Steamboat Springs Editor's note: This story was updated March 21 to reflect the fact that the prospective mobile home park developers must first seek an amendment to the city of Steamboat's land use plan before they can pursue the necessary zone change for the project.
The Williams Family Partnership, which owns the West Acres Mobile Home Park, has entered the city planning process with the intent of developing a second, smaller park on Steamboat Springs’ far west side.
The partnership has submitted an application for an amendment to the city's land use plan, a precursor to seeking a zone change on the 5.5-acre property, from low-density residential to high-density residential, to include mobile homes as a permitted use. The partnership has a contract to purchase the property from StarDance LLC.
The site is just north of Copper Ridge Circle and to the east of existing buildings that front Routt County Road 129, including the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Pioneer Materials West Slope.
Although no application has been submitted for a development permit, partnership spokesman Charlie Williams said this week that the intent is to move forward if the zoning change can be obtained.
“I’d rather start (construction) this summer if I can get it through that fast,” Williams said.
He added that he’s confident he can get approval for the zone change and the mobile home park.
Williams said he’s hopeful that the partnership can develop a minimum of 29 lots for mobile homes on the site. West Acres, less than two miles to the west, has 92 homes. Williams is optimistic that lot rents at the new park would be similar to those at West Acres, where the average is about $560.
“We want this to be a place that’s going to attract young couples with kids," Williams said. “I definitely want it to be a family place. That’s what we really push for at West Acres.”
Steamboat’s stock of workforce housing in mobile homes was reduced by 39 homes in 2006-07 when most of the units in Westland Mobile Home Park were torn down to make way for a new mixed-use development, Riverwalk, that did not go forward. Several of those mobile homes were moved to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and another was relocated by the owner.
Jason Peasley, executive director of Yampa Valley Housing Authority, said his organization acquired the Fish Creek Mobile Home Park, with 68 mobile homes, after Westland was demolished in 2007 because of a concern that that could become the norm for riverfront mobile home parks in Steamboat. The group wanted to provide security for the mobile home owners, Peasley said.
“The park is mostly full late this winter,” he said, partly because the lot rents of $400 to $465 monthly are “pretty much below market.”
The zone-change application submitted by the Williams Family Partnership points out its new park would have the potential to “correct the existing disconnect between the city’s vision of retaining mobile home residents and the current lack of vacant land to support that vision.”
Williams said the park would include some open space on a hillside that extends into one corner of the property. He also anticipates creating a children’s area, in the park but doesn’t have specific plans.
The application from the partnership observes that a nearby industrial park could provide jobs for some mobile home park residents who would not have to commute to those jobs. Williams said he hoped the park’s development, together with West Acres, could stimulate an extension of a city bus route to the area.
To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com