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Commission restricts housing plan

— Restrictions by the Routt County Planning Commission have jeopardized a property owner’s plans to provide affordable housing west of Steamboat Springs.

On Thursday night, the commission reduced the number of cabins Reed and Paula Stephenson can build on their Riverbend Roadhouse site on U.S. Highway 40.

Citing concerns of density and parking, the commission approved of the development conceptually on the condition Stephenson reduce the number of cabins from 26 to 21.



After the meeting, Reed said the commission’s decision could nix his plans.

“I have to see if (this development) is affordable with those numbers,” a disappointed Reed said.



During the hearing, Reed attempted to sway the board to accept 26 cabins on the 4.8 acres of land surrounding his restaurant. Reed is proposing to build the 500-square-foot cabins on the rear of the property 15 feet apart. He said the cabins would cost a tenant between $600 and $650 per month.

“We are looking at this as an affordable housing project,” he said. “We intend to create a small community for professionals. We want to provide transitional housing for professionals coming into Steamboat Springs.”

Reed said the cabins would be geared toward single people but could be rented by young families with one child.

During his overview of the plan, Reed pointed out that the site has the potential for 40 housing units, but he is proposing a plan less than that.

He said 26 cabins maximizes the use of the property without having a negative effect on the property.

“It is dense, but that is the price of affordability,” Reed said.

Commissioners Fred Nichols, Wayne Adamo and Donald Alperti said they could not support 26 cabins.

“I see it as crowding,” Nichols said. “I would like to see fewer cabins and more space between them. I cannot support it.”

“There is a need in Steamboat Springs for affordable one-unit dwellings,” Adamo said. “You have the right concept, but it is just too crowded.”

Adamo wanted to reduce the number of cabins to 19 but agreed with Nichols’ and Alperti’s recommendation of 21.


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