City Council postpones decision on West Steamboat annexation
December 5, 2018
Editor’s note: This story was clarified at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5 to refer to Brynn Grey Partner’s stakeholder group, the WSN Pioneers.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Amid concerns that agreements between the developers and various other organizations were not finalized, Steamboat Springs City Council decided to delay the first reading of an ordinance that would annex 191 acres west of the current city limits.
Brynn Grey Partners has proposed developing three neighborhoods in the area adjacent to the Overlook development west of town.
Council anticipated making a decision on annexing the property at first reading Tuesday night but voted to table the decision after learning that Brynn Grey did not have finalized agreements with five other entities. Completion of some of these agreements was explicitly referenced in the ordinance, meaning the ordinance referred to attached documents that do not yet exist.
"If we don't have (the attachments) in what we're saying is our first reading, then we are not giving the public the capacity to give their two cents," said council member Heather Sloop.
City Council told Brynn Grey they must finalize agreements with the Routt County Rifle Club, Steamboat Springs School District, the developers of Overlook Park, Alpine Bank and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority by Wednesday, Dec. 12, in order to present a complete ordinance for first reading at City Council's Dec. 18 meeting.
"I think we’re getting really close to a deal and the finish line, so everybody's getting very serious about what's in that deal," said Melissa Sherburne, Brynn Grey's director of acquisitions.
At a glance
If the annexation receives final approval, Brynn Grey Partners must still undergo a review of its development plan with the city planning development, planning commission and another hearing before City Council.
The development is slated to contain a mixture of single-family homes, apartments, duplexes, town homes and some commercial properties. If the project receives final approval, Brynn Grey plans to build approximately 10 homes in 2019 and 26 homes for about 15 years afterward.
Of the 450 units in the complex, 158 homes will be deed restricted. Deed-restricted homes would require buyers work 30 hours per week in Routt County and would not allow short-term rentals in the home. These homes would appreciate at a rate of 3 percent per year or the increase in area median income, whichever is greater.
Brynn Grey has said its targeted prices for the deed-restricted homes will be between the lower $300,000 and the upper $400,000 range, depending on the type of unit.
If council approves the annexation on second reading, Steamboat residents could gather signatures to petition for a referendum, which would place the issue before voters. In 2009, City Council approved the annexation of Steamboat 700, a larger proposed development in the same area west of Steamboat. Voters rejected the Steamboat 700 annexation after a referendum.
The developers’ negotiations with the school district and housing authority are both regarding land donations.
Brynn Grey also must come to an agreement on road and utility accesses, and Alpine Bank must rubber stamp a subordination agreement because Brynn Grey plans to purchase the land from the developers of the no longer active Steamboat 700 project.
The gun club is working with Brynn Grey to negate a "nuclear option" in connection to the Steamboat 700 project that would not allow the club to operate in its current location.
A motion to table the ordinance passed 6-to-1 with council member Sonja Macys opposed.
City Council also worried about how it would be determined who would be allowed to purchase the first homes in the development.
For a refundable payment of $100, Brynn Grey allowed community members to sign up for WSN Pioneers. The developers planned to place Pioneer members on a priority waitlist, allowing them first access to purchasing the new homes. Pioneer members also were allowed to select home styles and design finishes, and they participated in focus groups on the development.
Now, that could change.
Council members wanted to see more publicity about WSN Pioneers and challenged Brynn Grey to return with equitable options to determine who buys the first homes to hit the market.
"We never talked through what happens with these 180 units and how we make it fair for everybody and who's responsible for that. …We've never talked about how do we make it fair to the first 300 people that want the first nine houses," council member Robin Crossan said.
David O'Neil, CEO of Brynn Grey, said he hoped to meet with stakeholders on the topic to "come up with a process that's fair and equitable and that everybody feels good about."
Stakeholders, according to O'Neil, include members of the Pioneers, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority and those concerned about the fairness of who will have the opportunity to purchase the first homes.
Council also determined that it wanted to host a community town hall on the annexation before it goes to second reading on Jan. 22, 2019. The date of the town hall is yet to be determined.
Council will reconsider the first reading of the ordinance annexing the land on Tuesday, Dec. 18.