Rail Guthrie: Applause for Steamboat’s reluctance to ‘rubber stamp’ housing project
April 2, 2018
I'm confused sometimes the Steamboat Pilot & Today appears to be neutral on development and others pro. The Bynn Grey development seems to fall in the pro column — now.
It's always heartening to see cities do their homework and question developers extensively on their plans to improve any city's needs for housing. I applaud Steamboat's reluctance to rubber stamp Brynn Grey's offerings without getting some concrete assurance (upfront funds) that the end result will greatly benefit the town's needs.
Look at who benefits most. Will the workers in Steamboat who earn $20,000 to $60,000 a year be able to afford one of these homes? Will the infrastructure required put an unintentional burden on the city's roads, schools and water supply?
Developers are quick to ally the concerns of citizens that all has been accounted for and no town will then have to come in and subsidize the company in order to complete the project.
I can offer countless, thousands of examples of unanswered promises from my previous state. Once they turn the first shovel full of dirt, there's no going back — just forge ahead and hope for the best.
I know this sounds anti-development — I know Steamboat and Aspen and all the ski towns are in similar situations. Work forces who cannot find living conditions where they work and are forced to affordable outlying areas such as Milner, Craig, Oak Creek.
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Developers and their investors are not philanthropists — their motivation is profit — can they afford to create low-income housing and satisfy their investors? Very few have been successful.
These questions and concerns have been debated and fought over in countless towns all across the U.S. — there is commonality.
This is a beautiful, warm-hearted town that has a lot to offer as it is. Don't look back in a few years and find what drew you here has disappeared and all that remains are fond memories of how it used to be.