Bere Neas: Council urged to table hotel project approval
February 11, 2019
Honorable Steamboat Springs City Council members,
My name is Bere Neas. I was born and raised in Steamboat Springs. My father Irlan Neas was a banker in the community for over 50 years and was mayor in the 1960s and also past chairman of the Yampa Valley Electric Association. When I graduated from Colorado State University, I moved to Denver where I was in banking for approximately 40 years. I retired and moved back to my beloved community of Steamboat Springs.
Responding to your recent approval of the proposed Marriott hotel behind Safeway and adjacent to Fish Creek, I, as a member and year-round resident in the adjacent neighborhood of Anglers Retreat, respectively ask that this approval be immediately tabled to allow further discussion and impact studies to be completed due to the impact that this will have on the surrounding neighborhoods and the environment.
Referencing the Steamboat Springs Community Plan adopted in 2004:
• Ch. 2: The Vision — Promote Stewardship of Natural Scenic Areas: "…conserve its natural, scenic and environmentally sensitive areas including important wildlife habitat…" This area includes migration and bedding areas for elk, moose, fox, coyote, bear, blue heron, eagles, owls and other wildlife.
• Map: Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan — future land use plan, "Village Mixed Use." Pages 3-19, "Commercial uses including convenience stores, grocery stores, restaurants and retail stores as well as small offices and civic uses and offices." Your recent approval is in direct conflict with the approved uses.
• Ch. 7: Natural, scenic and environmentally sensitive areas. Page 7.2, "River and Wetlands Protection …Visually sensitive areas protection." Goal NS-3: “Our community will identify critical wetland areas and critical wildlife habitats and enhance and conserve these areas for current and future generations.
By tabling this approval, I recommend, if not already received, an environmental impact study and a wildlife mitigation plan to determine if this is the proper location for the proposed Marriott hotel.
I thank you all for your dedication and hard work in continuing to make our community the "Gold Standard in the Rocky Mountains" for current and future generations.
Bere S. Neas