Council seat to be filled |

Council seat to be filled

Members will swear in one of five candidates at today's meeting

Candidate profiles

Reminder: Today is the last day to register to vote in the Nov. 7 election.

On the agenda

4 p.m. Interviews with City Council candidates

5 p.m. Oath of office for new council member, agenda reviews

6 p.m. Proclamations, resolutions and ordinances. Includes resolution in support of School District Ballot Issues 3C and 3D, for Nov. 7 election.

7 p.m. Public comment, planning commission report, public hearings. Includes projects requesting an extension of the city's urban growth boundary.

9 p.m. Adjournment

— The Steamboat Springs City Council will fill its vacant seat today, a city official said.

City Clerk Julie Jordan said that at 4 p.m. today the council will interview five candidates for the District 3 seat vacated last month by former councilman Kevin Kaminski. Following the interviews, the council is expected to convene its regular meeting and immediately appoint Kaminski’s replacement and swear that person in.

Five candidates submitted applications to Jordan’s office by Friday’s deadline. They are Steve Hitchcock, owner of Soda Creek Pizza Co. and a self-employed business consultant; Ellen Mulry Crain Hoj, owner of the Steamboat Yacht Club and a self-employed landscape architect; Walter Magill, principal of the development consulting firm Landmark Consultants; Karen Post, a self-employed psychotherapist; and Benjamin Russell, a financial services representative with State Farm Insurance.

The council’s agenda also includes four proposals to extend the city’s urban growth boundary to allow for development near the Sanctuary subdivision, North Larimer Street, and on two plots near Spring Creek. Although the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission voted against all four proposals at a meeting Sept. 28, applicants have the opportunity to speak before the council tonight.

But first on the agenda is selection of the new council member.

The city charter requires a majority vote by the council when electing a new member.

Kaminski submitted his resignation Sept. 19, after moving out of District 3 in south Steamboat. According to the charter, the city has 30 days after the resignation to appoint a new member, who must live in the district.

“It’s nice that the council has a choice between the five candidates,” Jordan said. “It’s a diverse group.”

One candidate out of the group will dive in to council service headfirst tonight, by voting on the contentious issue of whether to extend the city’s urban growth boundary.

All four proposals sparked significant public comment before the city planning commission last month, when neighbors in each area spoke against boundary extensions at:

• A 58-acre plot adjacent to the Sanctuary subdivision, east of Aspen Wood Drive.

• A half-acre plot at the northern end of North Larimer Street.

• A 4.5-acre plot on Spring Creek Road, also known as Routt County Road 34.

• And a 1.5-acre plot on the northeast corner of Amethyst Drive and Spring Creek Road.

“We set urban growth boundaries for a reason, and the reason is to prevent urban sprawl,” Planning Commissioner Dick Curtis said at the Sept. 28 meeting. “We have fixed boundaries, and those are not ready to be changed.”

The city established the urban growth boundary in 1995, as part of the Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan.

Because the community plan is a collaborative effort with city and Routt County officials, any extension to the urban growth boundary must have approval from both the City Council and the Routt County Board of Commissioners.

County Planner John Eastman said the Routt County Planning Commission tabled the boundary proposals at its meeting Thursday, deciding not to act on the proposals until after the City Council meeting tonight.

“If the council gives the same votes as the (city) planning commission, we could save ourselves some time,” Eastman said.

But such an alignment is not at all guaranteed.

“In the past, I’ve seen it go both ways,” Jordan said. “I’ve seen the council side with the (city) planning commission, and I’ve seen the council side with the applicant.”

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