Michael Osterman: Council has opportunity to ‘reconsider’ vote on hotel project
Just because you can does not mean you should … Unfortunately, the corner of Pine Grove and Rollingstone roads is the wrong location for a hotel.
Yes, the Planning Department, the Planning Commission and now the Steamboat Springs City Council have given the green light to the construction of the Marriott Residence Inn at the corner of Pine Grove and Rollingstone.
Yes, as the developer stated, it’s their private property and they can pretty much do with it as they please. Yes, a 110-room hotel, four stories high, fits within the current zoning for that property. Yes, there will be significant impact to the wildlife corridor, the riparian habitat and the surrounding neighborhoods due to increased traffic at an intersection already rated an “F” by the city engineer.
It is difficult to stand by and watch an obvious mistake go ahead just because it has approval. Perhaps I am naïve, but I choose to believe that all of the stakeholders have the best of intentions, including the owners of the property. I am hopeful that all involved will reconsider their positions and stop this travesty before it becomes a reality and Steamboat is stuck with a lasting reminder of a lack of vision and leadership.
I truly believe that we all want what’s best for this beautiful community that we share. Let’s right this wrong while we still have the opportunity.
It should be pointed out that some of the Planning Commission members as well as City Council members who voted in favor of the project expressed personal dissatisfaction and recognized the many issues involved as having merit. They apparently feel constrained — real or imagined — by their public roles and seem to feel obligated to support the project.
This Tuesday the three City Council members who supported the project have an opportunity to “reconsider” their previous votes. Let’s hope that they decide that it’s appropriate to do the right thing and support sustainable, healthy and managed growth for Steamboat Springs … this beautiful town that we call home.
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