Routt County planners favor community plan checkups

Officials aim to monitor progress of community plan

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— Steamboat Springs Planning Director Tyler Gibbs told a joint meeting of the City Council and the Routt County Board of Commissioners on Monday that the next Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan should pay particular attention to the links between goals like achieving build-out within city limits and expanding mass transit.

“We need to ask, ‘If we encourage build-out, will infrastructure for mass transportation be adequate to serve it?’” Gibbs said.

County Planner Rebecca Bessey and City Planner Jason Peasley told the elected public officials at the meeting that the scoping process in Phase 1 of the update of the plan is complete.

Peasley said the plan, last updated in 2004, is intended to establish where the community is and where it’s going. The latest update is being tackled by city and county staff without incurring the added expense of outside consultants.

The 2004 plan provides over-arching community goals to help guide the decisions that public officials make month in and month out.

Seventy percent of the people who responded to a questionnaire about the plan said now is a good time to revisit it, Peasley said.

Among the issues or topics that were mentioned most often as important subjects for the new plan: sustainability, commercial airline service, trails, keeping families here, infrastructure to support information technology and the future of Yampa Street.

The scope of the plan goes beyond the Steamboat Springs city limits to take in areas of the county that are close to the city, including the south valley, Strawberry Park and the area immediately west of Steamboat.

Bessey said both planning departments are leaning toward working with community members to generate indicators that would measure progress toward achieving goals, then monitoring that progress on an annual basis.

County Commissioner Doug Monger said that given the amount of time it has taken to launch the current update to the plan, he is wary of taking on annual monitoring.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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