Steamboat seeks public input on revisions to community plan

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Past Event

Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan workshop

  • Monday, May 16, 2011, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Centennial Hall, 124 10th St., Steamboat Springs
  • Not available

More

Future meetings

■ Tuesday

5:30 p.m. Community Plan happy hour at Rex’s American Grill & Bar, 3190 S. Lincoln Ave.

■ Wednesday

2 p.m. Open House at Citizens Hall at Centennial Hall

7 p.m. Yampa Valley Construction Trades Association at Yampa Valley Bank, 600 S. Lincoln Ave.

■ May 24

5:30 p.m. Young Professionals Network at the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant deck, 628 Lincoln Ave.

■ May 25

5 p.m. Community Plan happy hour at Ghost Ranch Saloon, 56 Seventh St.

■ May 31

6 p.m. Open house at Citizens Hall

■ June 1

6 p.m. Open house at the historic Routt County Courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave.

— Yampa Valley residents who can imagine the Steamboat Springs area, inside and outside the city limits, in year 2031 are urged to attend the latest in a series of public meetings leading to the update of the Steamboat Springs Community Area Plan on Monday.

“What is your vision of what we want to look like in 20 years?” County Commission Chairwoman Diane Mitsch Bush asked Wednesday.

The Comp Plan, as it is often called, is a nonbinding collection of community goals for the qualities that make life in Steamboat and the areas surrounding it what they are. Beyond those qualitative goals, city planner Jason Peasley said, the plan will establish policies designed to turn visions into reality.

The plan was last revisited in 2004 and is overdue for its five-year freshening. Since then, the term Comp Plan has been shelved for a new brand: Compass. The plan includes neighborhoods outside the city limits such as the South Valley, Strawberry Park and west of Steamboat.

The prevailing economic conditions are very much a factor in the Compass update, Peasley said. He points out to audiences that the last update was tackled in an era of growth pressure and under the assumption that there would be adequate resources to carry out its vision. Since then, he said, employment from the construction and real estate sectors has dropped significantly, and the city now understands that it has more capacity for infill development than it estimated in 2003 and 2004.

Of 200 action items that came out of the 2004 plan update, one-third were accomplished, another third are ongoing and the final third have yet to be addressed, Peasley said. That suggests to him that the new update should include a strategy for annual progress reports.

1st things 1st

The initial community meetings aren’t so much the time to address details specific to neighborhoods, but more the time for grand visions and strongly held thoughts about what is most dear to the people of the valley, Mitsch Bush said.

She said public participation in the planning process is open to people throughout Routt County.

“We want to hear from people in North, West and South Routt,” Mitsch Bush said. “Even if you live outside the immediate Steamboat area, your life is affected.”

To that end, county planner Rebecca Bessey is scheduled to give a presentation on the Comp Plan update to the Hayden Town Council on June 2.

Peasley added that second-home owners also are encouraged to participate, and their ability to provide comments is being facilitated by online polling. The same online functions are intended to help members of busy households add their comments whenever it’s convenient.

“What might take half an hour to accomplish at one of our open houses can be completed in 10 to 15 minutes on the Web page,” Peasley said. “We’re paying special attention to those that aren’t able to come to meetings. And we really want to target the younger demographic — people who want to live and grow families here. We want to know what they need and want.”

Planners have met with the teen council and will continue to consult with high school students, Peasley added.

New technology is being put to work to make it easy for people who aren’t accustomed to speaking in public to register their opinions during the public gatherings.

Peasley said custom lists of goals will be assembled in each community meeting and those in attendance can silently and anonymously indicate their approval or rejection of the goals using electronic keypads at their seats. The results will be tallied almost immediately.

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

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