Laura Beauregard: RiverView developers should be required to provide more public benefit | SteamboatToday.com

Laura Beauregard: RiverView developers should be required to provide more public benefit

RiverView is a large development that’s already approved, spanning from Third and Lincoln to the Rodeo Bridge. While the density is already over twice what the code allows, there is a current request for more height, density and lots with one less access drive.

RiverView developers propose no additional public benefit with this request. This classic case of developers seeking something for nothing was supported unanimously by City Council on the first reading. Ask City Council if we can do better.

On March 17, 2017, the Steamboat Pilot & Today reported that “City Planners are recommending an eight-foot-wide, hard-surface trail that would run along the river from a new public plaza at Fifth and Yampa streets to the river’s confluence with Spring Creek.”

A five-foot wide soft surface trail was the resulting compromise. Does the soft surface trail meet the requirements of accessibility for public amenities?

Details of barrier free design are not included for the Spring Creek confluence improvements, or the two river access points shown on the plans either. Where is the handicap accessible parking? Even that isn’t shown, as far as I can tell.

This makes me wonder whether our public benefits are really public liabilities.

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I went to the council meeting to request that a Core Trail bridge over the Yampa be added, connecting the end of Third Street to the existing Island Tunnel near Brooklyn and was met with no response at the meeting. Will City Council address this request before granting approval?

The easements for this bridge are in place on both sides of the river; however, it will be up to the taxpayers to fund the “RiverView Bridge.” This bridge could provide connectivity and reduce foot and bike traffic on the curve of Lincoln, between Rabbit Ears and the pool. Reducing traffic hazards in this location is already a concern, and RiverView has just begun moving dirt.

Condition #9 of the pending approval relieves RiverView from responsibility for traffic impacts on Lincoln beyond their $36,000 donation for a traffic light study. Will that cover the impacts of a sizable hotel being added next to Rabbit Ears, along with the balance of their structures?

It’s reasonable to ask for more public benefit in exchange for RiverView’s request for more density. More density creates more impact.

Specifically, if you would like RiverView to participate in funding the “RiverView Bridge,” you will need to notify City Council before the final vote of approval on June 12.

Speak now if you oppose Condition #9, and instead would like traffic impacts to be a shared responsibility for RiverView.

Do the right thing. Speak up, otherwise you can’t complain complain when RiverView succeeds in getting something for nothing.

Laura Beauregard

Steamboat Springs