City Council to decide whether to pursue West Steamboat annexation in December; developers still aim for 2020 groundbreaking | SteamboatToday.com

City Council to decide whether to pursue West Steamboat annexation in December; developers still aim for 2020 groundbreaking

After annexation proposal fell through, Steamboat Springs City Council will decide next steps at its Dec. 10 meeting

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Though the annexation documents approved by Steamboat Springs City Council and city voters are no longer valid, the developers of West Steamboat Neighborhoods are still pursuing the project.

Brynn Grey Partners plans to develop 450 housing units over the next 16 to 20 years west of existing city limits. The project has fallen into limbo after the company did not acquire the property by the Tuesday, Nov. 12, deadline set by the annexation agreement between the city and Brynn Grey.

That means that the annexation agreement and ordinance have expired. The ordinance was referred to the ballot by petition and passed by voters this summer.

On Tuesday, City Council decided to discuss the next steps at its Dec. 10 work session, including whether it would reopen discussion on the annexation agreement and annexation ordinance.

“The purpose of the work session would be to give staff direction as to what’s the schedule,” City Attorney Dan Foote told council. “Would you want to renegotiate the annexation agreements? Who would pay for the costs of redoing these hearings and these documents? Are you satisfied with the current arrangement West Steamboat Neighborhoods has with Steamboat 700?”

There was some debate on council as to whether to take up the issue sooner or later. The Dec. 10 meeting is the evening before an all-day City Council retreat and getting annexation on the agenda required shuffling agenda topics of that meeting.

Council Member Sonja Macys said she felt Brynn Grey’s “crisis has become our emergency.”

City Manager Gary Suiter and Council Members Jason Lacy, Michael Buccino and Lisel Petis all said versions of the same point: that council should try to get answers to the City Council’s and the community’s questions more quickly. 

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If the city pursued annexation again, it would at minimum require a redo of elements of the planning process in the annexation, including reexecuting the annexation agreement and adopt a new ordinance annexing the property, Foote explained.

Steamboat 700, LLC, owns the property. While the deed for the property was executed on Nov. 11, attorneys for the two parties were still working through final issues on Nov. 12, according to West Steamboat Neighborhoods Managing Partner Melissa Sherburne.

These final legal issues were ironed out Saturday morning, Sherburne said.

“We’ve got all of the documents in place to complete the transaction, so now we’re just working with staff to understand the next step,” she said.

The deed is now in escrow, according to Foote, meaning Brynn Grey still doesn’t have the title in hand.

City Council members expressed interest in requiring Brynn Grey own the property should council open the door to annexation again, though this wasn’t discussed in depth Tuesday.

“The condition of approval that was not satisfied was that West Steamboat Neighborhoods acquires the property, which I think we all agree means that Steamboat 700 has to sign the deed, and that deed has to be delivered to West Steamboat Neighborhoods,” Foote said in the meeting. “As it stands now, that deed is in escrow with the title company, and West Steamboat Neighborhoods doesn’t own the property (and) is not in possession of the property. Question for you is going to be ‘Is that satisfactory?’”

All in all, there still appeared to be more questions than answers at Tuesday’s meeting.

In the meantime, Brynn Grey is still working towards construction.

“We’ve always been pressing for the 2020 groundbreaking, and we are forging ahead with that,” Sherburne said. “We’ve got all of our team working hard to, as soon as we can, submit for the development review process. We’ve begun identifying subcontractors, and really putting a local team together so that we can deliver on that vision.”

To view City Council’s discussion on this topic and documents presented at the meeting, visit steamboatsprings.net/agendas.

To reach Eleanor Hasenbeck, call 970-871-4210, email ehasenbeck@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @elHasenbeck.


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