Committee outlines how it hopes to pull Brown Ranch annexation agreement together over next five months |

Committee outlines how it hopes to pull Brown Ranch annexation agreement together over next five months

Timeline would present annexation agreement to City Council, housing authority board this summer

A rendering shows how two of the four neighborhoods planned at the Brown Ranch development might look with Neighborhood C on the left and Neighborhood B to the right.
Yampa Valley Housing Authority/Courtesy

Officials are hoping the “third time’s the charm” as they start work to annex the Brown Ranch property into Steamboat Springs’ city limits.

In the first meeting of the Brown Ranch Annexation Committee on Friday, Jan. 20, representatives from the city, Yampa Valley Housing Authority and third-party facilitator Jason Lacy laid out a plan to hold 10 meetings between now and the end of June to put together an annexation agreement.

Such an agreement has been struck twice before for the land west of town that is now called Brown Ranch, but each of those efforts failed.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Lacy, who was involved in the previous efforts. “Hopefully, third time’s the charm.”

Ahead of the committee is a lot of hard conversations to iron out an agreement outlining how the development will come together, how it will receive city services, where parks and roads will be located and how all of it is going to be paid for.

With the latest annexation effort for West Steamboat Neighborhoods, this process took three years. But this time the agreement is being struck with a partner in the housing authority, rather than a developer, which could aid progress.

After the monthslong process — one that officials say has a potentially optimistic timeline — the agreement the committee puts together will need to be approved by Steamboat Springs City Council and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority board.

The Brown Ranch is adjacent to Steamboat Springs’ western city limit. An annexation petition would add all but 114 acres of the property to the city, as those 114 acres are beyond Steamboat’s urban growth boundary.
Brown Ranch Community Development plan/Screenshot

Council has also expressed a desire to send the agreement to the November ballot. Even if council decides not to put an annexation proposal to a vote, city voters could still petition it onto the ballot.

The committee initially expressed a desire to tackle “low-hanging fruit” or topics that are more straightforward, while the materials and agreement language for more complicated aspects can be created. However, many of the smaller decisions hinge on the big ones.

When setting a plan for the next handful of meetings, the committee opted to discuss bigger issues like the general development plan, how the development will receive utilities and other municipal services, and the financial aspects of the agreement.

Starting Feb. 1, the committee will meet at 9 a.m. every other Wednesday in the city’s Carver Conference Room adjacent to council chambers. These meetings are open to the public, and they will be live streamed online with opportunities for public comment.

The committee also discussed adding additional town hall sessions to invite community members to learn about and give feedback on the process, a topic that will be further explored on Feb. 1.

Public comments will be taken near the end of each meeting, likely starting around 11:30 a.m. Lacy said the desire would be to limit public comments to 30 minutes, but the committee could agree to extend the timeframe to take more feedback. Comments would also be limited to subjects being discussed or coming in the next meeting, with other comments being able to be submitted via email.

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