Eric Schneider

Eric Schneider 1 year, 1 month ago on New committee helping city of Steamboat create transfer of development rights program for Yampa Street

Scott, I agree it can be tricky but it can and will work if done properly. The pricing is set on the free market, so that shouldn't be an issue. In the event that an acceptable price cannot be agreed upon (because the ability to development another square foot is worth much more in the selling zone than the receiving zone, for example) the ratio can be tweaked. That means instead of selling at a 1:1 ratio you could say that the ratio is 1.2:1 so that 1.2 square feet can be developed for every square foot purchased.

In any event, I agree that the process can be tricky and must be handled as carefully and as transparently as possible.

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Eric Schneider 1 year, 1 month ago on New committee helping city of Steamboat create transfer of development rights program for Yampa Street

Steve, I was referring to the idea of simply increasing allowable density in the receiving zone. That would only serve to increase density in one area while doing nothing to decrease it in another.

But yes, through a TDR program you would decrease density in the sending zone while at the same time increasing it in the receiving zone. It's really a win-win when implemented properly!

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Eric Schneider 1 year, 1 month ago on New committee helping city of Steamboat create transfer of development rights program for Yampa Street

Here's a great primer for anyone who wants to read more about what a TDR program is all about:

What is a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Program?

Essentially it's a market driven approach to moving development away from an area you'd like protected (e.g. downtown riverfront) to another area where development is more acceptable. Simply increasing the density zoning in the receiving area would allow for increased density but would not do anything to decrease density in the sending zone.

Basic concept of government trying get something of value without spending any money is always problematic and is hard to do without creating even worse side effects.

I don't know what you're referring to when you say the government is trying to get something of value without spending any money. The TDR transactions would be between property owners. The "value" to government (and the entire community) is the protection of sensitive areas from increasingly dense development.

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Eric Schneider 1 year, 1 month ago on Commentary: Vote ‘yes’ on 2A for trails and park

John, there's nothing in the language that speaks to funding past the 10 year mark. I was making the personal observation that if the trails are a big hit we could choose to continue funding them in the future. Of course if other great projects are being proposed in 10 years the money could just as easily go to them.

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Eric Schneider 1 year, 1 month ago on Commentary: Vote ‘yes’ on 2A for trails and park

What makes you think the city council would choose to fund trails on an annual basis if 2A were to fail? Forgetting for a moment the downsides of short term funding, if people vote against 2A, effectively saying "don't fund these projects", I find it hard to believe the council would then turn around and fund either of those projects.

No, if I were to join you in this guessing game of "what if..." I would say the city council either A) lets the money accrue until the process repeats itself and a new plan is accepted or B) uses the money on projects currently funded through parks and rec, freeing up revenue to use elsewhere (again, until the process is repeated and a new project is accepted). Using the money to fund the very projects that failed to pass the vote? That's near the very bottom of my list of "probable outcomes".

And yes! If and when the trails project goes wonderfully well, we can decide to continue funding trails projects in 10 years! Doesn't that sound great? Who knows, maybe after 10 years of work the trails can be funded on an annual basis since such a comprehensive framework would already be in place.

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Eric Schneider 1 year, 1 month ago on Commentary: Vote ‘yes’ on 2A for trails and park

The 10 year commitment is a totally artificial requirement and it is a really bad practice to needlessly make long term financial commitments.

While 10 years might be an arbitrary figure (why not nine? or 12?) I think a longer term is necessary for the reasons Eric Meyer has stated in his comments over the past couple weeks. If we're going to support this plan we should actually support it; not provide year-to-year financing that may disappear at any time. A longer term allows the trails group to signal commitment to land managers, secure outside grants and commit to trail projects that only make sense within a larger network. Cutting the term down in the name of flexibility invites short term thinking, planning and the possibility of half-finished connections to nowhere. Furthermore, the vision of Steamboat becoming a world class biking destination is based upon the creation of a comprehensive network of trails. How can you build a year or two's worth of trail projects and then decide whether the idea is a success or failure?

As for Yampa St, the property at the base of 7th St is available now and the three year commitment of $300,000/yr will allow for its purchase. If we don't act on this opportunity we run the very real risk of that property being purchased for commercial use and forever losing the opportunity to create a riverfront park at this site.

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