Steamboat Springs residents weigh in on idea of annexation in new survey | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Springs residents weigh in on idea of annexation in new survey

With Brynn Grey considering a new series of neighborhoods that could be annexed in west Steamboat Springs, city officials are discussing what infrastructure would be needed to accommodate the growth.

Steamboat Springs residents appear supportive of having the city subsidize some of the public infrastructure in housing developments to bring the cost of homes down, but only if the city also receives more affordable workforce housing in return.

In a recent community survey, 44 percent of respondents said they would back the city assisting the private sector to develop housing if the developer were required to help meet the city's housing goals by providing workforce housing.

Almost a third of respondents said they would support the city subsidizing infrastructure to bring down the cost of housing developments even without workforce housing requirements, and another 28 percent said they don't support the city subsidizing housing developers.

The results could help guide elected officials, who are currently working to decide whether to make concessions and subsidize infrastructure to allow a housing developer to build up to 444 new units and annex them in west Steamboat.

The Steamboat Springs City Council has spent months talking with the developers, Brynn Grey Partners, about the feasibility of the development.

Talks will resume later this month with discussions about financing options.

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And what does the community think of requiring developers to provide affordable housing or provide a fee in lieu to support it?

Despite the actions of previous councils to suspend an ordinance requiring just that, residents are still very supportive of the policy.

The survey showed 77 percent of survey respondents favored the policy.

The community survey also allowed residents to weigh in on other housing and development preferences.

Seventy-one percent of full-time residents who responded indicated they support annexation and/or increased density "to enable additional housing that's more affordable so that local people can live and work in Steamboat."

Only 29 percent of respondents said the city needs to "preserve the current physical character of Steamboat Springs."

Survey respondents also supported more dense developments in the downtown core.

However, residents don't want to see buildings downtown get taller.

About 65 percent of survey respondents said the city should stick with its current height regulations, even if it comes at the cost of not meeting some "community housing needs."

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