Colorado Mountain College debate continues today in Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

Colorado Mountain College debate continues today in Steamboat

City Council to discuss Crawford Avenue, 13th Street access

Mike Lawrence

— Discussion of access options for Colorado Mountain Coll­­ege's proposed expansion highlights the Steamboat Springs City Council's agenda tonight in Centennial Hall.

Debate is intensifying among residents about how the city should enable secondary access for a 50,000-square-foot, $15 million administrative and classroom building proposed for CMC's Alpine Campus on Bob Adams Drive. City officials and residents raised concerns in September about a plan for a new access road on the north side of Lincoln Avenue at 13th Street, and a counter-proposal to expand the Crawford Avenue spur also has drawn opposition from community members.

But both proposals also have elicited support from those who say facilitating an expansion of the college is vital for the city's future but disagree about the potential impacts or benefits of either road.

Steamboat Springs resident John Fielding is circulating petitions to raise support for an access road at 13th Street and Lincoln Avenue. Fielding said last week that he plans to present those petitions to City Council tonight.

That road, however, could cost CMC as much as $8 million. CMC Facilities Director Sam Skramstad has submitted to the city a conceptual plan for a Crawford Avenue spur.

"Crawford Spur is the only option that meets state requirements and is feasible at this time," Skramstad wrote in an Oct. 27 letter to the city.

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Attorney Jill Brabec, however, is one of several voices against the Crawford option. Representing Kristin and Patrick Slowey, who own the home at 1245 Crawford Ave., Brabec wrote to City Council that a Crawford spur "appears to have little practical usefulness as a secondary or emergency access.

"This roadway would empty out onto 12th Street less than 300 feet from the existing Bob Adams Drive," Brabec continued. "If Bob Adams Drive was inaccessible it seems very likely that Crawford Spur would be blocked, as well."

City Council also will discuss tonight whether to dissolve the city's intergovernmental agreement with the college. That agreement requires CMC to go through the city planning process for development projects.

Also tonight, City Council is scheduled to review and possibly approve a draft land management agreement for 586 acres the city has under contract on the north side of Emerald Mountain. The city's purchase of the site from landowner Lyman Orton is pending factors including a Great Outdoors Colorado hearing in December.

GOCo staff requested a land management agreement to review at that hearing.

A document from city attorney Tony Lettunich states the Howelsen Emerald Mountain Park group "proposes to manage the property through gifts, bequests and donations without any financial obligation on the part of the city."

On the agenda

5 p.m. Meeting as Steamboat Springs Liquor License Authority

5:05 p.m. Proclamation of Reina Salky for her community service project; annual review of municipal court surcharge; discussion of access road and intergovernmental agreement related to Colorado Mountain College’s Alpine Campus; draft land management agreement for 586 acres on north side of Emerald Mountain that city is working to purchase from Lyman Orton; resolutions, including 2011 budget for downtown business improvement district and appointment of new Tax Policy Advisory Board

7 p.m. Public comment; first reading of city’s 2011 budget; second and potentially final readings of ordinances, including leash law changes and the city’s new lease agreement with operators of the Iron Horse Inn; report about sustainability issues from the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission; items from city planning and community development staff

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