Fiscal impact study takes a look at estimated cost of new residential development in West Steamboat
March 18, 2018
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs City Council and a group of real estate developers who want to build as many as 450 new homes in west Steamboat have a lot to talk about Tuesday.
The meeting agenda is 259 pages long, and full of annexation discussions that are poised to be complex.
For example, city officials and the developer still are not seeing eye to eye on some aspects of the development plan ranging from the timing of water lines being built to the contribution of $1.4 million for roadway improvements on U.S. Highway 40.
The city is also noting that in general, its services are currently maxed out and its staff have had to do a lot more with fewer resources after staff reductions that happened in the Great Recession.
Can the city support new neighborhoods in West Steamboat without a new source of revenue?
Will the council support a plan to add three new neighborhoods complete with housing for Steamboat's middle class and a proposed 50-unit rental apartment complex that would aim to house workers with lower incomes?
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That's a question the city's elected officials will soon answer.
Red text in the agenda packet shows where city staff and the developers still may not be in agreement after several months of negotiations.
But overall, the development would not take a proportionally high toll on the city's general fund even at full build-out.
According to a summary, the study estimates the development would pull about $55,000, or $121 per home, per year from the city's general fund at full build-out.
But city officials wrote in their analysis, they think the 450-unit development would end up costing the city's general fund $97,263 a year, or $216 per unit built.
The different estimates stem from different growth projections in the city.
The analysis estimated the sales tax revenue the development would bring while also estimating the annual cost of city services the development would require.
City staff and the developers have come to preliminary agreement on a number of topics ranging from a water firming fee to the plans for parks and recreation amenities.
Here's a breakdown of some of the topics that might generate some lengthy conversations Tuesday.
Offsite transportation improvements
City staff estimates the developers would need to pitch in $1.4 million for U.S. 40 improvements between the proposed Slate Creek Road in their neighborhood and Downhill Drive.
However, Brynn Grey doesn't want to make the payment because they think the level of service on the highway won't decrease as a result of their development.
City staff notes they think adding 1,665 vehicle trips per day will have a negative impact the highway segment and will accelerate the need for future traffic improvements.
The city and Brynn Grey are seeing eye to eye on the developers plans to invest $600,000 to build the Slate Creek Road entering the development and the associated improvements needed at that intersection with U.S. 40.
The addition of West Steamboat Neighborhoods would result in the purchase of a motor grader, sand truck, cold storage and two seasonal operators to expand the snow plowing fleet.
The city currently has five routes officials said are maxed out.
The city is expecting to have to take on some overtime costs to fit the new Overlook and Sunlight developments, which are in the development pipeline, into the schedule.
Those two neighborhoods will add more than seven new lane miles of plowing responsibility to the city.
"However, to add these two new developments, plus the proposed annexation, staff will have to add a sixth snow plowing route," officials wrote.
As a way to limit the up-front costs in the development, Brynn Grey has proposed delaying a secondary water line in the neighborhood. The developers have successfully done this in other resort areas it has built in. But city officials are strongly recommending to the council that the water line be constructed during the initial phase of the development, as it would provide redundancy in the case the main line failed.
Tuesday's work session starts at 5 p.m. in Citizens Hall on 10th Street. The Brynn Grey discussion is the only item on council's agenda.