Molly Waters: Council should reject plans for hotel project on Pine Grove Road
February 4, 2019
To the Editor,
I am in the minority, I am a full-time resident of Steamboat Springs, so take this for what it's worth. I am writing about concerns I have with a new Marriott that will replace the last mature grove of pine trees along Pine Grove Road.
As if that’s not enough, others have expressed concerns about the unsightly height of the new hotel, the potential for water pollution into Fish Creek, the harm to wildlife who access Fish Creek, the destruction of rare, early, Steamboat architecture, the "unique" zoning variances that were granted, ruining the wooded views that the nearby neighbors enjoy and the annoying increase in traffic in an already busy area.
Steamboat residents have already made it clear that they value open space, the environment, our heritage, our water and our history. We published these values in the Community Plan. We prioritized 10 values which include: "Promote Stewardship of Natural, Scenic, and Environmentally Sensitive Areas," "Develop and Open Land Program," "Preserve Historic Resources" and "Provide Affordable Housing." None of these values are achieved by wedging a four-story, high-end hotel into this neighborhood.
In my opinion, the development of a hotel on this 2-plus acre parcel is the wrong type of development for this location. For those who have not had the pleasure of spending time in this oasis, let me tell you that it reminded me of City Park in New York or Town Park in Telluride. It's peaceful, with heavy mature trees, wildlife and the rushing water of Fish Creek. You cannot tell that you are in the heart of a city.
As it says in the Community Plan, "The community has been working to conserve lands through a variety of techniques, however, as in most communities it is difficult for conservation to keep pace with development."
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Now that we are aware of what a jewel we have and can compare it to a hotel that we don't need, I would like to see City Council reject this hotel on this parcel and preserve this space for future generations. Once the land and these two historic homes are gone, they are gone for good.