Tuesday, October 18, 2011
In other action
• Proclaimed October Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
• Unanimously approved the first reading of the 2012 budget, which includes general fund expenditures of more than $24.7 million; an ordinance to update the city’s municipal code related to water and wastewater charge discounts for elderly and disabled persons; and a resolution to approve the 2012 operating plan and budget for the Downtown Steamboat Springs Business Improvement District.
• Heard an update about the city’s revised noise ordinance, which took effect in July.
• Approved, by a 6-1 vote, $7,500 in additional funding for the Steamboat Springs Rodeo Board. During City Council reports, council member Walter Magill said members of the Rodeo Board told council a reduction in funding this year would force the board to scale back the number of rodeos from 10 to eight next year. City Council President Cari Hermacinski voted against the proposal, citing her desire for more information from the Rodeo Board. Magill had proposed the funding come from city-approved funds for the Steamboat Springs Bike Town USA Initiative as part of the proposed 2012 budget, but a motion failed with only council member Meg Bentley providing support. Instead, the funding came from savings created by a finance staff insurance policy adjustment.
Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs City Council gave preliminary support to a new development process for the Ptarmigan Inn redevelopment at the base of Steamboat Ski Area despite objections from neighbors.
Attorneys representing adjacent properties Chateau Chamonix and Ptarmigan House urged City Council members to deny or delay the conceptual development plan for the project that would raze the existing four-floor hotel in favor of a 10-floor condominium project standing 105 feet tall.
It would include 71 two- to five-bedroom condos in a development totaling more than 256,000 square feet, of which more than 174,000 square feet would be livable space and 3,000 square feet would be set aside for ground-level retail.
The attorneys cited concerns about drainage and whether the building’s height would create shadows and obstruct views.
But mostly, Paul Sachs, representing the Ptarmigan House Condominium Association, and Gary Engle, whose firm Sharp Steinke Sherman & Engle was representing the Chateau Chamonix board of managers, said they were most concerned with the process.
“The concern that is this is a huge and major project,” Engle said. “It is apparently being pursued under an undefined and not well-understood conceptual development plan. And the concern is if we don’t have this well understood, then we’re just not going to get it right and this will be a bad experiment.”
Steamboat Springs Planning Director Tyler Gibbs explained that the purpose of the conceptual development plan was to provide developers with initial approval before making a significant financial investment in the project. He said the developers still would be subject to all the city’s planning and development codes before submitting a final development plan.
By that time, developers have to meet 27 conditions identified during the review process by planning staff; the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission, which approved the plan Sept. 22; and City Council.
City Council members approved the conceptual development plan, 6-0. Council member Jon Quinn recused himself because he used to do work for developer Bruce Shugart.
Council members expressed concern with the location of retail on the ground level and the development’s lack of winter pedestrian connectivity.
The city’s public promenade ends just west of the Ptarmigan Inn where a ski access is located. Gibbs said the developers would have to work with Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., which owns the property, and neighbor One Steamboat Place to see whether anything could be done to extend the promenade.
Council member Kenny Reisman congratulated Gibbs on getting the conceptual development process rolling.
“Obviously, it’s going to feel uncomfortable at times,” he said. “I think we’re hearing that from people in the community, but I think that happens when we kind of set something in motion. I think this is probably a good result from a lot of these economic development meetings where we said, ‘How can we make our city government more user-friendly.’ I think we’re heading down that path and making our best attempt to get there.”
After the meeting, Shugart said developers could break ground on the Ptarmigan condos in spring 2013, pending city approvals.
— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com