Steamboat delays Bear River bike park
December 21, 2011
Steamboat Springs — The Steamboat Springs City Council delayed action Tuesday that would have allowed biking at the Bear River Parcel on the west side of the city.
Instead of approving a resolution that would have permitted a bike skills park on land where the Bear River Skate Park is located, City Council members decided to wait until they had their hands on all financial information related to the proposed park that would include a pump track and jumps for beginners and intermediates.
Steamboat-based nonprofit Directional Development Foundation has proposed to design and build the park as well as maintain it for two years before turning that responsibility, and cost, over to the city.
"I'm all for the biking, and I think it's a great idea," City Council President Bart Kounovsky said. "I'm just concerned. I don't think it's the right steps for this specific plan, to adopt this plan before we get any idea what those costs are. … It sounds like those costs are going to be available to us in the first part of January."
Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department Director Chris Wilson said the Directional Development Foundation would present a conceptual plan for the park and its construction and maintenance costs Jan. 11 to the Parks and Recreation Commission. He said that information could be presented at the City Council's Jan. 17 meeting.
The Parks and Recreation Commission previously approved modifying the Bear River Master Plan to permit a bike skills park Nov. 9.
City Manager Jon Roberts suggested that the council could add a caveat to the resolution that would prohibit the city from contributing any dollars for a bike park in the future.
But City Council members Walter Magill, Scott Myller and Kenny Reisman didn't support that idea.
"I guess I don't want to limit it," Magill said. "That if somewhere down the road we have some funds, we want to put the funds to it, but we've said this master plan can't have any funds."
A motion to approve adding the bike park to the Bear River Master Plan with no caveats failed with only Magill and Myller supporting it.
Myller said not allowing biking as a use at Bear River could make it problematic for planners spending money on a design for a site where it's not allowed. But Wilson said the continued planning of the park shouldn't be a problem, even without the approval.
The conversation returned to what the city's costs to maintain the park would be — the reason Reisman didn't support the previous motion.
"I need to see financials before I can green-light it," he said.
City Council members voted, 6-1, to delay approving the modification to the Bear River Parcel to add a bike skills park.
After the meeting, bike skills park planner Blair Seymour said the action was frustrating. She said planners were asked only to present a modification to the master plan, not financials. And now Seymour said they would have to pay to produce those financials without knowing whether a bike park would be allowed at the site.
Also Tuesday, the City Council approved a final development plan and planned-unit development for the Tread of Pioneers Museum to demolish a more than 100-year-old house at 219 Eighth St. where its collections are located. The museum will build a new facility at that location.
The council also approved a temporary tent at the Knoll Parking Lot for MusicFest and a development plan and conditional use permit for Hungry Dog to set up a food cart in Gondola Square.
City Hall will be closed Monday.
— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com