Marci Valicenti: To be, or not to be? |

Marci Valicenti: To be, or not to be?

Annexation: To be, or not to be?

That is the question, and it’s an important decision that will be determined by registered voters within the city limits of Steamboat Springs. To be decided by city voters, yet the decision has broad impacts to the rest of Routt County who are sitting on the sidelines hoping that the right decision will be made for them, too.

With only 6 days left to vote on the West Steamboat Neighborhoods, it is important that those that can vote, make an informed choice.

Here’s a snippet of the scope of the project. The full buildout would occur over the next 16 to 20 years with the primary focus of the development being the creation of affordable housing for our local workforce. This development supports the conclusions of community efforts where considerable time was spent developing the vision of the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan. It would annex 191 acres into the city boundaries and allow for construction of 450 new homes/units; of these, 158 will be subject to workforce deed restrictions administered by the Yampa Valley Housing Authority. It is important to note that these 158 units have to be built first. Restrictions include no short-term renting. The remaining 292 residences will not have any deed restrictions.

Developer contributions include land for school(s), parks, 82 acres of open space and some for affordable housing. With this phased development there are anticipations/projections for a day care center, grocery store, new recreational trails, extension of the Yampa River Core Trail and new bus routes. 

Steamboat Springs has a lack of housing. We get the calls for people looking to buy or rent. We have seen our friends leave due to lack of housing or lack of affordable housing. The city planning process developers go through is not an easy one. 

We can second guess the community’s vision and the city process, yet most of us could not begin to wrap our heads around the hours/days/months/years that it took to get those approvals. Or we can have faith in the process and the people that devoted their time and expertise, trusting they have done that due diligence for us. We cannot be confident this developer will come back to the drawing table. The last one didn’t, 10 or more years later, here we are. Can we really “afford” to wait another 10 years to have someone sit down at the table with us again? 

Marci Valicenti
Steamboat Springs

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