Carl Lee: Hotel project breaks the ‘rules’ |

Carl Lee: Hotel project breaks the ‘rules’

Never has there been a project proposed for Steamboat Springs and approved by the City Council that is so vehemently opposed by the community as the Residence Inn on Pine Grove Road. Regarding the City Council members voting in favor of the Residence Inn — Scott Ford, Kathi Meyer and Robin Crossan — they based their decision on following the “rules.”
Here are “rules” broken by the Residence Inn taken directly from the Community Development Code Chapter 26, Steamboat Springs municipal code.
• 422. 3 a. The building exterior shall be compliant with other buildings in the vicinity in size, scale, color, material, and character. A four-story, 110-unit hotel is in no way compliant in size, scale, color or character of other buildings in the area. Rule broken.
• 422 7. a All large format retail development shall have direct access to an arterial street.  Access to a collector street may be approved by the Planning Director and Director of Public Works upon finding that the collector street will provide safe and adequate access. Pine Grove traffic is currently congested and unsafe for pedestrians and bicycles.  Rolling Stone is a small connector street — .1 mile long. These streets are not “arterial streets or adequate collector streets.” Rule broken.
• 422 7. b Vehicle access shall be designed to accommodate peak on-site volumes without disrupting traffic on public streets or impairing pedestrian safety. Traffic is currently at very high volumes during peak periods and pedestrians are not safe on Pine Grove or Rolling Stone. The intersection of Pine Grove and Rolling Stone currently received a “F” rating by the city street director. No improvement plan to improve traffic. Pine Grove and Rolling Stone cannot accommodate the increased traffic and pedestrians will not be safe. Rule broken.
• 401. A 3. Maintain, enhance, or create buffers that improve water quality, aesthetics, or wildlife habitat and movement corridors within the riparian environment. The construction of the Residence Inn does not aesthetically improve the area, and the impact on wildlife movement and fish habitat will be negatively impacted Fish Creek and the Yampa River. Rule broken.
Obviously, council members that voted yes had to bend the rules to justify their vote. They could have easily found “rules” that are broken to justify a no. Kudos to Lisel Petis and Sonja Macys for having the courage and sense to vote no on this project.
Carl Lee
Steamboat Springs

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