Steve Lewis

Steve Lewis 1 day, 2 hours ago on Our view: Housing demand outpacing supply

Boom cycles cause our most severe housing problems. Some years construction is 20-30% of our economy. Other years it is 5-10% of our economy. That's a huge ebb and flow of workers and housing demand. Wages won't change that cycle.


Steve Lewis 1 day, 15 hours ago on Our view: Housing demand outpacing supply

The free market would create a sufficient housing solution? Not when we need it. The local boom in construction from 2003-2007 created none and showed no signs of doing so as we looked forward. The housing need grew larger and larger. Sure, in a nearly balanced supply/demand situation it does make sense that rent control affects new investment. A marginal factor though, when you are creating so few controlled units.

Some of the above argument holds government responsible for regulation sought by the people. The Urban Growth Boundary is the single most detrimental regulation when it comes to creating affordable housing for Steamboat Springs. That is not government anymore than its citizens.

The 35 acre minimum for a home in unincorporated rural Colorado is also counterproductive. Reverse these two regulations and Steamboat as we know it would not exist. Is that what you want?


Steve Lewis 1 week ago on Routt County revisits housing crunch, this time with the matrix on its side

Telluride. Aspen. Breckenridge. Crested Butte.

And Steamboat Springs. The deed restricted homes at Fox Creek have served the community well.

In the long term these programs eventually return the investment made. What you don't seem willing to recognize is the added benefit in human capital these programs deliver. These people we help to live in Steamboat are more valuable to us than the mortgage they pay.


Steve Lewis 1 week ago on Routt County revisits housing crunch, this time with the matrix on its side

Scott, consider that all of us aren't after employees. I just like more young families living in our town. Your Oak Creek investment does better if workers have to commute. My Steamboat investment does better when housing is tight here. But I won't argue against this effort because its success means a Steamboat with more young folks. Can't slow the old folks bidding up our housing, but we can try to help the young ones. I hope they come up with some good ideas.

I'll agree with John. We were the last resort to begin this effort. We move slowly, miss the cycles, pay more and get less. Many units, such as those in Howelson Place, lost their deed restrictions during the recession because few were buying at that point and financing from banks was next to impossible. Today those units would be part of the solution. This next effort would be wise to have a few banks ready to support the product further into in a downtown.

Perhaps economic cycles trigger different pieces of effort, such as some growth or permit amount activates the suspended IZ ordinance. I'm not saying IZ is the best method. Just saying economic triggers are a way to help align the effort with the economy and avoid the need for lengthy debate at each step. When the economy dips to slow, have $$ to spend in the downturn. It will provide jobs at the best time. The conversation itself is good but always throws us behind the curve. It took 3 councils talking about the need before we took our first steps in 2006.


Steve Lewis 1 month, 1 week ago on City councilman says decision to call dibs on concert tickets, VIP passes was 'boneheaded'

From the first article on this council decision, this storyline troubles me. The council choice was wrong, and ripe fruit for the ensuing criticism. But I cannot recall Pilot journalism like this. Two council members getting a series of critical articles is new. The first article was more critical than most. Now with public sentiment heavily against the privileges taken, the Pilot is continues to single out two on council for particular blame?


Steve Lewis 1 month, 2 weeks ago on Our view: Lesson learned, not to be forgotten

Yes the police department had problems. But the troubling and downward trend of "public trust" over the past few years was in no way limited to police department ethics. Not even close. This was merely the last straw. City administration made a sequence of decisions over the preceding years that called into question the desire of our city to provide open and requisite process for its decisions.

The police department was in the mix, and early. The 2012-13 proposed sale of the police station without engaging a realty listing before the full market was my first concern with city process. Also disturbing, the sale had paperwork ready to sign yet no one had a clue where the next police facility would be? After that sale fell through via public pressure, the city remained almost entirely focused on moving the police facility. To the Iron Horse, to the Stockbridge, to Pine Grove Road, to here, to there... In hindsight I have to wonder how the city handling of the police department's ethical issues might have been affected by this push for a new police facility.

For what its worth, the early CC packet argument to move the police station was not even about facility inadequacies. The first reason given for moving the police department was to remove a commercial dead zone from Yampa Street. This move was to be about revitalizing Yampa Street.

Its great to see new leadership and the potential that brings. Just remember, our "public trust" problems have been top to bottom in city government, and not limited to one city department.


Steve Lewis 1 month, 3 weeks ago on Steamboat Springs City Council sued over downtown apartment decision

Gotta love the extra fat 63 Ford pickup floating thru the rendering on its own axis. The 3 people beyond it are walking on a sidewalk that is somehow 15 feet wide. A very artistic rendering, that one.


Steve Lewis 2 months ago on Colbert: Celebrating one year in paradise

Austin, Dude! You're in! True locals are the ones with smiles. Your grin says it all. :)

Enjoyed the read. I still have my notebook from early years here - a seasonal planner for the sports I loved and hoped to love, with a column to rate how well I invested my time over that season. Some seasons I absolutely nailed it. Sounds like your bucket list. So many ways to play, so little time.

I suggest one path to never feeling like a tourist: Adjust your goal from crossing things off the bucket list, to becoming damn good at 2 or 3 or them. Skill will take your fun meter way further than money will. Dabbling here and there is for tourists, and passion ain't about money.

Stick with your 2 wheel drive and spend your dough on better toys. Trust me, the guys and gals in the rusty two wheel drives are having way more fun than those in the expensive SUVs.

Have a great day!


Steve Lewis 2 months, 2 weeks ago on Our view: Good gates make good neighbors

Ken, perhaps if a condo hallway matched the attraction of Maribou's commons your analogy would make sense. The commons of Maribou is not the same as one's home.

Maribou, Storm Mountain Ranch, etc, certainly have the right to lock their gates. That is their privilege, if they so choose. A disappointing choice, but so be it. What brings me to post is this newspaper endorsing that choice. If Maribou and Strom Mountain Ranch needn't share their commons, why should anyone else?

There is a metaphorical gate on Rabbit Ears Pass, and the same ethic applies. We may not own the valley but we are, or were, those "friendly locals." Our warm welcome to guests is part of the brochure.


Steve Lewis 2 months, 2 weeks ago on Our view: Good gates make good neighbors

Of course a ranch can lock its gate. The right to control access to one's property is a fundamental meaning of ownership.

But who does the Pilot think its kidding? Gated communities separate people by class. Its a net loss to the social fabric of the valley and everyone knows it.