Steve Lewis

Steve Lewis 1 month, 2 weeks ago on Planning Commission approves 60-unit apartment building downtown

There are 8 variances, from these code standards:

Maximum lot size

Maximum lot width

Commercial uses required on the pedestrian level of commercial district

Building height. 39' allowed. 51' requested

15' extra setback for heights above 28'. Zero setback requested

Rear setback. 10' required. Zero setback requested.

Off street loading space required. Request no off street loading space.

Floor Area ratio (floor area to lot area) 2.0 max required. 3.6 Requested. Or 2.69. Depends on if you are reading the applicant's letter (link below) or the staff packet (link above).

The bulk of the variances are attributed to the hardships of meeting parking requirements and downtown has a shallow water table. From staff packet:

"The CDC’s standards for the CO zone district does not seem to adequately address the competing interests it creates between its development standards for height, FAR, and setback and its requirements to fully park the vibrant mixed use buildings it envisions. In this particular case the applicant is meeting the parking requirements, and is doing so within the building, which is pushing the income generating portions to higher levels within the building and into required setbacks."

"the subject site contains a high water table which negatively impacts the applicant’s ability to provide the required parking underground. Due to the water table issues, the applicant is not able to utilize the entire lot area with their lowest level nor is the able to push this level further into the ground. This drives the income generating levels of the project upward. If the applicant was able provide the two lowest levels underground then the project, as proposed, would come in under the maximum allowable FAR. This is a significant environmental factor that is contributing to the above ground size of the building and the need to request relief to the FAR maximums."

Finally, the article is incorrect. This will go before City Council April 5.


Steve Lewis 1 month, 2 weeks ago on Summer jet flights from Houston, Dallas, loaded on airline reservation sites

"The Steamboat Springs City Council voted March 1 in favor of a plan to bolster summer daily flights to Yampa Valley Regional Airport from Houston (IAH) on United Airlines with an additional daily flight from Dallas (DFW) on American Airlines."

I very much agree with this new precedent. Council oversight in which flights are being acquired with City money and how much reserve is being held is an important shift from previous LMD budget hearings.


Steve Lewis 1 month, 2 weeks ago on Free trainings offered to help prep for updated county building codes

This thread is becoming an accurate metaphor in some ways. I'm surprised by conservative comments like yours Ken, or Eric above: "If the government didn't inspect buildings, I am sure they would all collapse immediately." You come across as children.

To your own comment, as national politics show a less and less coherent conservative position, is it enough to simply point at the other guy?


Steve Lewis 1 month, 2 weeks ago on Free trainings offered to help prep for updated county building codes

Better comments.

I won't argue régulations don't cost. But uniformly applied building regulations are just common sense. No sense to have two kinds of building permit, or two different Certificates of Occupancy. Again, buyers aren't interested in that uncertainty.

The cost, speaking about insulation, pays for itself 100x over over the life of the house. Concrete done poorly is an exorbitant repair cost. Framing done poorly is simply a very large cost.

We are not drowning in codes. Even I don't like all of what i have to provide for on my plans, but on balance the requirements are better for the buyer.


Steve Lewis 1 month, 3 weeks ago on Free trainings offered to help prep for updated county building codes

The latest code changes primarily implement a variety of best practices for reduced heat loss. Off the top of my head here are some others:

Recent prior code changes were addressing causes of mold and rot.

Before that was a treatment of fire causes.

Before that was about framing failures from wind. Earthquake treatment is there too, but not required for the vast majority of Routt's buildings.

Before that was about frost heave, expansive soils and foundation failures.

Before that, around 1980, was about updating snow loads, framing and timber design practices, and comprehensive values for lumber strengths.

Which of the above should be rescinded? Ask Steamboat Springs buyers which they don't want in their house and they will laugh at you. Obviously inspections are the only way they have any proof their purchase meets these standards.

All of the above code changes were guided by repeated failures of some type on a nationwide and regional basis. The private sector gathers and disseminates that failure information? No. A given builder would understand and avoid these failures as a matter of intellect? Impossible.

Local jurisdictions are not forced to adopt these upgrades. Take your argument to the city and county if you are serious about your comments against code adoptions.


Steve Lewis 1 month, 3 weeks ago on Steamboat starts over on workforce housing issue

Routt has the same percolation test and other septic field requirements. Perhaps a Stagecoach owner can show testing that warrants denser use. Still, wasn't the original intent that Stagehouse would be a fairly dense population center?

It is a good thing the County is reviewing its master plan.

In my view all the area plans are obsolete and we are seeing increasing disfunction in investment. The School Board considering the Overlook Parcel is at best guessing what is going to happen in the West Area.


Steve Lewis 1 month, 3 weeks ago on Free trainings offered to help prep for updated county building codes

Compliments to the Building Department.

These trainings are beneficial of course, but the building department went further. Most construction professionals were emailed notice of the trainings along with Word documents explaining the individual changes between the old and new codes.

I've also seen firsthand how our new building official is willing to work with contractors in a constructive fashion to remedy permit issues.

Nice work Ben.


Steve Lewis 1 month, 3 weeks ago on Steamboat Springs City Council good for takeoff on Houston, Dallas summer flights

This ballot will be interesting. To your point will the Chamber position be able to address housing and the air subsidy comprehensively? How much do the flights matter?

Certainly the fear around the prior ballot won't be there because the local economy is healthy. Construction, dominant in the last growth economy, is re-emerging to the extent construction worker immigration is a future given. Try to find a building tradesman/professional today and you get the idea.