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West Steamboat Neighborhoods annexation

Editor’s note: This page will be updated throughout the annexation process. 

The Steamboat Springs City Council voted Feb. 5 to annex 191 acres of land west of current city limits between West Acres and Silver Spur north of U.S. Highway 40. Brynn Grey Partners is the developer of the project that proposes 450 housing units — one-third of them deed restricted — over the next 16 to 20 years. In addition to a new school, parks and open space, the project will have commercial, mixed-use and large-format retail areas, which are anticipated to included a day care center and grocery store. Brynn Grey previously developed workforce housing projects in Breckenridge and Frisco.

Artist rendering of the Gateway Neighborhood, one of three neighborhoods slated for the West Steamboat Neighborhoods annexation area. (Courtesy Brynn Grey Partners)
Photo courtesy of Brynn Grey Partners

What’s next

With the ballot question on the West Steamboat Neighborhoods annexation now answered, the community is looking ahead to what happens next.  

Though results are still preliminary, the annexation was approved with 59.7% of voters in favor of the proposal and 40.3% opposed.  

“The next focus for us is building homes, and we can’t wait,” said Brynn Grey Partners Managing Partner Melissa Sherburne.

The developers will be working to check off a to-do list of actions laid out as conditions required to be met before the annexation ordinance can take effect.

Brynn Grey has until 60 days after the results of the election are certified to negotiate an access agreement to connect the development to U.S. Highway 40. With certification expected to be complete by July 5, that deadline is expected to come around Sept. 3.

Brynn Grey has until Nov. 12 to acquire the property from its current owner, Steamboat 700.  

Some other conditions have already been met. An approved regulating plan and property zoning are on file and will take effect once the annexation ordinance is in place.

Beth Melton, chair of the Yes to Locals Housing committee, thanked volunteers who helped with the campaign. 

“I am thrilled,” she said. “As we were talking to people and knocking on doors, it was really inspiring to hear how much people care about the future of our community and about being able to house families and our workforce. I think that this vote really demonstrates that.” 

Rich Levy, a member of the Let’s Vote Steamboat committee that opposed the annexation, said the group will continue to stand up for the community as a whole.  

“Our goal was to make this a public vote to allow the citizens of Steamboat to have their voice heard, and to some degree, we have heard that,” he said. “(I’m) a little disappointed with low turnout even though both sides had said this could be the most important vote for quite some time.

“We hope West Steamboat Neighborhoods can fulfill all its goals,” he added. 

About 43% of Steamboat’s voters cast a ballot in the annexation special election. City Attorney Dan Foote said about 9,200 ballots were sent out, and 3,940 ballots were hand-counted by election judges Tuesday night. 

City Clerk Julie Franklin estimated about 100 ballots could still come in from residents overseas and active duty members of the military as the Clerk’s Office works to cure mismatched or missing signatures on ballots cast. 

This election saw a lower turnout than the Steamboat 700 election, a 700-acre annexation proposal that was rejected by voters in 2010. At the time, though Steamboat had about 900 fewer people living in the city limits, the election garnered more votes — 4,253 to be exact.  

For comparison, according to the nonpartisan election reform organization FairVote,about 60% of voting Americans cast a ballot in a presidential election year and about 40% turn out for midterm elections.

On April 9, City Clerk Julie Franklin presented the Steamboat Springs City Council with a certificate of sufficiency on an amended annexation referendum petition, leaving the council with the choice of repealing the ordinance or referring it to a public vote. The petition was first deemed insufficient with 835 of the 1,078 needed signatures but received an additional 327 valid signatures on an amended petition. City Council has decided to hold a special election on the annexation Tuesday, June 25. The election will be conducted by mail-in ballot. The city will hire a consultant to conduct the election at an estimated cost of $35,000 to $45,000.

Ballot language

Shall the city of Steamboat Springs adopt Ordinance No. 2681 and thereby annex to the city of Steamboat Springs approximately one hundred ninety-one acres of real property generally known as West Steamboat Neighborhoods on the terms and conditions set forth in the amended annexation agreement dated November 12, 2018.

Timeline

By the numbers

• 191 acres: The parcel includes 82 acres of open space, 12 acres for a new school, three acres of parks and two acres that were donated to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority for development.

• 450 units: One-third of the total units will have workforce deed restrictions. The Housing Authority plans to build an estimated 50 of the 158 deed-restricted units on two acres of donated land. The deed restrictions require the owners to work full-time (30 hours) in Routt County, prohibit short-term rentals and cap appreciation.

• 16 to 20 years: Buildout timeframe with 10 units in the first year and 26 units anticipated in each of the following years.

$700,000s: Target price range of market-price units.

• $300,000 to $499,000: Target price range of deed-restricted units.

Fact check: How much will homes in West Steamboat Neighborhoods cost?
Fact check: How does the West Steamboat Neighborhoods deed restriction work?

$35,000 to $45,000: Estimated cost of hiring a consultant to conduct the special election.

Location

The issues

• Water: Brynn Grey will pay a minimum of $4.67 million into the newly created Water Firming Fund, which the city will use to procure new water supplies. Of the total, $292,000 will be paid before the developers break ground and $15,000 will be paid at the closing of each of the 292 market-priced units.

Fact check: Does the city have enough water to serve West Steamboat Neighborhoods?

• Traffic: Brynn Grey will pay a minimum of $3.50 million into the newly created Transportation Firming Fund, which the city will use to pay for road improvements. Of the total, $292,000 will be paid before the developers break ground and $11,000 will be paid at the closing of each of the 292 market-priced units.

Fact check: What traffic impacts are anticipated from the West Steamboat annexation?

• City services: A 1 percent real estate transfer assessment will be assessed on the resale of each unit within the annexation area. The funds will be used to pay for city services, with the exception of snow plowing.

• Snow plowing: Brynn Grey will pay $610,000 to fund the purchase of additional snow-plowing equipment. The funds will be paid to the city prior to breaking ground on the 199th unit, which is expected to be sometime during the eighth year of development. Prior to that, Brynn Grey will provide snow-plowing services.

• Deed restrictions: One-third, or 158, of the units in the project will have workforce deed restrictions, which require the owners and occupants to work at least 30 hours in Routt County (location-neutral employees are an exception). The restrictions also prohibit leases of fewer than six months and cap appreciation at 3 percent annually or the increase in area media income, whichever is higher. Fifty of the 158 deed-restricted units will be built by the Housing Authority and target residents making less than 80 percent of area median income, which was $86,700 for a household of four in 2018. The remaining 108 deed-restricted units are intended for households making 100 to 150 percent of AMI.

• Pioneers: For $100, Routt County residents can join the West Steamboat Neighborhoods Pioneers, a group of people who will have first dibs on deed-restricted units through a lottery. Sign up to be a Pioneer at WestSteamboatNeighborhoods.com.

Your view

Poll

Do you think the West Steamboat Neighborhoods annexation should go to a public vote?

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Poll

Do you support the Brynn Grey annexation agreement?

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Annexation agreement

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