Robin Craigen is tired of passing an abandoned building on his rides home.
He thinks a new, eight-story condominium complex near the intersection of Burgess Creek Road and Storm Meadows Drive at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area would be a welcome replacement to the daily “eyesore.”
“Anytime you have a developer wanting to come in and make an investment, it deserves some serious consideration,” Craigen told the Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday night as he voiced his support for a base area project that has garnered a lot of attention in recent weeks.
The new development, called Ski Time Lodge, moved one step closer to reality last week after the council unanimously endorsed the conceptual design of the proposal. If the final design is approved, Ski Country LLC plans to demolish the Ski Country Enterprises building and replace it with a 74-unit condo complex estimated to cost $40 million.
But where Craigen and members of the council see opportunity and community benefit in a new base area development, others see a tall monstrosity that could cast shadows over nearby condo units and create a fire danger on a narrow mountain road.
Representing three condominium units near the development site, Steamboat attorney Paul Sachs urged the council to stop the development proposal dead in its tracks.
“There are so many reasons this application should be denied, I don't know where to begin,” he said.
Sachs said at 120 feet tall and with eight stories, the building would violate the city's height restrictions.
“This application must be denied based on the extreme violation of the height requirements of the (Community Development Code),” Sachs wrote in a letter to the council.
He also asked the council to consider the lot's small overall area, the building's proposed setback to Burgess Creek, and the lack of a secondary access to the site, among other things.
Sachs' presentation was followed by presentations from the head of the Bronze Tree Condominium Owners Association and other nearby residents who oppose the project.
Council also heard from three Steamboat residents who voiced support for the development.
Speaking on behalf of the group of Mexican investors who are pursuing the project, Andreu Cors, told the council the condominiums will boost the base area.
“I would love to be here in the long run,” Cors said. “This project is aligned with the city codes. It's the type of development the city wants to see in the base area.”
The developers of the project purchased the land for the new condominium building for $11.5 million in September 2007.
Architect Tom Jarmon, of Eric Smith Associates Architecture and Planning, estimated the building will cost $40 million to construct on 2.1 acres and will encompass 200,000 square feet. He said the 74 units will range from two- to four-bedroom condos.
Eric Smith, the head of the architecture group, told the council Tuesday night the developers are requesting only two variances stemming from the recommendations of the city's fire department. Smith said a pullout requested by the fire department will require the construction of a retaining wall along Burgess Creek, and the second variance would allow trails on the property.
After hearing the feedback, council members unanimously voted to follow the recommendation of the city's Planning Commission, which voted 5-2 at its last meeting to move the project forward.
The developers can now apply for a final development plan.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com