Duckels Construction worker Juan Cortes works on a retaining wall along the New Victory Highway road off Downhill Drive on Thursday. The road could someday serve the Steamboat 700 development.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Duckels Construction worker Juan Cortes works on a retaining wall along the New Victory Highway road off Downhill Drive on Thursday. The road could someday serve the Steamboat 700 development.

Steamboat 700 traffic debate a 2-way street

Supporters, critics of Steamboat 700 take opposing views about roadway impacts

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Online

■ Learn more about the proposed Steamboat 700 annexation at www.steamboatpilo...>

boat700/

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

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

■ Learn more about plans for recommended traffic improvements on U.S. Highway 40 on the west side of Steamboat Springs at www.us40west.com/

By the numbers

Average daily trips on U.S. Highway 40:

Location Now 2035*

Brandon Circle 13,874 25,111

Sleepy Bear 14,340 25,956

Elk River Road 20,966 37,949

13th Street 31,282 45,359

  • Projection

Source: U.S. Highway 40 NEPA study

Vote on 700

■ Ballots for the mail —only election will be sent to registered Steamboat Springs voters between Feb. 15 and 19. 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).

— Depending on whom you ask, the proposed Steamboat 700 annexation is either the cause of or the solution to future traffic problems and infrastructure needs west of downtown.

Both sides are passionate about their arguments.

Opponents of Steamboat 700 point to the annexation’s projected 2,000 homes and corresponding vehicle trips, impacts to traffic and parking in downtown Steamboat Springs, inadequate intersections on U.S. Highway 40 at Elk River Road and 13th Street — site of the much-discussed “bottleneck” of traffic entering downtown — and the uncertainty of future state and federal funding for road improvements needed to handle increased use of U.S. 40.

“What is the impact on tourism and the ‘Western-town feel’ if traffic on Lincoln (Avenue) doubles? What is the impact on tourism and residents if the annexation agreement leads to major backups at 13th Street, parking nightmares and long delays at other stoplights downtown?” Tim Rowse, of the Let’s Vote group opposing the annexation, said last week. “When voting on an issue of this magnitude, unintended consequences must be considered.”   

Supporters of the annexation say increased traffic will be a result of inevitable growth, whether that growth is in Hayden, Craig or Steamboat 700. The annexation, supporters said, would provide the best solution for mitigating traffic impacts by placing amenities including a grocery store, office space and a community center west of downtown; by providing funding for expansions of mass transit and for pedestrian pathways connecting downtown with the Silver Spur subdivision; and by paying a required 77 percent of U.S. 40 improvements from 12th Street to Steamboat West Boulevard the entrance to the proposed annexation.

Steamboat 700’s share of U.S. 40 improvement costs, required by the development’s annexation agreement with the city and estimated by the Fox Higgins Transportation Group, falls between $30.1 million and $43.2 million, depending on future construction costs, final designs and other factors.

Chris Puckett, of the Good For Steamboat committee supporting the annexation, emphasized that Steamboat 700 has a 20- to 30-year timeframe for development.

“The big difference between perception and reality is that all this isn’t going to happen right away — this is a phased project that’s coming in over time,” Puckett said last week. He said Steamboat 700 projects about 100 homes per year. U.S. 40 improvements are phased with that development.

“Steamboat 700 has a lot of money pledged to help with those (improvements), and without it there is no help … pledged with any other entity,” Puckett said last week.

Registered voters in city limits will decide the issue within a matter of weeks. Ballots for the mail-only vote on Steamboat 700 and its annexation agreement will be mailed to city voters between Feb. 15 and 19. The election ends March 9.

Steamboat 700 proposes about 2,000 homes and 380,000 square feet of commercial space on a 487-acre site just west of current city limits.

Money trail is muddy

Steamboat Springs City Manager Jon Roberts acknowledged Puckett’s point earlier this month, saying “there aren’t any secured revenue streams” for U.S. 40 projects west of downtown.

Roberts and Routt County Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush said the future of transportation funding largely depends on a reauthorization of the omnibus federal transportation bill.

If that occurs, Roberts said, “we will apply every year for (federal) funding, but there’s no way to predict what schedule and what amounts those dollars will come in.”

“The target is to try to have those funds come in incrementally, and you will keep pace with what would be normal traffic growth,” Roberts continued. “Without Steamboat 700, there’s still going to be a growth in traffic, and we would certainly hope the revenues come in to keep pace with traffic growth.”

Steamboat 700’s contributions to U.S. 40 projects are part of an estimated $72 million, adjusted for inflation, in capital project funding from the annexation’s developers.

Steamboat 700 would adv­ance $5.5 million for U.S. 40 improvements before development of its first unit. That would be followed by 77 percent of funding for phased U.S. 40 work from 12th Street to Steamboat West Boulevard, designed according to last year’s National Environmental Protection Act study. Although that study is in draft form and pending federal approval, much of the work involves widening the highway to four lanes of through traffic and adding multiuse pedestrian pathways. City public works engineer Laura Anderson said pedestrian underpasses are planned for major intersections on U.S. 40 west of Steamboat.

Steamboat 700’s share of improvement costs is required at various phases of development — funds for the Downhill Drive to Curve Court improvements on U.S. 40, for example, are required at 250 dwelling units — and the full funding is required before Steamboat 700 development can continue beyond each phase.

The annexation agreement assigns the remainder of U.S. 40 funding to the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Adm­­inistration and other potential annexations west of Steamboat, such as 360 Village. If funds from those sources aren’t available, the agreement requires Steamboat 700 to front the remaining costs — for which it would be reimbursed — before development can continue.

“They may have to front more money than (the 77 percent), even though they could be reimbursed for it,” Anderson said. “No matter what it costs, they just have to build it before they can get the next round of approvals.”

Steamboat 700 principal and project manager Danny Mulcahy agreed that full funding for improvements must be available at each phase before development can continue.

“If I want to continue on with construction, yes,” Mulcahy said. “If I have to get something done, it has to get done one way or another.”

Work also is slated for ancillary roadways including Routt County Road 129, known as Elk River Road, and C.R. 42. The annexation agreement requires Steamboat 700 to pay lesser shares of costs for work on ancillary roadways. Steamboat 700 must pay 30 percent of costs, for example, for shoulder work and sidewalks on Downhill Drive from U.S. 40 to C.R. 129, at 390 dwelling units.

‘Unpredictable’

Steamboat Springs City Councilman Jim Engelken said Steamboat 700’s transportation funding would only help mitigate its traffic impacts and would not at all be a net benefit to the city.

“The city does not need 700 for anything,” Engelken said last week. U.S. 40 “is a state highway, and (improvements) should be provided by the state as the state has enough revenues to do it.”

Philo Shelton, the city’s public works director, maintained the city’s position that Steamboat 700’s share of funding makes the annexation neutral with regard to its impacts.

“At some point, some improvements are needed in the short term, but it might not be needed at all if you don’t have some of the development — we haven’t explored that scenario at all,” Shelton said, adding that work is needed on U.S. 40’s intersections with C.R. 129 and 13th Street regardless of Steamboat 700. “Once the NEPA (study) is approved, that would allow the city to proceed with those improvements with or without 700, if the funding allows.”

Mitsch Bush said in coming years, federal and state transportation funding will be unreliable.

“There’s a very unpredictable flow of money,” Mitsch Bush said. “That’s a real basic, structural issue with transportation funding that has to be fixed.”

Comments

Solo 4 years, 2 months ago

It is nice to see that the City/County expenditure of $2,200,000 million for the new road to Steamboat 700 is progressing well. This is only the tip of the iceberg for the costs of new roads and road improvements that the citizens of the City and County will face if the Steamboat 700 Annexation Agreement is approved. According to this Agreement, Exhibit C, Table 2, the City and County will be on the hook for another $4,780,275 for improvements to Highway 40, Downhill Drive, and CR 42 & 129. Again, in Exhibit C, Table 3, the City and County share of improvements to Highway 40 and the Slate Creek connector will be $20,179,000. For the items on Table 3, SB 700’s share will be $6,241,000, only to be paid if the City and County share is met. The major driver of these expenditures is the additional traffic created by SB 700. Improvements to CR 129 & 42, Downhill Drive and the Slate Creek connector have nothing to do with traffic from Hayden and Craig. It is unfortunate that the Pilot/Today continues to fail to expose the costs of this Annexation to the citizens of this community.

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Jon Quinn 4 years, 2 months ago

Mr Krawzoff - Please check your facts. You are wrong. The annexation agreement includes a provision for SB700 to pay for 25% of whatever solution to the 13th Street bottleneck the community eventually agrees upon.

Furthermore, I must admit that I am amazed to hear a transportation engineer lobby against this kind of smart growth. Every transportation model considered shows that promoting growth and urban density within the city is preferable to allowing for the sprawl which will clearly occur otherwise.

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 2 months ago

We have been passing the buck on facing our traffic problems for decades. The only way forward is to approve 700, then at some point we will be forced to face the inevitable. Politicians will never face this monumental decision until it is apparent that they have no other option. Presently no one will even acknowledge that a problem exists.

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cindy constantine 4 years, 2 months ago

Mr Quinn,

"Promoting urban density" should occur within the existing city boundaries NOT by annexing additional acreage which we do not need not now or perhaps ever!!
Flexible zoning and up-zoning as has been done at the base area is the solution to urban sprawl and luckily for the citizens planning is looking at that possibility now according to Cedar. Putting the City taxpayers at potential financial risk in these uncertain financial times is just not responsible policy on your part. Again "smart growth" occurs in a community from the inside out!!

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housepoor 4 years, 2 months ago

700 promotes urban density?? It is SPAWL!!

Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a multifaceted concept, which includes the spreading outwards of a city and its suburbs to its outskirts to low-density, auto-dependent development on rural land, with associated design features that encourage car dependency

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Jon Quinn 4 years, 2 months ago

Ms. Constantine,

With all due respect, existing land prices within the city limits will NEVER support affordable or attainable housing without huge government subsidies. Is that really what you want?

Sometimes the biggest threat to the status quo is doing nothing. It is time for this community to get back in the driver's seat and have control over the future of its growth.

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cindy constantine 4 years, 2 months ago

Mr Quinn,

Your assumptions are unfounded as land prices like other real estate in the community will continue to decrease in value for the forseeable future. If you can build more units per site obviously the land cost per unit will decrease accordingly. What about the 15 acres the City will be responsible for developing into "affordable housing" Do you not agree that will come with "HUGE government subsidies" as no builder in his right mind will take that on as a viable project. Why can't the City and the developer admit the market has crashed without a bottom yet and put this nonsense on hold. I am sorry the developer paid too much for the land at the top of the market BUT it was his risk NOT ours and you need to govern accordingly!!

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AGM 4 years, 2 months ago

Cindy,

I have a question for you.

You state, "Why can't the City and the developer admit the market has crashed without a bottom yet and put this nonsense on hold."

I'd like to know if you'd be in favor of SB700 if the market hadn't crashed. If times were wonderful and market values continuing to rise would you be in favor of SB700?

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cindy constantine 4 years, 2 months ago

AGM,

Never would support under any circumstances an addition to the City of this size without a diverse economy. Thank heaven for Scott Ford!! You rock!

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housepoor 4 years, 2 months ago

Why does everyone continue to believe we will return the growthdemand of 05-07? The reality is that the game has changed, real estate is no longer king and the idea that it is a safe investment has been shattered. We need to get back to promoting tourism and attracting business outside of real estatedevelopment.

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Solo 4 years, 2 months ago

George- Exhibit C, Table 3 lists the US 40 Bottleneck capital project to cost $14,500,000. $10,875,000 to be paid for by the City and/or County (75%) and the balance paid for by SB700 (25%) only if the City/County share is met. I’m with you, how can we put a price on something that is not designed. This is again an example of how this Annexation Agreement leaves too much to be determined after the annexation has taken place. Who in their right mind would sign a contract that contains obligations that can not be specified or priced?

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Jon Quinn 4 years, 2 months ago

George, Solo, and Cindy, Remind me, how much funding for the bottleneck problem does plan B have in it? Wait, there is no plan B. Plan B = Sit on our hands and hope that we get a better offer. Nice.

For what it's worth, I also have not yet figured out where my daughters will go to college, how much it will cost, or how to pay for it. They are 4 and 1. I have, however, started saving and planning for that eventuality. What more can any parent reasonably do TODAY to make sure their kids' future is secure in 15-20 years?

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flyguyrye 4 years, 2 months ago

Mr Quinn Please explain how 700 is creating affordable housing? Will this include deed restrictions? How will it attract those who live in the surrounding area's to purchase there and all the additional costs that will be added on to a purchase price. Sincerely on the fence

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cindy constantine 4 years, 2 months ago

Jon,

If the annexation is not approved on March 9, the land and the developer are not going anywhere!! In one year they can come back with a master planned community that incorporates a phased annexation or some other idea. In one year's time we should have a much clearer picture of the local/national economic picture, the fate of Intrawest and tie up the loose ends (like the attainability requirement, the contradiction within the document regarding payment for water/wastewater upgrades, etc) in the annexation agreement. Some supporters of the annexation have stated that it could be 5-8 years before the first house is even built, so an additional year is nothing in what could be a 30 year project. The supporters act like the whole annexation will somehow disappear if not approved right now. That's just plain silly. If the developer's don't have the carrying costs for one more year prior to an approved plan, they certainly don't have the deep enough pockets required to see the project fully through and that should be a very scary prospect for the City!!

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AGM 4 years, 2 months ago

Solo,

You are relentless in your fear mongering – it didn’t work in your campaign and it isn’t going to work here. Please attempt to be factual. I’ve made this plea before.

You write, “It is nice to see that the City/County expenditure of $2,200,000 million for the new road to Steamboat 700 is progressing well.”

Either you are intentionally being misleading or you are ignorant. The FACT is this road was conceptualized more than 15 years ago to provide alternate emergency access to Silver Spur, Heritage Park, Steamboat II and other west Routt County areas. Last spring part of the US40 washed out between Sleepy Bear and the Rifle Club. If there is another wash out or traffic accident in that section again there is no chance of a immediate or timely response by the fire department, police, or hospital- that is one of the primary reasons for the road. Routt County has recognized this and is paying $500k for that road. And remember, this road is in the city not the county! Call the city or county to confirm.

Another FACT that you should be aware of: SB700 is already committed to widening US40 from Sleepy Bear to County Road 129, which will accommodate traffic from SB700 (and other existing and future annexed communities). The New Victory Parkway has some main purposes, one is to provide access to Overlook Park, two to provide alternate access for safety concerns as mentioned above. To claim that its purpose is to provide access to SB700, is blatantly misleading, but it makes a great fear-mongering headline on your end. New Victory Parkway is not necessary for SB700. It is necessary for Overlook Park.

You then go on to write, “The major driver of these expenditures is the additional traffic created by SB 700. Improvements to CR 129 & 42, Downhill Drive and the Slate Creek connector have nothing to do with traffic from Hayden and Craig.”

SB700 isn’t the cause for these expenditures. With or without SB700, these improvements are necessary. These road improvements have been identified for more than 15 years. The county has wanted a bypass of CR129 for years. The fire department has wanted alternate access to west of CR42 for years. With or without SB700, the city and county have identified these needs years ago. Please don’t attempt to confuse the issue.

In a bigger picture what really is unfortunate is the blatant fear tactics based in half truths and mis-information. Prior to SB700, the community spent hundreds of hours planning for growth with public meetings, forums, hiring experts, planning commissions, etc.. In the last couple of years, the City staff has spent over 5000 hours putting this annexation agreement together and 300 hrs of public meetings. Solo, Cindy & company – how many hours were you part of this discussion? My hunch is that you were nowhere to be seen.

The risks and costs are known and SB700 bears them. Please keep to the facts.

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housepoor 4 years, 2 months ago

'In the last couple of years, the City staff has spent over 5000 hours putting this annexation agreement together and 300 hrs of public meetings. "

That's the problem all data and projections used were skewed by the bubble. The playing field has changed so why not go back and revisit the plan? Do you really think that growth will return in the next 10 years to warrant doubling the size of the city in one chunk?

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AGM 4 years, 2 months ago

George and Solo,

Let’s take a look at cause and effect. You both are making the same mistake of relating an effect to the wrong cause. The problems that exist today are the result of not planning for the growth of the region. Trying to deny that growth is going to occur and impact our road systems is what got us in this problem today.

When the 2000 units that are already platted in Hayden get built who is going to pay for the new intersection at CR129/ US40 or the Bottleneck? When the 1000 new rooms are built at the base area generating another 1000+ jobs throughout the community where are those employees going to live? How will the volume of vehicles coming to and from YVRA going to address those same problems? If we continue to hope that growth is not going to occur instead of plan for it, then all the traffic will continue to clog our roads and go across town to the employment centers and grocery stores.

I can understand Solo’s misunderstandings and confusion of the cause and effects of traffic congestion; he’s a custom home builder not someone who has ever studied planning or traffic, but for our Transportation Commissioner to act as though pushing more growth to the outlying areas of the county is the solution is disgusting. Mr. Commissioner, I’m sure I’m not alone in being blown away by your finger pointing and lack of solutions. You are the guy that makes a living from transportation and all you can do is blame a future development for the transportation problems we have. How does making sure all growth happens outside of Steamboat Springs a solution for the US40 or the Bottleneck, or the US40/CR129 intersection? I see the entire problem we currently have as being caused by that type of thought.

I know the ignorant view is that growth will not happen going forward because of the current economic situation. This same thought existed in the mid-80’s when we were in foreclosure city. Conditions were way worse than today. Guess what - we’ve grown significantly since then. I’m not saying growth is great, but fact is we live in a desirable community. Even you outspoken “no-growthers” all moved here at some point because it was desirable. If people that detest growth move here, anyone can. But, I digress in the irony of it all.

With or without SB700, you’ve got transportation issues. I’d like our Commissioner to spend his time finding federal funds or state funds to fix a problem on a federal highway managed by the state.

(to be continued......)

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AGM 4 years, 2 months ago

(continued…..)

I have to ask George and Solo - WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR THE BOTTLENECK AND US40 without a partner like SB700 or 360? George has already made it clear that the State is not going to get it done, but I have a hunch that George cannot truthfully deny that the State will only come to the table when there is a significant financial partner at the table. This could be in the form of a future developer (SB700) or a Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). The county is not going to do anything without a partner and most of that highway exist within the city. The city is attempting to mitigate these costs through SB700.

By locating services like a grocery store, schools, daycare, parks, office space, and retail in west Steamboat our community will have mitigated the cross traffic through town as the area grows. More importantly, our community will receive millions of dollars for the US40, the bottleneck, CR129 intersection, bike lanes to town, core trail connection, and expanded transit with a transit center and additional buses. That is working toward a solution.

As Jon Quinn brought up, without Steamboat 700 the entire burden of fixing the US40, bottleneck, and CR129/US40 intersection will be on the shoulders of THE EXISTING TAXPAYERS. The more growth that occurs in the county the more they will have to pay. That’s a terrible Plan B, folks.

I have a newsflash for you – these problems exist with or without SB700. SB700 isn’t the cause, they are at least attempting to work on some solutions.

There has been a transportation solutions committee meeting regularly for over a year discussing long term traffic solutions and the number one issue identified is funding. The best potential idea today seems to be an RTA. If everyone doesn't know what a RTA is; it is a TAXING entity. In the near future, because traffic is continuing to get worse, the regional municipalities like the city and county are going to be asking this community to approve a RTA (which means we will be asked to approve new taxes).

An RTA may or may not be the best solution but either way if we as a community can locate housing, services, and transit options to the west end of town and get millions of dollars for it, then the existing taxpayers will have a partner and not have to shoulder the burden alone. .

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ybul 4 years, 2 months ago

So how does the 13th street bottleneck get solved. What is a solution to this spot, adding houses is not going to solve the problem because there is office, grocery, school space on that side of town.

Design a workable solution and then come to the table. Those lots in Hayden could not be sold at auction and look likely to end up as a ranch again one day in the future. What goes up must come down. The market here is in the process of adjusting. Prices will continue to decline and without some silver bullet, will be off by over 50% if no one figures out how to get the economy going again.

Good thing the feds had there stimulus package otherwise total government spending would have been way down. Too bad they spent it primarily on things that do not continue to create wealth and primarily provide the ability to transport goods for one area to another. Just more debt we now have to dig out from under as a country which as mechanisms to sustainably create tax revenue were not created. We can always go the Zimbabwe route and have quadrillion bank notes to pay off our debt. That would help to ensure that housing prices continue to soar and the middle class is destroyed.

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CedarBeauregard 4 years, 2 months ago

AGM You say "The risks and costs are known and SB700 bears them."

The costs and risks as laid out in the annexation agreement were decided within set parameters. With regards to traffic any impacts West of 13th street were mitigated. But those cars don't magically evaporate once they pass the library moving East. Lets not forget the "Bottleneck" is very long. I was told that at full build out of 700 we will likely need 6 lanes of traffic on 40 from the post office East to Ski Haus.

Chris Puckett is quoted "— this is a phased project that’s coming in over time... Steamboat 700 projects about 100 homes per year."

There is nothing in the agreement that prevents SB 700 from building as many homes as they want in any given year. They fought long and hard for this not to be in there. Therefore if we as a community decide that the impacts imposed on us by the additional homes in SB 700 are becoming to much, we will have no recourse to stop them from continuing to build.

In fact we can't even impose a building moratorium on the development without imposing the same moratorium on ALL building in Steamboat. This in my opinion could inadvertently mandate sprawl.

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CedarBeauregard 4 years, 2 months ago

AGM I want to also point out that traffic from our residences creates 5 times the vehicle trips as people who commute to work here.

A better solution, in a traffic choked town like ours, is to create housing within blocks of our workplace and activities. There are better options closer to all of these things than SB 700.

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Jon Quinn 4 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Krawzoff has served this community well for many years. My previous comments were not terribly thoughtful, and I apologize for that. This issue is most fiercely debated amongst the citizens of Steamboat Springs who love it the most… I am quite sure it should be that way.

Because this issue is so multi-faceted it is critical that we all focus on the facts. Aren’t we all tired of just getting the talking points? These issues are incredibly complex. Be willing to ask some hard questions and be open to the answers you get.

To “on the fence” how does this annexation further affordable housing? Well first, the annexation agreement provides both land and a funding source to build affordable housing. 1 out of every 5 units built is to be deed restricted affordable. That is 20% deed restricted. Another 30% is to be affordable to those who fall between 120% and 200% of our Area Median Income.

This is very important… this project is not approved “at once”. It is approved at each phase of development. Each time the developer, whether this particular developer, or a future owner of the land comes to the City to approve or “plat” their next phase of development, they have to be able to DEMONSTRATE to the satisfaction of the sitting City Council that they are fulfilling these goals and keeping their promises. Or else they get turned down!

If you simply look at what has been planned, it is a neighborhood unlike anything that development has shown us over the last decade. Sure we now are sitting on plenty of inventory of second homes right now, but how many homes currently listed are affordable to our working families? I tell you, what is left of the real estate market is being driven by our working families. If I had to build in this market, I would be building to that segment of the market.

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Jon Quinn 4 years, 2 months ago

Continued...

So let’s really get down to it. It is all about growth at the end of the day. For the last decade growth in Steamboat has meant building more second homes, more trophy homes, more condos. With all this growth we have seen our middle class become threatened. That Steamboat is a real town, a working class town, a cowboy town, is so much a part of its ethos. We all want this place to be real. We want to raise our families here, we want to know our neighbors, and we want to know who we are as a community.

I may not be an economist (that should give me extra credibility with most of you), but I know what it takes to make a business and a family work in Steamboat. It takes hard work, and it always will. Nobody is entitled to live in Steamboat. This place is special and you had better be willing to work if you plan to plant roots here.

So I have to ask… does anybody really believe our local economy will be better without this annexation? It has been suggested that the developer will be back in a year with a better plan if the vote fails. Really? The annexation process was 2 years long. This is not an ordinary application. The process is enormously expensive, and takes a lot of time. There is no quick recovery to a denial, and a much more likely outcome is that a denial leads to the parcel being subdivided and sold off as 35s with some LPS opportunities sprinkled into the mix.

So If it is to be about growth, then I tell you it should be about the growth of our local economy . It should be about the growth of our working class. It should be about the growth of our families here in Steamboat. It should be about the growth of the diversity of our industries. On all of these counts, I will continue to champion policy which is pro-growth!

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boatgirl 4 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Quinn, Nobody is entitled to live in Steamboat. This place is special and you had better be willing to work if you plan to plant roots here.

Mr Quinn,

Your quote above is interesting. You acknowledge that SBS is not for everyone. But then you say you will continue to champion policy which is pro-growth! Building houses for people who don't and won't have new jobs in the next 20 years is not a policy. Where are the jobs to sustain the middle class that would live in these houses? Steamboat is still a resort town and will be the same 20 years from now. Where are the great paying jobs coming from to justify 2000 new residences?In your excitement to be pro-growth , you have forgot about the demand side of the equation. Maybe you should know something about economics!

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Jon Quinn 4 years, 2 months ago

Boatgirl - Thanks for your response. I am not sure that you really read my comments. I believe we should stand for growth of our ECONOMY, and right now more homes would certainly help. A diverse economy is not something which just happens. We have had relative success with our eceonomy in Steamboat in part because housing prices are lower than other resort towns. Boatgirl, we are more than a resort town, and I hope it stays that way.

Housing is the foundation upon which any local economy rests. For all of you who keep saying, "where are the jobs?" I have a question. Do you believe that Steamboat has the ability to attract new industry today? Perhaps Hayden does, but not Steamboat. The median single family home price in Steamboat is still north of $700k last time I looked. This is not a question of the chicken and the egg. The rooftops MUST come first. The businesses will follow in very much the same way they always have around here. This town attracts and hopefully fosters the entrepreneurial spirit.

Thanks for hearing me out. Gotta go to work!

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boatgirl 4 years, 2 months ago

Dear Mr Quinn,

Your philosophy is "Build it and they will come." I'm very glad that you have clarified that for all everyone that didn't vote for you in 2007. Your philosophy is what represented Steamboat at the peak of the Real Estate boom that ended in 2007. Coincidentially, the City Council elected in 2007 all believed the Real Estate boom would continue for decades into the future. You and your council members gladly approved the demolition of Ski Time Squuare believing that Altria would deliver your new boom town. That didn't work out and now they want 10 years before they do anything. The Las Vegas developers of Steamboat 700 are to be believed that they will deliver economic diversity and prosperity to Steamboat. These Las Vegas developers overpaid for the Brown property and have no contractual obligation to ever build one home on this land. Mr Quinn , I believe you are far too naive to represent the citizens of Steamboat in any negotations. You are clearly ignorant of the reality of the real estate market in our community and you and other supporters of Steamboat 700 are wishing on a dream.

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pitpoodle 4 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Quinn, Solo is quite correct. The cost of new roads to accommodate SB700 will cost City and County residents millions on top of water and wastewater expansions. Improvements that SB700 are paying are to mitigate traffic impacts it creates. Most of the water related expansions will not be needed if the annexation does not pass. I respect Mr. Krazoff who has been involved in this community for many years, years before you ever considered strapping Steamboat residents with these incredible costs. You are surprised that Mr. Krazoff would lobby against this mess? I am even more surprised that our esteemed City staff lobbies for the annexation at every opportunity. I understand staff was paid by SB 700 for an extended period of time. Maybe they still think they are working for Mulcahy instead of SB taxpayers who usually pay their salaries.

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Jon Quinn 4 years, 2 months ago

Boatgirl - thank you for personalizing a discussion which should be about issues. You are free to attack me as you see fit. I do live life on the sunny side. Call it naive if you like, but I see the glass as half full. It is a choice we all make.

I'll let you all have your blog back.

Thanks for hearing me out.

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housepoor 4 years, 2 months ago

We all wish our houses were still worth 700K, they are not. Take the 07 value and subtract 40%. I have yet to see a council who has actively tried to attract new industry outside of real estate and development. The only strong supporters of 700 appear to be in a related field and that 700 will somehow be that magic pill that puts us all back to work like it was 2007. I'm not against it I just don't see the need.

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AGM 4 years, 2 months ago

Wow.....the haters are out in full force.

Lest any of you forget, this entire issue is about planning for the long term future of our community. We can have input in planning our community going forward. Making decisions is scary for some people and they'd just rather not make them. Change is scary.

We have a city that hasn't annexed any meaningful piece of land into the city in many, many years. We have available, buildable land adjacent to our city. We don't have any significant infill pieces remaining. Some good people spent countless hours over the past 17 years or so identifying a logical place for our city to eventually grow. That space is a a whopping 1100 acres. That isn't a ton of land. We are now voting to decide if we want to annex about half of that 1100 acres into our city for the future.

If we do annex it in, we have a reasonable opportunity to plan that growth, get some important infrastructure on the west side of town, have places for families to live and have a partner that will pay money toward projects that this town has long realized it needs to have whether or not this development goes in. That is reality.

If we don't annex it, we might as well put up a big ol' fence around that land and say it is undevelopable, We might as well pretend we are Aspen or Telluride and because of various topography they face, we will force development further and further away from the main amenities of our community. We will restrict supply and in that we don't have any control of demand, eventually demand will return and with no supply, we can all watch the values of our homes increase to fabulously high levels. Those of us that already own will be rewarded with higher home values. No doubt there are some in our community with that selfish view.

Without annexation, those of us that like a diverse community will not find it. We'll have a more pronounced "have" and "have not" community.

The fear-based Let's Vote (which should have been more honestly named Let's Vote No), lives with half-truths and mis-information. It is rather disgusting in how their campaign is being put together.

We've planned on annexing this specific land into our city for over 16 years now. Odd thing is, not one acre of land under the WSAAP has been annexed in those 16 years. No plan is good enough for some, like Cindy who for the first time that I've read has come clean with her feelings.

A great amount of very short sighted opinions flood this board and it is a shame.

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flyguyrye 4 years, 2 months ago

Thanks for your reply Mr Quinn Rounded off and Based on the 2000 census then you would have to have a household income between $62,000 and $110,000. The average income for men based on that census was $35,000 and women $26,000. So a couple combined still would not meet the needed amount. Or you can get a deed restricted home that in my opinion is pointless to buy as there is not incentive of investment. So is there affordable or attainable housing or not? That is also based on a 10 year old census and I am sure the numbers are a different now. I not leaning towards hoping the fence just yet. Wouldn't tearing down and rebuilding the Iron horse be a better investment of time and energy of the City?

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freerider 4 years, 2 months ago

AGM ,,,How much $$ is the 700 farce paying you to cheerlead this scam ??? The traffic plan is a joke ...the only way to fix it is to route traffic around downtown which isn't going to happen unless a by-pass is built or you move the Yampa River ....you sound like one of those government workers that spews a lot of facts based on the " because I said so theory " and as far as the fear mongering goes I say your in lead on that one ...that's also a two-way street ....if we don't annex then you all better be scared ...wow !! talk about a hypocrite ...A lot of locals would like to see Steamboat grow smaller...as far as I'm concerned if people started leaving Steamboat that would be fine with me...it's already toooo frekin crowded ...VOTE NO ON THE 700 FARCE

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 2 months ago

Its been an interesting read. I'll remind posters that a little respect in here goes a long way in the reception of your opinion.

I was surprised to note Solo's reference of the projected costs of fixing the bottleneck. $15 million? That must be the option of an Oak Street extension. I'll hope that option will suffice, as it would be my choice. I'm pretty sure all the other options would cost way, way more than $15 million.

I just finished a phone conversation that could easily have been from AGM above: "If we don't annex it, we might as well put up a big ol' fence around that land and say it is undevelopable," i.e., its now or never.

Striking to me is the certainty of confidence behind such a speculative statement. My disappointment is how this unearned self-confidence leads AGM to claim that a "No" on 700 is a "fear based", or "selfish" vote. AGM your entire post above is nothing if not fear-based.

Land use will follow the $$ signs. We may speculate, but we know next to nothing about this parcel's future if the deal on the table is denied. It is ludicrous to posture some unknownable fear-based aftermath as a reason to settle for less.

This deal is either good enough today, or not good enough today.

..

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 2 months ago

Last year Steve Aigner framed the Community Alliance and their intentions. You will see many blogs feigning neutrality, expressing manufactured concerns, masquerading their agenda, and describing why the 700 should be rejected. We got a very clear picture when Aigner issued the city council an ultimatum last spring. Nothing has changed, no growth still reigns supreme, the zebra still has it's stripes.

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pitpoodle 4 years, 2 months ago

So what, Fred. The Cm Alliance and supporters have a right to their opinions, as do you. Not everyone wants growth at any cost. Not everyone will get a piece of the pie, like you.

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housepoor 4 years, 2 months ago

So why are they building this road if annexation is still in question?

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greenwash 4 years, 2 months ago

Fred,You might want to let your guys know if they are getting photographed they should wear a hard hat.Im sure OSHA isnt too psyched.

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AGM 4 years, 2 months ago

Amazing to me how so many seem so concerned who will benefit from this. Almost a hatred of someone potentially benefiting. For the record, I have no tie to this project, nor anything related to construction, development or real estate related. I make my living in completely unrelated industries and will not benefit one penny because of this passing.

Anytime someone speaks in favor of this annexation they are labeled as someone benefiting from such a project. It is absurd and paranoid.

Fred - I couldn't agree more. Amazing such a small group of zealots can attempt to stuff their views down the throats of so many (and do it in the shadows void of transparency). Yet they are so fickle when someone has the audacity to criticize them and they scream "victim" anytime someone attempts to. Laughable.

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CedarBeauregard 4 years, 2 months ago

I think the downturn of these threads has allot to do with the anonymity of the posters. Its easy for some to poke at others form the shadows. I think its a shame that the pilot has continued to let people stay anonymous.

John I hope you don't let the negative attacks deter you from posting. Some people will decide on this referendum from these blogs and your position and reasoning will be useful.

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CedarBeauregard 4 years, 2 months ago

My position with regard to growth is far from anti. I just want it to be prioritized. I very much want the opportunity to up-zone the inner city and exhaust all of our infill potential prior to developing in a sprawling form.

With regard to the economy I feel we need to protect the one asset we have and that's the ability to attract tourist to our town. If we let the streets fill without a plan to alleviate the congestion I'm concerned we might eliminate the one source of income we cherish the most.. Tourism.

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CedarBeauregard 4 years, 2 months ago

"The Smart Growth Manual," by Andres Duany

1.6 Growth Priorities

  1. Urban revitalization
  2. Urban infill
  3. Urban extension
  4. Suburban retrofit
  5. Suburban extension
  6. New neighborhoods on existing infrastructure
  7. New neighborhoods requiring new infrastructure
  8. New neighborhoods in environmentally sensitive areas

Somehow we have skipped to #7. This is a must read.. You can find it here.

http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Growth-Manual-Andres-Duany/dp/0071376755

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Jeff Kibler 4 years, 2 months ago

Cedar, I don't have the book, so could you clarify:

Isn't 700 a combination of 3. Urban extension and 7. New neighborhoods requiring new infrastructure?

Urban infill: How many vacant lots are available in Steamboat and what lots and/or land fit the urban infill criteria. Rita Valentine Park, perhaps?

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CedarBeauregard 4 years, 2 months ago

Jeff, this is from memory but I think we could get 900-1200 units within the current City Limits West of 13th alone. And that is using current planning codes. I think with up-zoning and some mandated density requirements we could get over 2000 units within the existing City.

The book is concise so I will type the whole page..

"1.6 Growth Priorities

Direct investment to smart groth priority areas

Smart growth directs both public infrastructure funding and private development where they will have the greatest economic, environmental and social benefit. This approach requires a clear prioritization of growht alternatives, from smartest to "dumbest," as follows:

1.6 Growth Priorities

  1. Urban revitalization
  2. Urban infill
  3. Urban extension
  4. Suburban retrofit
  5. Suburban extension
  6. New neighborhoods on existing infrastructure
  7. New neighborhoods requiring new infrastructure
  8. New neighborhoods in environmentally sensitive areas

Once this hierarchy is established as policy and designated on a regional map, governments can attract development to the high-priority areas through a range of incentives. Maryland Governor Parris Glendening described his state's program this way: "We told communities that they're still free to sprawl-- we're just not going to subsidize them anymore."

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housepoor 4 years, 2 months ago

So the Orton proposal appears to be a better fit than 700, but it was denied?

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Brian Smith 4 years, 2 months ago

My biggest question, is what is affordable housing? Few years ago, we accidentally looked at a deed restricted home, that we did not qualify for. The home was listed for over $400k. My understanding, was we at the time needed to make less than $70k as a family in order to qualify, and have 20% to but down. We make more than the $70k, and I figured the payments out to be something around $2000/month. These numbers are estimates, as I don't recall all the exact details. So, if similar numbers are true now for "Affordable" housing, who that meets the guidelines, could actually afford that kind of payment? I would have to guess their would be a few who have moved up from previous investments in housing etc., but would also guess that their is a vary small group of people that this would ever even help. Maybe I am completely off, but its hard to believe.

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Karen_Dixon 4 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Krawzoff, I have a solution to the bottleneck that I believe has serious merit. I designed it shortly after our Planning Commission hearings last year on density west of 13th. I would love an opportunity to discuss it with you & anyone else interested in getting involved in real solutions to identified problems. (admitting the problem is only the 1st step, right?) It has none of the ramifications that you mention in your post above & it will cost the city nothing if handled correctly. It is a traffic solution and economic development rolled into one idea, and they are not mutually exclusive. It helps 4 long time local property owners increase the development potential & value of their properties if they work together. It creates a strong employment anchor in downtown Steamboat providing vitality for existing downtown businesses & putting employment within walking distance of many existing homes. It creates parallel capacity through the bottleneck allowing development to occur west without the impacts of congestion at 13th street. It provides a core trail connection under 40 from Old Town. It will serve to activate some Main Street properties that are currently struggling. It will preserve & activate the historic iron springs park - though this is the biggest logistical challenge.

It's time to start seriously considering solutions and get past the problem identification stage.

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Karen_Dixon 4 years, 2 months ago

Lewi - Thanks for reminding everyone that civil dialogue is the most productive approach.

Jon- Welcome to blogville!!!!! It isn't always pleasant, but I encourage you to stay on the forum. Most readers (whether they agree or disagree with you) will choose not to post, but your words may provoke them to think of things they hadn't considered before. IMO, this is the purpose of the blog - to provoke thought. Those who choose the low road of personal attack are typically ignored by those wanting intelligent discussion. It's best to go ahead & write your response to those.... then hit delete before posting!!! And try not to write ANYTHING at 3:00am!!!!!!! Trust me on that one!! Good luck!

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 2 months ago

mTn, The definition of Affordable Housing: one spend's 30% or less of their gross income to own it. I believe Steamboat considers ownership costs to be mortgage payment (interest and principle), insurance, HOA and taxes. In your example income of $70K, these monthly ownership costs should total $1,750.

The other central idea is that we chose, in the WSSAP, to assist certain income levels. avergaging at 80% of the Routt Annual Median Income (AMI). Its skewed up above real wages, because it includes out of county investment incomes, but it's what we use. Family (household) size is carried into the matrix of what family size/income should fit a given purchase price.

The numbers you recall don't fit the actual targets of the effort. $400K value, for a family of 4, 80% down, would correspond to 120% AMI and an income of $96.7K. A family of 4 making $64K, is at 80% AMI, would be looking at a purchase price of $270K. If you are a family of 2, the purchase price ability is the same, but you are considered to be at 100% AMI.

I'll see if I can link you to the AMI/purchase price chart. ..

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CedarBeauregard 4 years, 2 months ago

This is a Vacant Land Analysis within the Buildout Analysis--January 1, 2008

Notice the total at the bottom is 3,112 Units.. Much more than I thought and this vacant land only and doesn't include up-zoning or Redevelopment.

"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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cindy constantine 4 years, 2 months ago

Thank you Cedar for the land statistics. Was this information made available to planning or City Council prior to the review/approval of Steamboat 700? And if not, would it have made a difference in October at final vote of the Council? Was up-zoning within the existing city limits a consideration before 2010?

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 2 months ago

It would be interesting to update that analysis with currently proposed projects. I think Altira's proposal for Ski Time Square has 50,000? less sq ft of commercial than projected which might mean 50,000(?) more sq ft of residential.

I don't know the exact numbers, but presumably the City does.

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Karen_Dixon 4 years, 2 months ago

Thanks for bringing that up Cedar. I remember discussing this analysis & some of the questions we raised that went unanswered were: 1) Were the property owners of these vacant parcels ready, willing and able to build units? 2) Could they / would they build the units as attainable? (since they are in the existing city limits, not part of an annexation, there is no way to require that certain price points be met - they would be required to comply with the IZ ordinance however for affordable units) 3) Were the parcels constrained in any way.... i.e., steep slopes, wetlands or floodplain issues, etc? I think there were other questions, but I don't I can't remember them at the moment. At that time, without a more thorough analysis, we could not consider that these vacant parcels could or would meet the demand that the WSSAP seeks to satisfy.

The analysis is relevant & believe me, I wave the flag of densifying our core & I hope that discussion is opened wide up in this blog. I'm not sure however, that it's an EITHER / OR scenario. I think smart planning requires both because they will each meet different demands and satisfy different market segments. I do not want this to be Monotown, catering to only one socioeconomic demographic and relying only on the economic engine of tourism. Steamboat is better than that.

It's interesting to note that our policy worksessions are currently focused on upzoning & densification in our core - baby steps at the moment - tackling the CC/CS zone districts primarily along the Hwy. 40 corridor. I never thought in a million years that the development community would have any objection whatsoever to upzoning & ADDING density & development potential to their parcels. Of the developers who participated in that worksession, I wouldn't go so far as to say there was outright objection. But there was certainly hesitation & resistance to the idea. I hope it was simply a misunderstanding or misreading on my part. The point is that simply having the land available does not mean that the land owners are willing participants & will choose to build to the current max density allowed or to upzone to a higher density.

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CedarBeauregard 4 years, 2 months ago

Karen I think you have touch on why sprawl is so rampant in the United States.. Its simply easy as pie to draw a new plan on a blank sheet of paper.. I think Steamboat is better than that.. Infill and redevelopment might not be the easy route but why do we want as Brian says the "ubiquitous" status quo.

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housepoor 4 years, 2 months ago

Karen, "would meet the demand that the WSSAP seeks to satisfy" So how was this demand determined?
Are those figures still true today?

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Karen_Dixon 4 years, 2 months ago

I am leaving town for a family funeral this morning, so don't have time for the proper response to Housepoor's question or to Cedar's points. If the question is still not answered next week, I'll jump on it, but anyone who wants to take on explaining the history & rationale of the WSSAP, please jump in....

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housepoor 4 years, 2 months ago

It just seems that people are taking our current market as an aberration but the 05-07 boom was perfectly justified? Believe me I wish we could go back to that demand but it's just not going to happen.

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 2 months ago

Cedar, Your smart growth plan makes good sense, but this allows those in the right situation to charge exorbitant prices. 700 will serve to keep all honest and benefit the ones that we are trying to help. There is no substitute for inventory if we are to keep prices reasonable. Negating 700 will send workers to other towns and their sales tax will go with them, leaving businesses and government to survive with no game plan. This is not a sustainable situation.

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kathy foos 4 years, 2 months ago

Houses are already way overpriced in Steamboat area,,if it stops expanding then 10 years from now the prices will be even worse.like Aspen.People need the work now to build this and if locals are hired and spend their money in this county then it could be a step in the right direction for economic recovery.

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AGM 4 years, 2 months ago

The infill discussion is interesting. I'm a fan of infill development. In thinking it through as a comparison with a new development like SB700 or others that will come along, a few issues come to mind.

Infill development will contribute to all the transportation issues that have been bantered around on here. Infill development will put pressure on the schools, fire department and public safety requirements. Also, the big discussion about water/wastewater infrastructure needs that have been discussed online will increase substantially.

One pretty big issue is that with all of these new demands on services, you have no partner to help pay for: new schools, highway/traffic improvements, public safety buildings, water infrastructure, transit. You also don't add to your inventory of parks, open space or free land for affordable housing. All of the costs under infill development will entirely be the responsibility of existing residents (and eventually shared by those new residents). In the annexation agreement you do have a financial partner - that is a pretty big deal.

No easy answers to any of this.

Locking the gate on top of Rabbit Ears Pass is not the answer, though.

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CedarBeauregard 4 years, 2 months ago

Don't forget the 3100 infill units I spoke of above are not a proposal. They're done, finalized approved and vested. We own them. There is no what if. They already exist.

And also remember this partner that everyone brings up is not SB 700 themselves, but the first family that happens to move into SB 700. That first unit will carry the heavy burden of paying for infrastructure not needed for them but for the 1999th family that moves into SB 700 in 30? years. (an extra $100.00/per month aprox.)

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 2 months ago

Per my earlier post, this link is to Routt's 2009 AMI chart, with suggested "affordable" purchase prices at given incomes and family sizes:

http://steamboatsprings.net/sites/default/files/page/2196/2009_AMI_Chart.pdf

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AGM 4 years, 2 months ago

Cedar,

Let me play the role of the letsvoteno camp for a second. I find out today that there are 3100 units that are now approved and ready to be for sale in my community (because I have a hunch most people don't have a clue about the facts you presented):

Oh my, my property value is going to go down! Oh my, the demand upon water and wastewater infrastructure is not adequate! Oh my, this is way too fast and too soon - we have too many properties for sale already! Oh my, the demand on our transportation system is too much! This is too much, too soon - this just can't be - we must stop this infill development stuff! The costs to the city are way too high to allow this infill development stuff to continue!

Ok - back to reality now.

I'm glad you pointed out this current supply of developable land - because I think it clearly shows the amazingly ignorant views of the no-growth and the anti-informed about growth in our community. We have infill that could be developed today that would put more stress on the system than a potential new development that is being annexed into the city. Not one word from the zealots about the "cost to the community of this infill development. Not one.

Come on - one of you have the guts to say something constructive about this. Cindy, Tim (no idea if you post), Poodle, doesn't this scare you in the same manner? Guess what, you get to directly help foot the bill for all of this new infill development and with SB700 you don't share that same burden - hate to break it to you but those are facts.

The anti-annexation side has simply become a campaign of fear - not logic. This much has becomes more clear everyday.

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cindy constantine 4 years, 2 months ago

AGM,

Some comments just don't warrant a response - they do however earn an eye-roll. Can you see mine through your monitor?

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AGM 4 years, 2 months ago

It is ok, Cindy. I'm sure by Monday, your little committee will get together and attempt to put forth some type of response to my question.

I'll be waiting for one - as will many. In case you forgot, I'll remind you of the questions:

How is the city going to pay for the new water and wastewater that will be needed with this infill development?

Who is going to pay for fixing/paying for the significantly increased traffic on Hwy40, the bottleneck and Hwy40/CR129 because of the infill development?

Who is going to pay for the new schools that will be needed because of infill development?

Who is going to be responsible for the value of my house losing value because of all these new lots because of infill development?

Who is going to pay for the public safety building(s) that will be needed because of this new infill development?

Good luck........

ps. I do hope you spend some time thinking about your first response to my questions. You responded with an "eye roll." If you really sit and think about it, many of us have been rolling our eyes at what you and your fellow zealots have been spewing for months now - and you are rolling your eyes at EXACTLY the same questions that you zealots have been screaming about for the past few months. Ironic, isn't it?

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kathy foos 4 years, 2 months ago

When I first saw steamboat in the early 70's it was way different.A friend of mine wanted to come up here to jump(hot dog) at howelson hill,this town was so small and sorta normal size and feel to it,those people back then liked it the way it was also,but they had to move over for you AGM and many of the locals couldnt afford it here anymore,and now you are in the same Boat,only 40 years later.History repeats itself.There is lots of snow for everyone to enjoy and this place will grow for the next 40 years ,Every town always has infrastructure to deal with and it maybe your grandchildren who will need more room and can live at 700.Maybe they will have to double the size of the ski mountain to accomodate,so what?

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AGM 4 years, 2 months ago

Sun,

I fully realize we are going to grow going forward. I was merely pointing out the amazing hypocritical and illogical arguments being made by the anti-700 crowd. As one of our planning commissioners pointed out, we have 3100 approved units already on the books in the city. The eventual build out of these units will have impacts to the city and I'm fine with that. Everyone is fine with that - it is the normal course of business.

Yet, under an annexation that will bring land from the county into the city, some people are making crazy, illogical arguments against it. The amount of the current units approved in the city is over 50% more than what SB700 is eventually proposing. The buildout of 3100 units will have numerous issues, including water, transportation, infrastructure, etc. Nobody seems to have any issue with these things. These issues get taken care of over time - they aren't cause for panic, fear or concern. But the moment you attempt to annex in some land, the anti-700 crowd screams thoughts of panic, fear and concern. The issues aren't any different - growth, transportation, water, infrastructure, but somehow they attempt to find ways to try to obstruct things from happening.

The problem is.....the anti-700 crowd can't answer the above questions I've asked in previous posts. Their silence is quite telling.

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 2 months ago

Sigh. The meaning of silence...

Is that you are a waste of time. Each AGM post offers analysis of your opponents' character. Imagine the attraction of engaging with yourself. One gets to be a spewing, screaming, gutless, paranoid, hating, obstructionist zealot.

I assume your own self-esteem stems from your conviction that you are living in enlightenment and your opponents are living in the dark. Its also possible that you are heavily invested in 700.

Silence can also mean your questions above are inanely stupid. Which they are.

Your whole point is that LetsVoteNo should also oppose infill, for the same reasons it opposes 700. In your head these amount to the same issue. They are hugely different. Opposition to vested infill is an opposition to firmly established property rights. A chorus from both sides of today's debate would assure you that opposition to established property rights is both wrong and unconstitutional.

AGM, you are officially in orbit.

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AGM 4 years, 2 months ago

Steve,

I'll remind you what you typed only a few days ago, "I'll remind posters that a little respect in here goes a long way in the reception of your opinion." Amen. Thanks for the reminder, I can tell they were sincere words. I've heard of "selective hearing" but dear Steve, I think you are suffering from "selective reading."

Contrary to your assessment, my whole point is NOT that letsvoteno should oppose infill development. That isn't my point at all, Steve.

My point is that the opposition to SB700 for the reasons of water, transportation, and infrastructure really don't hold any weight when one considers the fact that our city has been dealing with and will continue to deal with the eventual build out of 3100 currently approved units. Somehow we manage that. Somehow we'll mange more than that.

My point all along is that SB700 (or any subsequent annexation) isn't the sole reason for issues of water, transportation, infrastructure, etc. With or without SB700, our community has these issues to deal with. We will deal with them in an ongoing effort, just as we always have. But what I'm currently reading is that all of a sudden with 2000 potential new units we have a giant water crisis looming because of SB700. That can't factually be true unless we have had a giant water crisis looming because we have 3100 approved units currently in the city. Why aren't and why haven't those fearful of water issues been discussing this previously? These 3100 units weren't just approved yesterday, they've been around for many years - certainly pre-SB700. Even in orbit I know that 3100 is greater than 2000, Steve. Water isn't the issue - fear is the issue.

But, when I read ads in the paper that say Gamble in Vegas, Not with our Future and vague ads about We Don't Have Water - I think it is fair to say those are clearly based on fear, not facts.

Thanks for the civil dialogue, Steve. And once again, Steve, I have zero financial interest in this development, but thanks for checking - again.

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CedarBeauregard 4 years, 2 months ago

AGM

I think your questions are legitimate. I would counter by asking the same questions of you but with "and SB 700" tagged on the end of each one.

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pitpoodle 4 years, 2 months ago

AGM According to the McLaughlin Water Engineers who completed a comprehensive city water study in December 2009, there is not a problem with water or wastewater to accommodate current and future city needs, even with total build out (including the 3100 in the city's buildout numbers). The report stated that expanding existing city facilities would be adequate for city needs into the future. For additional city water needs, we could add additional capacity at Fish Creek reservoir, if and when it is needed. However, the problem (and huge expense) starts when we try to service the SB 700 annexation. That is also when we would "face a shortage in the event of an emergency such as treatment plant outage or fire". Expanding city water and wastewater resources would cost an estimated $34.1 million for water needed plus $24.7 million for wastewater expansion. Your friends at SB 700 have generously agreed to pay 960,000 toward these costs.

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AGM 4 years, 2 months ago

Pitpoodle,

I live in the city limits. My house was built some years ago. I have both city water and when I flush, it gets taken away as wastewater. Maybe you or someone else could help me understand how me, my neighbors and most likely you are able to have the water and wastewater service we've all become accustomed to.

Thanks.

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 2 months ago

AGM, Respectful discourse is better, I agree.

You've just said: "what I'm currently reading is that all of a sudden with 2000 potential new units we have a giant water crisis looming because of SB700. That can't factually be true unless we have had a giant water crisis looming because we have 3100 approved units currently in the city. Why aren't and why haven't those fearful of water issues been discussing this previously?"

Now that you know the 3100 infill units will be accomodated at the existing facility, does your complaint still make sense?

And surely you understand the point that both Cedar and Pitpoodle make: the 3100 units are an obligation that is already on our water/wastewater ledger. The 2000 units of 700 water/wastewater are not yet on that ledger. It seems only rational to separate our existing obligations (infill) from optional new obligations (annexation). I do not understand why you continually insist on merging the two. This 700 ballot is yes or no on new obligations, is it not?

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AGM 4 years, 2 months ago

I'll ask a simpler question. Who paid for my (and your) water and my (and your) wastewater?

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 2 months ago

Impact fees, tap fees, use fees, water bills, taxpayer dollars... its not a simple equation. Two water districts make it even more complicated. Your point is....

And how about your answer to my questions (above): - 700 is going to SAVE the City money? - Now that you know the 3100 infill units will be accommodated by plans now in place, and at the existing facility, does your complaint (on LetsVote) still make sense?

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CedarBeauregard 4 years, 1 month ago

One note..

My initial point was that I'm convinced that we can accommodate another 2000 units within the current City limits above and beyond the 3100 units with up-zoning and redevelopment.

These new units would have far fewer negative consequences than anything outside the city limits.

Today at 12:00 we will be discussing this very topic at our Planning Commission meeting. The topic is "Small lot zone districts".

Please join us,

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 1 month ago

Cedar, Is anyone on planning commission interested in "concurrency" for these zoning density increases? That concept requires that we not approve new development (or density) until we can promise the infrastructure to serve it.

Look at all the new density approved and now vested at the base area. Didn't we add burden onto sewer pipes already at capacity? Even within the existing city limits, the city seems averse to making new development pay for all of its impacts. .

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CedarBeauregard 4 years, 1 month ago

Steve,

Your concerns are shared with staff. Infrastructure and other impacts were a line item for the discussion.

Prior to the next meeting staff is going to annualized what the impacts might be if we were to let people subdivide there properties in different areas within the City limits.

In most cases properties already have a higher density zoning designated to them but are hindered by the "10% rule. " This is a code that prohibits a lot from subdividing into anything smaller than 10% of the average lot size within 300 feet. This 10% rule is another discussion in itself.

The packet wasn't posted on the web or I would supply a link. I'll ask if it can be posted and link to it later.

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