Mountain living near the city |

Mountain living near the city

Elkins Meadows subdivision offers 'out-of-town feeling in town'

A small tract of land about two miles from downtown Steamboat Springs along Fish Creek Falls Road has the appearance of a mountainside park.

It has had that feel for almost two years, but that is about to change as construction on two homes begins in the next month in the Elkins Meadow subdivision.

Only two of the original 20 lots remain for purchase.

“There are a couple people teetering on the fence,” said Annette Hall, with Prudential Steamboat Realty. “This is their last chance.”

Some of the lots were purchased as investments, some people plan to raise their children in the homes, and others are planning for retirement, Hall said.

The 104-acre property has a cavernous feel. It is bordered by Sanctuary Ridge and Elkins Ridge, but views of the Yampa Valley and Sleeping Giant open up to the west. Little Fish Creek wetlands have been preserved.

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“I don’t think there is anything like it,” Hall said. “These people want the out-of-town feeling in town.”

The subdivision is within Steamboat city limits.

There is a sandy beach near one of the ponds, all of which were built and stocked with fish. Residents also can use the private hiking trails.

For many years, the meadow was used for growing hay and cattle grazing as part of the Elkins Ranch.

Controversy stirred when developer Paul Franklin bought the land from the Elkins family in 2001 and proposed building homes. Franklin offered to sell the land to people opposing the development for about what he paid for it. No one took Franklin up on the $4 million offer, so construction of the subdivision went forward.

Retaining open space and preserving the natural beauty of the surroundings was a priority in the development. More than 90 percent of the land will be undeveloped.

“We could have put close to 60 homes on 104 acres with the guidelines,” Hall said. “We wanted it to be large lots with open spaces.”

Franklin has built the only house in the subdivision.

Franklin is also the developer of the Valley View Business Park in Hayden and has plans to build a mixed-use development at Fifth and Yampa streets.

He built the 6,000-square-foot house in Elkins Meadow for his family to live in. The home was built using recycled posts and beams and reflects the architectural style and standards for other homes in the development.

Architectural guidelines are in place to guarantee a somewhat uniform and unobtrusive look. The guidelines dictate what type of rock and how much should be used on the homes.

Hall expects homes will be built for between $700,000 and $1.2 million. The 1.4-acre to 2.8-acre lots range from $489,000 to $699,000.

The two remaining lots are a 2.6-acre lot for $629,000 and a 2.8-acre lot for $619,000.