Steamboat Springs City Council to tackle pot rules, lodging tax and affordable housing
August 5, 2013
Steamboat Springs — In a blockbuster of a meeting Tuesday night, the Steamboat Springs City Council will decide the fate of the city’s lodging tax, weigh a two-year suspension of the city’s affordable housing ordinance and vote on the rules that will regulate the sale and use of recreational marijuana here.
The pot rules first were presented to the council last month and would zone recreational pot shops out of the commercial districts downtown and at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area.
The shops still would be allowed to open up in some other commercial zones along U.S. Highway 40.
Other notable rules include the prohibition of recreational pot clubs and a proposed annual operating fee of $9,165 on retail marijuana establishments to recoup the city’s expenses in regulating them.
For all of the high profile decisions council is scheduled to make Tuesday night, the fate of the lodging tax has drawn the most public attention.
The council is planning to ask voters to approve splitting the tax revenue evenly between the trails and the downtown amenity until the Yampa River promenade received $900,000, likely after three years.
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Then, the remainder of the funds up to $600,000 each year would be used to build the trail projects.
If the tax generates more than $600,000, as much as $60,000 would be split evenly between the marketing of the new amenities and capital improvements at Haymaker Golf Course.
Finally, any additional excess revenue would be collected and spent at the City Council’s discretion.
The proposal, which is up for second reading, would not involve any bonding.
In the other high profile decision of the night, the council could approve a two-year suspension of the city’s affordable housing rules.
The proposed suspension came after developers criticized the seven-year-old rules, saying they unfairly place a burden on developers.
Council members who are most critical of the ordinance equate it to a tax that was not approved by voters.
The housing rules have required that residential developers either create a certain number of affordable units or pay a fee.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com