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City Council approves new campground in West Steamboat

Development plans for Kabus Campground were approved by the Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday, Jan. 21. The plans call for 14 spaces for RV's, some of which will be occupied by semi-permanent units available for nightly rental.
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Plans for a 14-site RV campground, squeezed onto a narrow 2-acre stretch of land between Riverside Drive and Whitehaven Court in West Steamboat, were approved Tuesday, Jan. 21, by Steamboat Springs City Council.

The Kabus Campground will be built behind a commercial building at 2475 Lincoln Ave. and will initially have five semi-permanent “park model RVs,” which are essentially tiny homes on wheels.

Those units will be rented out on a nightly basis, with a maximum of 30-day stays, according to Steve Ivancie, representative for Chapman Geer, Jr., the Steamboat resident who applied for the development plan and application for conditional use.

“It’s a business plan that is unique,” Ivancie acknowledged. But he called it a “modest proposal,” and one for which the planners made every effort to fit into existing codes. “We are basically taking a narrow vacant lot and turning it into a positive amenity.”

The north third of the property is zoned for commercial services, while the southern two-thirds of the property is zoned OR — Open Space and Recreation. While the OR zoning applies primarily to campgrounds and open space, the inclusion of the semi-permanent units required special approval from council.

Council members acknowledged the development isn’t entirely consistent with the OR zone.

A campground is a conditional use in an OR zone district, with limits for camping cabins of 375 square feet. Some of the park model RVs would be 400 square feet.

A small portion of the southern end of the land is designated wetlands, but it isn’t part of the proposed new development.

More of the park model RVs may be brought in depending on demand, said Ivancie, while the rest of the slots would be available to traditional RVs with water and electrical hookups.

Ivancie described the park model RVs as “attractive, movable and very well built” and said the 30-day limit can provide short-term housing for a variety of needs, including people moving to town and in need of transitional lodging.

The resolution was passed in a 6-1 vote, with council member Sonja Macys voting against it. Macys said she objected because of noise concerns for neighbors and wanted to see more in the plan regarding noise mitigation.

A couple who lives in the Riverside neighborhood spoke out against the project. 

Their concerns were the proximity of the RV spots to their backyard, and the possibility that RVs could pull into the campground in the early morning hours. They were also worried about campers partying and creating a disturbance for the entire neighborhood.

Ivancie assured council that an on-site manager would always be there to manage any noise issues.

A lot of discussion centered around the barriers on both sides of the property — between the campground and White Haven Mobile Home Park to the east and the Riverside subdivision to the west.

Ultimately, they agreed upon an 8-foot cedar fence, which was deemed more attractive than a cement barrier. Ivancie said they wanted to plant vegetation to provide more of a barrier but can’t because of an easement for public utilities. 

The resolution was also amended to ensure the campground adheres to the city’s quiet hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., including generator usage, and that no one would be allowed to check in after 10 p.m.

Sitting in the audience, Geer affirmed he was amenable to all council’s requests.

Council approves Sunlight Crossing

Council also voted to approve the Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s newest affordable housing project, Sunlight Crossing.

It will be located on the north side of U.S. 40, bordering Steamboat Veterinary Hospital to the west and Sunlight Drive to the east.

After a motion failed to table the resolution, the resolution passed 4-2.

Council members Heather Sloop and Macys voted against the development after a lengthy discussion on traffic concerns. They argued council should be more proactive when they see a potential for serious traffic issues rather than trying to fix the problem after it exists.

Other council members said they were comfortable with the fact the applicant still must go through an analysis by the Colorado Department of Transportation.

The resolution was amended to require the applicant to incur any costs for improvements required after a CDOT analysis.

To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email kharden@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @kariharden.


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