86-unit housing development near Casey’s Pond doesn’t earn approval from Steamboat City Council | SteamboatToday.com

86-unit housing development near Casey’s Pond doesn’t earn approval from Steamboat City Council

The first phase of Urban Street at the Mountain would include row houses, duplexes and triplexes.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A range of concerns prevented an 86-unit development proposal next to Casey’s Pond from getting the green light Tuesday night from the Steamboat Springs City Council.

Council members who voted to table the Urban Street at the Mountain project until Nov. 21 collectively had concerns about the phasing of the project, the project’s compliance with base area design standards and the lack of sidewalks in the proposed neighborhood.

"I think this project is not quite ready for approval," councilwoman Kathi Meyer said.

Meyer expressed the most concerns about the project.

She feared because all of the housing types in the neighborhood were going to use the same set of limited materials, it would look like "one big massive project."

Councilman Jason Lacy was the lone council member ready to approve the project.

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The council voted 4-1 to table the proposal to give the developers more time to address the council’s concerns.

The tabling motion came after some neighbors of the project also expressed concerns, including the potential for light pollution.

Jeremy MacGray, the representative for the developers, appeared frustrated after the council withheld support for the project.

"Obviously, this is very upsetting for me," he said.

MacGray said he didn't have clear direction from the council.

"I can't add anymore sidewalks to this project," he said in response to concerns from some council members that the proposal lacked sidewalks.

The agenda item concluded when councilwoman Heather Sloop tried to reassure the developer.

"I don't think anyone here is saying your project sucks, we're just saying we need more detail," she said.

Councilwoman Robin Crossan, who supported the tabling motion with council members Meyer, Scott Ford and Sloop, expressed a similar view earlier in the discussion.

She said she felt "very positive about this project,” but she just wanted more information before approving it.

Council members Lisel Petis and Walter Magill recused themselves from the vote because of conflicts of interest they had regarding the proposal.

The developers of Urban Street at the Mountain want to build 12 row houses, four duplexes, eight triplexes and two condominium buildings just off Walton Creek Road and across Owl Hoot Trail from Casey’s Pond on a six-acre site zoned for high density.

“The project goal for us is to create a dense, livable community to best use the site and zoning, ” MacGray of The Accelerant Group told Planning Commission last month. “We did not want to create a tall condo project that would be built in one mass and require a long absorption time and not meet a need in the community, which would (include) tourists and locals.”

Developers are asking the city for an extended 10-year vesting of the development permit to allow them to develop the smaller-scale buildings first and leave the condo buildings for a second phase. The tallest buildings in the project would be 8 feet lower than the 63-foot maximum in the zone district, according to city planners.

Dog park gets OK

The city of Steamboat Springs took one small step for dogkind on Tuesday night when it endorsed a concept for an improved off-leash dog play area at Rita Valentine Park.

The council's unanimous endorsement earned a strong round of applause from more than a dozen dog advocates who have spent months trying to make the city more canine friendly.

Now, Steamboat Digs Dogs plans to apply for grant funding and start drafting construction drawings for their dog park vision.

The first phase of their project includes enlarging the existing parking lot off of Anglers Drive and adding a water fountain, shade and benches to Rita Valentine Park.

The council's approval of the dog park concept did not include the fencing that was floated earlier this year.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.