More, smaller residences would be allowed under industrial zoning changes | SteamboatToday.com

More, smaller residences would be allowed under industrial zoning changes

Brandon Gee

— More, but smaller, units without deed restrictions would be allowed in the city’s industrial zone district, under code changes discussed by the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission on Thursday.

Fearing that large homes are eroding the intended character of industrial-zoned areas, city planners proposed a change to the Community Development Code that would limit the size of “single-family dwelling units” in the industrial zone district to 1,400 square feet but would increase the allowable percentage of “accessory uses,” such as smaller employee housing units.

Others, however, have pointed out that the ability to build larger residential spaces allows for desirable and affordable housing options.

“I just don’t think it’s right if somebody wants to own a residence in an industrial district to limit them to 1,400 square feet,” said Mike Kortas, who owns 13 industrial acres in the city.

Under the current code, city planners say they have seen residential dwelling units larger than 3,500 square feet in some large industrial projects.

“We feel like this is fixing some unintended consequences from our current regulations,” City Planner Jason Peasley said.

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Planning commissioners did not act on the proposal, however. They tabled their consideration of the code changes, and directed city planners to return with a different proposal.

The proposal, suggested by Planning Commissioner Brian Hanlen, still would cap size at 1,400 square feet but also allow more larger units without deed restrictions in industrial developments.

Projects are limited to one single-family unit and deed-restricted employee units capped at 1,000 square feet. Hanlen’s plan would allow developers to build any number of dwelling units as large as 1,400 square feet without deed restrictions.

Employee units, which are accompanied by a density bonus, still would be an option for developers.

Current codes and all the plans considered Thursday still require the primary use of any development in the zone to be industrial.

Also Thursday, the Planning Commission gave its unanimous approval to two projects: a 15,552-square-foot mixed-use building in the Copper Ridge Business Park and additions totaling 5,400 square feet to the city’s public works shop and scoria shed.