Arnold Barn’s fate remains in limbo after Steamboat Springs City Council passes on relocation proposal |

Arnold Barn’s fate remains in limbo after Steamboat Springs City Council passes on relocation proposal

Consultants studying ways to improve the arrival experience for guests at the resort base at Mount Werner suggest cultural assets, such as the old Arnold Family Barn (commonly referred to as the Butterfly Barn), can enhance a sense of connection to the community.
file photo

— The Arnold Barn remains in legal limbo.

The Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday night passed on a proposal to have the city move the neglected barn at taxpayers’ expense and create an iconic entryway on the knoll below the Steamboat Grand.

The city’s Urban Renewal Authority Advisory Committee strongly backed the $400,000 plan and said it would allow the city to preserve the 88-year-old barn.

“You can solve this problem right now,” URAAC member David Baldinger Jr. told the council. “There’s money (from tax increment financing) to fund it, there’s a community group behind it, and it can be done on time and on schedule.”

The Steamboat Ski Area agreed to maintain the barn in the future if it was moved.

If the council had agreed to the plan, it would have also offered the city a possible resolution to a lawsuit it filed last month against the landowner and developer who the city thinks should be on the hook for stabilizing the barn and maintaining it per the conditions of a 2006 Wildhorse Meadows development agreement.

The current landowner, RCS Wildhorse Land, and developer RP Steamboat have agreed to help stabilize the barn only if the city agrees to move it off the property near the Meadows parking lot at taxpayers’ expense.

Councilman Tony Connell said the city shouldn’t be the “rescue unit” for a developer who promised in previous years to maintain the barn.

“If we play this card of ‘we’re going to take it off their hands,’ we’re not going to get very far” with our lawsuit, Connell said.

Council President Walter Magill shared Connell’s desire to hold the property owner and developer accountable for the development agreement.

“I would like to see developers of the barn put money into it to make it easier to move,” Magill said. “They’ve been negligent for a number of years, and it’s going to cost more money to move now.”

Councilwoman Kathi Meyer said she’s not sure it would be best to move the barn away from its current location.

The council is still hopeful its lawsuit will be able to force the property owner and developer to stabilize the barn and maintain it in place.

If the legal issues surrounding the barn are resolved this winter, the council said it is open to considering a supplemental budget proposal this spring for the possible relocation of the structure.

The council approved an alternative spending plan for the Urban Renewal Authority that will add new improvements such as pedestrian lighting at the intersection of Apres Ski Way and Village Drive and add new sidewalk connections at the base area.

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

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