Ptarmigan Inn redevelopment plan comes back to city
July 7, 2014
Steamboat Springs — Everything old can be made new again; it just takes extended vesting.
The same plan to turn the Ptarmigan Inn into a 72-unit condo development that drew the ire of its neighbors and tested a new city process in 2011 is coming back again after the project's vesting expired last year.
Three years ago, the city of Steamboat Springs established a new conceptual development plan process, which gives developers the opportunity to get preliminary approval for some items such as site design or building height before investing in the details needed for final development plans, and the Ptarmigan Inn project was the first to test the procedure.
The conceptual plan the Planning Commission will consider Thursday night is nearly identical to what was approved in 2011. The only difference, according to city documents, is an elevation change to bring the project into compliance with the base area's height restrictions, which was a condition attached to the previous approval.
The proposed building would total 240,624 square feet, with 3,000 square feet of commercial space, underground parking and connections to the base promenade.
What will be different is the vesting period being requested by the developer.
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Recent changes to city rules allow developers to ask for extended vesting beyond the standard two years, understanding that approval means waiving their rights to an administrative extension of two years.
Eric Smith, of Eric Smith Associates, who is representing the owner of Ptarmigan Inn, said during a Planning Commission work session Monday afternoon that he would like to request a vesting period of five years.
Given where the market is, he said, that would provide more time for the developer to wait and plan.
"On a project this big, two years isn't a lot of time," Smith said.
During the work session, Tyler Gibbs, the city’s director of planning and community development, said he only recently discussed the option of a vesting extension with Smith but didn't offer any initial objections.
Any project going through a conceptual development plan still must submit and get approval of a final development plan, where the majority of the project details will be covered. The final development plan also must conform to the aspects covered in the conceptual approval.
If there are any changes to the plan from conceptual to final development plan, the process starts over.
"It's not like things are moving that fast," Smith said Monday.