Classic views of Steamboat’s More Barn to remain
More than 100 homes planned for Pine Grove Road
October 24, 2005
Developers are proposing to create 70 new building lots, allowing as many as 115 residential units on 46 acres straddling Fish Creek and encompassing the historic More Barn.
The developers say they would like to preserve the barn and deed a portion of the land surrounding it to the city for use as a park.
A preliminary application for “Steamboat Barn Village” has been filed with the city of Steamboat Springs Planning Department. It calls for a mix of single-family building lots, detached townhomes and duplexes. A portion of the tract would be used to create row houses in a neighborhood emulating the “new urbanism” movement.
In documents filed with the city, developers described new urbanism design as characterized by “a grid street system, smaller and narrower lots, alleys, homes that face the street with windows and a front port instead of a garage door and a general compact, walkable layout.”
Investors in Steamboat Holding Company II, LLC, propose to place the approximately 77-year-old barn on a new foundation to stabilize it. However, they also plan to shift its location slightly. The rustic barn has been elevated to iconographic stature because of the widespread use of its image in promotions for the Steamboat resort area.
Laureen Schaffer, historic preservation specialist with the city of Steamboat Springs, said that although moving the barn would reduce its historic significance, if its architecture were deemed significant, it still could be eligible for formal historic designation.
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Land-use planner Peter Patten said moving the barn would serve twin goals on the site by creating a buffer between the barn and the residential development. The separation would do justice to the barn by removing it from the neighborhood, Patten said, and it would allow the residents some privacy.
The barn was built between 1926 and 1928 by Lena and Martin Yock, who purchased the land in 1903. Willard and Geneva More purchased the property in 1957.
A famous poster of the barn, with the ski trails looming behind it and a pair of horseback riders with skis over the pommels of their saddles, later came to symbolize the Western image for the Steamboat Ski Area.
Patten said an effort would be made to site the residential buildings at Steamboat Barn Village so they do not impinge on the views of the barn and ski trails.
The site of Steamboat Barn Village comprises four separate parcels, Patten said, the largest of which is 20 acres owned by More Family Ranches. Two more parcels are owned by Willard More. A fourth parcel, of 4.46 acres on the north side of Fish Creek, is owned by Walter and Jeanell Waldrop. The site is bounded on the south by the campus of Yampa Valley Medical Center and on the west by Pine Grove Road. Central Park Plaza shopping center is on the opposite side of Pine Grove Road.
The primary access is off Pine Grove. But the Waldrop property offers a secondary access off Anglers Drive, Patten said.
The development group is led by Robert Comes of Saratoga, Calif. He is also the principal in a separate development group, which has proposed a 19-home luxury subdivision on 531 acres along the Yampa River just below the dam at Lake Catamount.
City Planning Director Tom Leeson called the proposal for Steamboat Barn Village “exciting,” but he said the proposal is so new he hasn’t had a chance to analyze it. Public hearings concerning Steamboat Barn Village have yet to be scheduled.