Steamboat Springs city planners not endorsing new Burgess Creek Road condo proposal | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Springs city planners not endorsing new Burgess Creek Road condo proposal

Scott Franz

A rendering shows what The Crawford at Burgess Creek would look like above Ski Time Square.

— Citing a lack of public amenities and pedestrian connectivity, the Steamboat Springs planning department does not think the city should approve the revised plans for a condominium project that would overlook Ski Time Square.

The developers of the condos off Burgess Creek Road scaled the project down significantly last month after their original proposal faced some strong opposition from nearby property owners.

Some neighbors were concerned about the proposed building's height and density.

While the former project ultimately got approval from the city despite a lack of commercial and retail spaces, city planners don't think the new concept, which now includes five units instead of 14, is worthy of approval.

City planners have specifically taken issue with the removal of some previously proposed public amenities, such as a fire pit and sidewalks around the property.

Instead, the new plan has sidewalks going through the center of the property, a setup that city planners don't think is all that inviting to the public.

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"The project does not include improvements to public spaces, pedestrian connections or provision of commercial uses that meet the intent of the plans," the planning department wrote in its critique of the proposal.

Project architect Eric Smith said Monday the sidewalks were reconfigured to make them safer for pedestrians.

The new configuration is a more direct route from Ski Time Square up to the property and goes under roofs that shelter the sidewalks from snow.

After reviewing the new overall concept for the condos, city planners ultimately concluded proposal is not a good fit for a zone district that strongly encourages "multi-use buildings, with pedestrian-oriented ground-level retail and other active uses.”

"It didn't meet the intent of what we were looking for up there," city planner Toby Stauffer said.

Before the denser proposal was approved back in the summer, Planning Director Tyler Gibbs explained to the city's elected officials that having more units and residents at the site outweighed the concerns about a lack of commercial and retail spaces.

He said the property is 30 to 40 feet above other nearby properties in Ski Time Square, and it would take a very dedicated shopper or diner to make the trek up.

The project is being proposed in the Gondola two zoning district, where some of the city's most dense developments are located.

The city's planning commission will weigh in on the conceptual development plan for The Crawford at Burgess Creek on Thursday.

Project architect Eric Smith predicted in January the new project would likely spark a fresh discussion in city council chambers about whether more contemporary buildings such as The Crawford will be allowed in a base area with older design guidelines.

Smith called those guidelines "outdated."

"The current codes and the mountain base area design guidelines were written 10 to 15 years ago," Smith said. "We're trying to do a fresher, more contemporary product" that buyers are seeking.

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