesses go under and take their taxes with them, soon everyone is taking a hit and attitudes will change. 700 was invited here to partner with us, they risked heavily, slapping them down will come back to haunt us. Our private sector needs an economy free of micromanagement by those who have never met a payroll.

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jaded 4 years, 2 months ago

I keep seeing and hearing people talk about where will all these people work and someone earlier mentioning that there are no new large manufactures coming any time soon.

Do you forget the 20-30 year build out????? This is not overnight!!!!! We won't have 4000 new residents tomorrow.

I'll leave in the construction jobs because with a 20-30 year buildout, the new homes in 2015 will probably need work in 2040, at least some remodeling, but think about all the other jobs that 2000 more houses require ie. daycares, schools, grocery stores, plumbers, electricians, road maintenance, bus drivers, park staff, firefighters, policemen, doctors, satellite installers, chimney sweeps, restaurant workers, retail workers, postal workers, landscaping, mechanics and so many many more not to mention the new businesses that might be enticed to move here.

I live west of town, and I have seen firsthand what has happened on this side of SS without any growth management over the past 20 years. Many of you spouting off against 700 never even travel west of 7-11, if that far. You may not understand fully what that area needs RIGHT NOW!!!

The necessary improvements to 40 are necessary NOW, and for all of you who don't want to "pay for this out of taxpayer pockets", that is exactly what you will get without the annexation. You will miss out on millions of dollars for improvements that 700 is willing to pony up.

I don't have a vote here because I am not in city limits, many of you will discount my opinion because of that, claiming I have nothing to lose and no money out of pocket, but I spend my dollars here in SS just like the rest of you. I've watched 15 years of planning and a developer who wants to make OUR plan come true, while making a profit. Why is that so wrong?

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housepoor 4 years, 2 months ago

So Fred who are working for out there on the New Victory Highway to nowhere?

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 2 months ago

George, Going over, or behind Howelsen would be a disaster in my mind. The soil in that area would slide and be a mainternance problem forever, we would hear the trucks all night, bad idea. I would favor the Howelsen Parkway or another on grade route that would bring sanity to Lincoln.

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best4steamboat 4 years, 2 months ago

Jaded:

I live in Steamboat II.

They talk about a 20 to 30 year buildout, and even last night, I heard a 40-year buildout.

However, the fact of the matter is, is that buildout could occur at any time. There is no set buildout pierod. It could happen at any time!

Most important, the jobs you are talking about are service-oriented jobs that will pay $9 to $10 an hour!

If indeed, you have traveled way out to where the SB700 is being proposed, you will see exactly how far out it is!! It is Urban Sprawl at its finest.

Contrary to what Mr. Weiss said last night, this development goes in the face of ALL county and city master plans in that it creates growth from outward inwards. This is absolutely against all planning precepts that call for growth inwards outwards.

The area does NOT need this ultra high-density project ever--particularly not right now!!!

The millions of dollars in "promised" improvements will not happen without millions of more dollars in Steamboat resident taxpayers' money for schools enlargement bond issues, water and sewer expansion and improvements. And how is all of this development going to gain the necessary EPA sewage discharge permits on the city's little land parcel on 20 Mile Road?

You really need to rethink your position! Your plan of having "affordable" housing and a "master planned community" are unrealizable. SB700 plans to turn over this high density development to an as yet undetermined third party.

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weststmbtres 4 years, 2 months ago

I'm with Cedar. There are still nearly 1000 potential living units that can be built within the current city limits. No annexation needed. In my opinion we need to bring those properties to the market before rushing the annexation of Steamboat 700.

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CedarBeauregard 4 years, 2 months ago

3,100 units total. And my total of 1,100 above was low.. Its actually 1,371. Please see Buildout Analysis.

"City of Steamboat Springs Buildout Analysis- January 1, 2008 Prepared by: Jason K. Peasley, City Planner Seth E. Lorson, City Planne October 21, 2008

"The following is an analysis of the vacant land within each Special Planning Area and the anticipated development thereon."

Fish Creek SPA 593 Units 72,177 Non-Res SF

Old Town SPA 175 Units 95,971 Non-Res SF

Mountain Town SPA 972 Units 170,969 Non-Res SF

West Steamboat SPA (within existing City limits) 1,371 Units 868,243 Non-Res SF

Total 3,112 Units 1,207,359 Non-Res SF

"The capacity described in the above chart is based on the assumption that each project will maximize its residential square footage via a mixed use project utilizing 70 percent of the maximum Floor Area Ratio. Redevelopment has not been analyzed at this point, but should be considered in a more thorough Buildout Analysis."

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weststmbtres 4 years, 2 months ago

Thanks Cedar. That's the info we needed to see. Everyone is using scare tactics and screaming that S700 is our last chance. That's just not the case. We need to bring the current inventory of units to the market before worrying about annexing any more land.

Anybody who still thinks S700 is a good idea should watch the following video. It was on PBS newshour a few week ago.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/video/module.html?s=news01s36b0qd02

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freerider 4 years, 2 months ago

JON QUINN and where do you live..??? not west of town I take it ...so you don't really care about the people that do ..... This is the stupidist thing I have ever seen in my 40 years here ..... Pandering to the $$$$$$$ And you wonder why people don't fall over to see your side of it Duh You have zero credibilty here along with all the other greedy trolls

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best4steamboat 4 years, 2 months ago

Cedar and wests:

You are SO right. There are more than 1,000 acres of infill that can be developed before SB700, including the 126 home Overlook Park Subdivision that is currently going through planning.

There are SO many options, and everyone thinks this is our last chance! People need to realize that SB700 is an unnecessarily high-density project that will ultimately deface the character of our community.

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jaded 4 years, 2 months ago

All of these options for infill were there long before 700 and they will stay vacant because they are SO far out of anyone's price range for development, otherwise they would have been developed during the boom. Not to mention that almost every time a parcel comes before planning, the neighboring residents speak up AGAINST density, the only way to actually create affordable housing, I go back to - affordable housing does NOT equal affordable houses! You start entry level and work your way up through hard work, planning, and saving. No one is entitled to have a 4 BR house with a picket fence, you have to earn it.

"And the build out could occur at any time" Talk about fear mongering! You want to convince everyone that this influx of residents will be here tomorrow or next year when that's simply not the case. (BTW, I think the local restaurants and retail would appreciate a few more permanent residents) There just isn't the demand right now, which is why the 20-30 yr buildout, or 40 as was stated earlier, is the right way to go.

And I live past 700,I drive by the site everyday on my way through town for some groceries or whatever the need is, I'm not a Realtor, I gain no $ by seeing this pass. By stating that you think everyone for this is a "greedy troll", you really undermine your stance and make yourselves out to be selfish, I have it now and no one else can.

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ybul 4 years, 2 months ago

To the comment on moving a log jam to third. That would not happen if properly planned. If you have no light at 3rd then there is no stopping and no jam.

The traffic bound for west boat veers through the parking lots and with proper foresight the mess at 3rd and oak is lessened as you have fish creek merge on without a stop, allow an unstopped turn onto fishcreek from 3rd and that sometimes difficult spot is much happier.

Also if you oneway all numbered streets down there that would also help traffic and facilitate more parking. In addition the one way of Oak Yampa while it may hurt Oak street would actually make Lincoln more pleasant to walk down and ENHANCE the asset that the ski area is trying to tie to in downtown.

By one waying both roads you have half the traffic on each which would not be as bad for pedestrian friendliness in addition to making Lincoln much more ped friendly.

While the traffic is not bad except sometimes, how much more pleasant experience could we make downtown by routing half of the traffic to the other two roads that are primarily commercial anyway.

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brian ferguson 4 years, 2 months ago

i like the infill idea, they should start with putting a trailer park...oh,i mean mobile home community behind healthy solutions,on the river....talk about a perfect spot.:)

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Matthew Stoddard 4 years, 2 months ago

I live in Silver Spur and I'm for the 700. If it brings services & stores closer to me that I'll use so I don't have to make non-work trips into town, works for me. As far as 2000 units going in all at once, I don't see it happening. Silver Spur still has at least 2 1st phase lots for sale & I'm not sure what might be left in the 2nd & 3rd phases. 1st phase started sales a decade ago. Of course, I believe these lots have changed hands a couple of times already.

I've seen this town grow for over 31yrs and I expect to see more... even when I laugh at signs next to the highway saying "More Boat No 700 (700 in a red circle/slashed)". How funny is that? If 700 goes in, there will be More Boat after the annexation! LMAO!

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housepoor 4 years, 2 months ago

polish sausage, we've already tried a grocery store west of town, so i'd like to here from the safewaycitymarket on what the pop needs to be to support another store out there? I'm sure they know.

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Matthew Stoddard 4 years, 2 months ago

Remember- the grocery store before wasn't as big a brand name as Safeway or City Market. It didn't have the buying power to compete price-wise. With 2000 more houses, odds say a market might just be able to work this time...especially if you combine it into a Super-Target or the like. 1 Store to grow with, to start. That eliminates a need to 2 stores that a lot of us use, sometimes more than once per week. If Steamboat can support 6+ banks, I think a 3rd grocery store with another 2000 (most likely permanent & not just 2nd homeowner) residents coming in can work in this fashion.

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housepoor 4 years, 2 months ago

but if build out is 20 years away? all I'm saying is the grocery stores know when it will make sense, maybe the pilot should ask them?

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 2 months ago

To Scott Ford: I think it was Danny on some other thread that said that the RETF is not voluntary for the transaction. The RETF would be a deed restriction that the City could enforce if it was not paid in a transaction. The part that is "voluntary" is the developer (and presumably the City) would claim that the deed restriction was voluntary.

I've read the Aspen and Breckenridge RETF ordinances (passed before new RETF were outlawed via TABOR amendment) and these are not simple because they are trying to stop people from avoiding paying them via tricks like having a company own the property and then selling the company, and they also do not want a change of title due to marriage/divorce and such on to trigger the tax. (An obvious societal drawback of RETF is that a REIT which owns multiple properties can be bought and sold without ever paying the RETF. So RETF is another case of giving corporations advantages over individual citizens). The RETF apparently would not apply if SB 700 were to sell the entire development or any of the large undeveloped parcels.

I have not been able to find the exact proposed voluntary deed restrictions for SB 700 so I do not have an answer to whether buyer or seller pays. Presumably the seller pays because then someone that has presumably already "accepted" the RETF deed restriction is paying which might make it harder for that person to get the RETF overturned in court.

My limited research also did not find any Colorado courts that has upheld or rejected this form of "voluntary". The closest decision I could find was a Telluride rent control case in which a property owner was given a few options to meet planning requirements for public benefit and one of those options was voluntary deed restricted rent control. I think it was the Colorado Supreme Court that rejected the idea that it was voluntary because it was coerced.

I am not a lawyer, but it seems obvious that this RETF is not voluntary if using any normal definition of voluntary because it was mandated by the City that the development raise a lot of money. But getting it overturned is going to require a special person because the City can be expected to spend whatever required to preserve this highly lucrative revenue stream.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 2 months ago

As for the grocery store discussion - in bigger cities the grocery chains have been shutting down grocery stores that were busier than our Safeway. I think there are zero chances that a third grocery store will be opened in SB. The only way I see west side groceries would be if the City allowed a huge Super Walmart on the west side, but a whole lot would have to change for that to be a popular idea.

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Matthew Stoddard 4 years, 2 months ago

Heh! Ask anyone who lives on the west side if they'd like a SuperInsertNameHere over this way. I'm bettin' you'd get a good most saying "Yes." Just my opinion, though. See...we don't usually count in these matters, being outside city limits, even though I can almost spit the distance from my house to the 700 site.

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Kevin Nerney 4 years, 2 months ago

Brian, that's the old NIMYBY. Affordable housing units in the middle of million dollar neighborhood homes downtown will surely change the dynamic of the market.

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aichempty 4 years, 2 months ago

The answer to providing jobs for the 2000 new families is to open a mega-theme park in Oak Creek. "Weed World" would be perfect. Marijuana based tourism could certainly fill the gap left by melting snow. Instead of cartoon characters, the Weedies (local stoners hired to play themselves) would wander the park squinting at the sun, munching gratis popcorn by the handful, and agreeing with all the tourists on just how "cool" the place really is.

Okay, now let's get real. People living on wages in this area and not saving a butt-load for retirement are going to discover that they will not be able to live on their social security checks. They will sell their houses and move away. They will get top dollar for them. Kids growing up in town and making $15-$30 per hour will never be able to afford them. Today's wealth is a result of the real estate bubble (for those who hit it right) and family money (trust funds) that financed housing for ski bums.

The growth of the skiing industry was a one-time event and those who got in on the ground floor were lucky to be in the right place at the right time. It won't happen like that again. Nobody is going to invest money in developing industry in an expensive area like this, far from lines of supply and markets, when other locations offer cheaper land, labor, energy, water, etc. The owners might decide to live here or have weekend homes in this area, but nobody is going to be shipping frozen chickens out of Routt County to market in Denver. Pick anything you can think of that has to be delivered in a physical product, and it's cheaper to produce anywhere else but here.

The markets in Hayden and Craig are well worth the trip once a week or every ten days to shop for groceries. You can save the cost of gas on a couple of boxes of cereal. You also avoid the 'tudes and crowds found in Safeway and $#!++y Markup.

The impediments before us are a set of expectations and attitudes that cannot be met with the money and resources available. Our little town has peaked for working folks. The best that can happen now is for wealthy people to bring money from far away and spend it here so that we can become a community like Aspen, Beverly Hills, etc. The worst is that we become a town like Brush, or Phippsburg, if the tourist dollars dry up and the mountain closes. It could happen that way. If you remember the story of Noah and the Ark, everybody laughed at him right up to the point where it started to rain.

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Scott Ford 4 years, 2 months ago

Scott W & Danny M - Thanks for your responses.

I am trying to get my head wrapped around this issue. I do not think I am alone. I appreciate the informative posting. I am entertained by the postings that reflect a great deal of passion driven more by emotion than logic. I am sadden by the postings that lack civility and are nothing more than "graffiti" those of us who want to learn and/or be entertained need to wade through.

I heard something during the forum that I did not understand. I understand that the SB700 group is giving the City of Steamboat Springs 15 acres. I understand that the City would be responsible to develop +/- 400 affordable housing units on this land. What was news to me is that 15 acres is not fully given at one time. What I heard is that 3(?) acres would be given with some conditions. The City would have a time limit to begin building affordable housing units on this land. If the City did not build on this land within a specified time limit, the annexation agreement provides that the developer is under no obligation to convey any more land to the City for affordable housing. (I am sure that the provisions are a bit more complex - but this is what I heard.) I need verification and clarification.

My question is pretty simple. Is it even remotely possible (no matter how unlikely) that the City could get less than 15 acres?

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cindy constantine 4 years, 2 months ago

Prior to annexation, Steamboat needs to "re-identify itself". Perhaps as the educational center of Northwest Colorado. The closest 4 year schools are in Denver and Grand Junction. Now that CMC has approval to be a 4 year college maybe they will need additional land on the west side to expand their programs. Perhaps CSU needs a remote school on the western slope and we could partner with them to build a campus. If S700 had come with an employer to fill their homes we would be looking at the project differently. No, we will never be exporting chickens or building tractors, but we do have an opportunity to diversify if we have a Chamber of COMMERCE (commerce being the key word) instead of a Chamber RESORT Association.

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weststmbtres 4 years, 2 months ago

Jaded, you clearly have not done your homework. Take the overlook property and the bdmn property for instance. The overlook property and the bdmn property are both raw land at this point. No platting or approval of any sort has been done. The developers of those properties will be required to meet the same affordable housing requirements any other developer would. We are a step ahead with thos proerties in that they are already in the city limits with no annexation needed.

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brian ferguson 4 years, 2 months ago

the whole affordability issue is a mute point, nothing will ever change inside the greed zone.

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hangchili 4 years, 2 months ago

If my understanding is correct, 50% of the real estate transfer fee would go toward building a new elementary school and expanding the high school, with the transfer fees paying for half the projected 30 million dollar cost for the schools. On a $500,000 home, the transfer fee would generate $3,000 for the schools. At that rate, there would need to be 5,000 transfer sales to generate the 15 million dollar contribution. How many years will it take to achieve 5,000 sales, and where will students attend school during that time? Both Soda Creek and Strawberry Park are near capacity. It doesn't seem to me that this issue has been adequately addressed.

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Matthew Stoddard 4 years, 2 months ago

George-

From Silver Spur, we have to drive all the way thru town to Walmart, Safeway, City Market, etc. Doing it to only coincide with going to/coming from work doesn't always present itself as a possibility. Not only would a SuperTarget/Walmart/Whatever save a few trips on just my household, it might do the same for others. In fact, I'm willing to place money on it.

As for neighborhoods being affected...the bypass option has been talked about for a lot longer as compared to the 1st time somebody ever mentioned SB700.

Here's a question for you, George, and any others- how many of you individually caused Steamboat to grow? (I wonder how many people against SB700 moved here less than 5yrs ago and think "Boy, there's just too many people moving here!" The irony is deafening.) My family caused a growth by 3 in 1978. In fact, the local population has pretty much doubled since 1978. 3 decades for roughly 6000-ish people. I'm sure 2000 homes will take a while to go up. Again- 8.5 years after we bought in the 1st phase of Silver Spur (accounting for about 50 lots) and 2 in this phase still unbuilt upon, yet our services are taken care of just fine.

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greenwash 4 years, 2 months ago

George No one said anything about a super anything center. But something like Central Park at CR42 makes sense to me. I would never have to drive past 129.

And why cant we just put a wider road through Brooklyn/Fairview?

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 2 months ago

Stores will want to open where it is busy (Central Park/Wildhorse area) and not want to open where there are far fewer customers. SB is a city in which there are times that there are as many visitors as residents. That part of town is not the west side.

When the west side had a grocery store, it was not that bad and they tried hard. They were not even close to making it.

The only way there will be groceries on the west side is if one of the super massive big boxes come to town and is allowed to locate on the west side.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 2 months ago

There are three distinct types of growth. 1) Full time residents that have family and/or economic roots here. 2) Short term resort housing such as hotel and condos designed for nightly rentals. 3) Second home owners and early retirees that want to spend time in a resort community. These people are looking at which resort community they like the most at an acceptable price.

SB 700 is advertising as if it is exclusively to meet the local growth of type #1.

Based upon their price points and what the principals have done before, I think their main focus is actually #3. Thus, they will bring growth here that would have otherwise happened at Park City, or at some golf community or some lake or so on.

Which is, to me, another reason to not approve this annexation. I'd be willing to let them have a few hundred units and then subsequent annexations which fix issues of the earlier annexations. I think it is highly likely that SB 700 will not be as expected (but it will conform to the agreement) and we will wish we could force changes before more was built.

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greenwash 4 years, 2 months ago

George your not even from Colorado? I was born here......You werent.....I say put the road through Fairview and Brooklyn.....Demo all those crappy little houses to make it happen.

Your part of the problem...Have a nice week.

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pitpoodle 4 years, 2 months ago

Personally, I would rather have all the little houses that real working people can afford than see a lot of high end homes in SB 700 that no one except rich retirees will buy. The little houses in great neighborhoods are one of the things that make Steamboat Springs a wonderful place to live. Vote no to preserve what we have. We have a great quality of life without SB 700. You stay put, George.

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bigfatdog 4 years, 2 months ago

You people are DREAMING on the infill opportunities!!! Location, location, LOCATION!!! 99% of all infill will be high value for the highest dollar developments and all the little homes in Stmbt will be little homes (or teardowns) with huge values. Aspen? Why do you think all the "local priced" new developments over the past 5 years were in the bedroom communities? This will not change and don't be fooled. This large annexation is just a master infrastructure plan and a long term plan for growth. The Stmbt 700 cost basis will get recycled but we will have a plan for growth. Vote YES and don't fear the future.

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Matthew Stoddard 4 years, 2 months ago

Pitpoodle starts out- "Personally, I would rather have all the little houses that real working people can afford than see a lot of high end homes in SB 700 that no one except rich retirees will buy."

Pitpoodle- if you vote No, then you WILL get a bunch of high end homes out there instead of a neighborhood. LOL! Without the Annexation, SB700 could end up a bunch of mini-ranchettes, sold to the highest bidder instead of smaller, higher density...You know what? You just believe & espouse what you will. I'm still laughing too hard at your statement on how you came to your "No" conclusion. LMAO!

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weststmbtres 4 years, 2 months ago

bigfatdog,

If Overlook and the other vacant land owners out there bring their properties to the table for development they are going to have to meet affordable housing requirements.

Everyone seems to foget that Silver Spur and Heritage Park started a decade ago and brought 210 lots to the market. We are finally approaching buildout on those properties. Why did it take so long. Because even in the best years Steamboat has or ever will see for real estate development there wasn't enough demand.

When BDMN and Overlook bring their lots online it will be 230/240 +/- lots that are already in the city limits. Think about it folks. This isn't the last option as everyone would have you beleive. Vote No!!!

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bigfatdog 4 years, 2 months ago

Weststmbt

How many people want to buy deed restricted homes? How many land owners are going to "bring their properties to the table" Land owners will sell for the highest value and in Overlook's case will wait for values to return and second homeowners/tourists will be there to increase those values. How do you think we got to where we are??? And you dreamers still don't realize that city imposed deed restrictions INCREASE the non DR properties!! At STMT 700, giving away 15 acres to the city only increases the values. Requiring higher density when/if we get to the pud phases will bring affordability but you NO voters are going to kill any chance of affordability in the city limits. Look past today or tomorrow and Look into the future!!

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cindy constantine 4 years, 2 months ago

Dog,

Please understand that Let's Vote DID look to the future which is why we are voting on this annexation. The national demographics, outlook for ski industry, lack of diversified economy, number of listings/foreclosures, declining real estate values, etc. do not support S700 now, 5 years from now or ten years from now. Let the developers find the employer to locate within the project then we will talk. There should have been a business enterprise zone within the acreage from the start!!

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blue_spruce 4 years, 2 months ago

"...I see the sales taxes from the flat ski and tourism industry being stretched thinner by new demands for city services, property values compromised by over-building, while traffic volumes and congestion reduce the quality of life and make us less attractive as a resort community..."

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 2 months ago

I do not see how the SB 700 parcel could come close to break even if divided up into high end home sites. There are already much superior parcels for sale for less per acre than what SB 700 paid to acquire the land.

The value out there is in being annexed to SB and being intensely developed.

The threats of dire consequences if the voters reject SB 700 ring hollow. Recovering value is going to require future attempts to annex. If they lose by a close vote then I wouldn't be totally surprised if they came back with essentially the same plan, but for 70 acres.

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