Steamboat’s Sweet Pea works toward compliance |

Steamboat’s Sweet Pea works toward compliance

Yampa Street cafe gets building permit for bathroom expansion

Mike Lawrence

Sweet Pea Market and Cafe has more seating capacity than state regulations allow for a food establishment with only one bathroom. Its owners are working through the compliance process with county officials.

— Sweet Pea Market and Cafe is taking steps toward compliance with state and county building regulations.

For much of the summer, the business at 729 Yampa St. in downtown Steamboat Springs had more customer seating than state regulations allow for a food establishment with only one bathroom. The noncompliance spurred monitoring by the Routt Coun­­ty Environ­­mental Health De­­part­­­­ment, talks between Sweet Pea owners Jon­athon Hieb and Katherine Zam­­­­brana and the Routt County Regional Build­­ing Depart­ment, and even a discussion by the Routt County Board of Commissioners about the civil penalty process for violations of state building regulations.

Hieb said as soon as compliance issues arose that he intended to work with county officials to meet the regulations.

But he said construction of a bathroom likely would wait until after the busy summer season.

He said in July that there was a "communication breakdown" with county officials when plans for Sweet Pea renovations changed in the spring.

Carl Dunham, of the Building Department, said Tuesday that Sweet Pea has received a partial building permit to split its current bathroom into two bathrooms by building a wall down the middle and adding fixtures and a new door. The valuation of the labor and materials for the work is listed on the permit as $1,500.

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Dunham also said he expected to receive architectural plans today for renovations that Sweet Pea conducted this year without a building permit.

Dunham said those renovations included a kitchen remodel, a new roof and exterior wall on Sweet Pea's west side, a new exit from the cafe's backyard area on the Yampa River and "any and all interior remodel that's been performed without permits." Dunham said Building Department staff would inspect the renovations after they receive the plans. He said Sweet Pea would pay a price for building without a permit.

"They will pay a double permit fee," Dunham said.

The amount of that fee will depend on the valuation of the renovations. Hieb could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

County environ­mental health special­ist Heather Sava­­­­lox said Sweet Pea is using portable toilets as a temporary solution to bathroom noncompliance.

Savalox did not say whether her department would assess Sweet Pea any fines, which could reach $1,000 for continued noncompliance.

Mike Zopf, director of the county en­­vironmental health department, was out of town and could not be reached Tues­day.

"They're still in noncompliance right now," Savalox said. "What they're doing will bring them into compliance when it's finished, if it's done correctly."

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