Steamboat Springs The City Council, city staff and many others have been diligent in researching and negotiating the annexation of Steamboat 700. Danny Mulcahy and his mostly local design professionals have presented, through open houses and continuing information, development plans that try to help solve our growing affordable housing needs here in town.
By allowing “new urbanization” design concepts, smaller lots, perhaps zero lot lines on one side, and flag lot zoning, with an eye to reduced infrastructure costs, we can create more affordable long-term housing alternatives. I am not in favor of deed-restricted requirements on developers, or employment linkage for affordable housing, as this reduces the homeowner’s ability to share in appreciation, sale flexibility and business growth.
I believe the City Council appropriately decided to allow fee-in-lieu payments on several new developments (such as First Tracks at Wildhorse Meadows) where deed-restricted units were not well received given their locations and high level of amenities and fees. We should be obtaining land and funds to develop and redevelop affordable housing.
I am in favor of helping our very valuable contributing work force obtain realistic housing options. The self-help program through the Housing Authority, while very difficult to administer, was a success to those homeowners who had the courage, determination and grit to persevere. Our family did the math in 1992 and decided it was less costly and more advantageous for our work and social time to build our home here in town, rather than have multiple trips per day to beautiful North or South Routt, with three teenagers on the road and variable school activities. Factor in the likelihood of increased fuel and energy costs, more people having longer commutes, not to mention the carbon footprint, and it makes sense to concentrate development close in.
I aspire to help our adult children build their smaller homes here in Steamboat, if they so choose and are able to climb the ladder from condo to townhome to detached single-family home. I could see the desirability to move to a smaller, high-quality, single-family detached home, near the bus route for skiing, dining, etc., with easy bicycle and walking trails, when our larger family home is not as desirable in our retirement years.
There are a number of annexation issues that have moved through positive negotiations: developed water and sewer capacity, transportation assistance, school and community facility contributions and revenue neutrality. These agreements will add long-term value to the land and our community. If we do not annex this land and allow for a long-term planned buildout, I can see the limited supply leading to another round of inflated housing prices in the next inevitable cycle. Vote “yes” on this election.