Butterfly Barn may stay put | SteamboatToday.com

Butterfly Barn may stay put

Wildhorse developers propose incorporation of historic structure

Brandon Gee

Construction rises behind the historic Butterfly Barn located near the back of the Meadows Parking lot. The city of Steamboat Springs will consider a proposal from the developers of Wildhorse Meadows at tonight's meeting that would allow the barn to stay.

— Having failed in attempts to relocate the historic Butterfly Barn on Mount Werner Road, the city of Steamboat Springs will consider a proposal from the developers of Wildhorse Meadows that would let the barn stay put.

At tonight’s Steamboat Springs City Council meeting, developers will present their preferred plan for the barn, which is to leave it in place and surround it with interpretive trails and signage.

An alternative proposal is to deconstruct the barn and use any salvageable material in the construction of the Wildhorse Meadows plaza. The city planning staff and the Historic Preservation Advisory Commission support the first option.

In 2006, the Steamboat Springs City Council expressed concerns that the Wildhorse Meadows development would dwarf the barn and asked that efforts be made to move it. The city’s advisory committee for redevelopment at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area originally had hoped to relocate the barn to the grassy knoll at Mount Werner Road and Mount Werner Circle, but failed in negotiations with the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel’s homeowners association, which owns the land.

“We couldn’t find a good spot for it that would work for everybody,” said Joe Kracum, the city’s redevelopment coordinator for the base area.

The city also considered moving the barn between Central Park Plaza and Mount Werner Road by the Village Inn and at the intersection of Mount Werner and Pine Grove roads.

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“They weren’t perfect sites for visibility or for making it an icon at the entrance to the base area,” Kracum said.

Pam Duckworth, chairwoman of the Historic Preservation Advisory Commission, said the commission strongly supports leaving the barn in place.

“Moving historic buildings makes them ineligible for listings on (historic) registers,” Duckworth said. “It’s frowned upon and pretty much done as a last resort.”

While the barn’s rural context is quickly evaporating around it, Duckworth said the proposal to incorporate the barn is much preferred to a deconstruction.

“It’s happening all over the state and the country that development is infringing on historic areas and historic structures,” she said. “Hopefully there’s enough room that there can be a buffer and it can stand out.”

Also today, the City Council will consider the first reading of an ordinance that would reconfigure the city’s Local Liquor License Authority into two divisions: administrative and compliance.

The proposal would require the city to contract with a hearing officer to review all liquor violations and failed compliance check violations.

– To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com


5 p.m. First reading of an ordinance approving a contract to purchase rights-of-way for the New Victory Highway; first reading of an ordinance authorizing the city to require the owners of property benefited by the construction of public improvements to share in their costs; first reading of an ordinance adopting the urban design standards and entry corridor concepts for developments located outside the mountain base and downtown areas; first reading of an ordinance to restructure the Steamboat Springs Local Liquor License Authority

7 p.m. Public comment; planning commission referrals; final development plan for a four-building, 96-unit affordable housing development at Wildhorse Meadows; condition for approval of a proposal for the Butterfly Barn at Wildhorse Meadows; City Council and staff reports

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