New apartment building wins Planning Commission approval for 2nd time
February 15, 2013
Steamboat Springs — The Steamboat Springs Planning Commission on Feb. 14 reaffirmed its approval for the 42-unit Skyview Apartments by a 6-1 vote. The two buildings are planned for the intersection of Whistler Road and Skyview Lane. And even though the Planning Commission had given the project a thumbs up in December, this week's meeting involved a full hour of discussion.
Commissioner Troy Brookshire explained Friday that the project came back through the approval process because neighbors weren't adequately notified of the first hearing Dec. 20.
Developer Paul Brinkman hopes to build the apartments — the first new construction in that housing category in 25 years — this spring.
The project now is set to go to the Steamboat Springs City Council for final approval in early March.
Planning Commission Chairman Jason Lacy said his board wanted to revisit this week details of the parking requirements and density of the apartment project.
"It was kind of a tough vote," Lacy said. "The parking was my biggest concern. It has 42 units, and there are only 56 parking spots. Technically, that met the code. But I have a little bit of concern that 56 spots in that type of development might not be appropriate."
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In theory, a couple occupying a one-bedroom apartment at Skyview might own two cars, and if that were true in every case, there would be more cars attached to the apartment dwellers than parking spaces. Lacy said the apartment building met the code in part because it was entitled to a parking requirement reduction because it is close to a bus stop.
Brookshire said there also was some concern about the density of the project.
The site is occupied by a red brick building originally imagined almost 30 years ago as a neighborhood grocery or convenience story. As such, it is in the commercial neighborhood zone district, and Brinkman could incorporate some amount of commercial development into the project, Brookshire said.
He added that Planning Commission was mindful during its deliberations that there is a shortage of one-bedroom apartments in Steamboat Springs.
At the end of September, the vacancy rate for one-bedroom apartments here was 2 percent compared with 15 percent for two-bedroom units with two baths and 10 percent for two-bedroom apartments with a single bath.
Brinkman said in January that he tentatively expects his new one-bedroom apartments with high trim levels to rent for $950 to $1,050. Documents on file with the city show the one-bedroom units will measure 690 square feet, and the two-bedroom units will comprise 979 square feet.
To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com