Officials want Steamboat 700 village center moved |

Officials want Steamboat 700 village center moved

Brandon Gee

— While much of the discussion about the proposed Steamboat 700 development has focused on housing, city officials also have raised concerns about the development’s commercial components.

In a staff report prepared for Steamboat 700’s pre-application review tonight before the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission, city officials criticize the proposed location of the development’s main village center. Development plans show the village center going in along U.S. Highway 40 at the extreme southeast corner of the 700-acre project. New Victory Parkway, a proposed road that would serve as the development’s main east-west artery, would form the village center’s north boundary.

“The village center is disconnected from the majority of the proposed development,” the city staff report states. “New Victory Parkway should be encompassed within the village center to provide pedestrian connectivity and to ensure that at least a portion of the road operates as a ‘main street’ commercial area rather than a typical suburban arterial.”

Developers warn if they are forced to move the village center, they may lose their ability to provide west Steamboat’s No. 1 commercial need, as identified by a Steamboat 700 survey.

“We’re going to try to get a grocery store,” Peter Patten, a land-use consultant employed by Steamboat 700, said at a meeting last week with Routt County officials. “The grocery store needs U.S. 40 frontage, or it’s not going to happen.”

Patten also said that while the village center is not central in Steamboat 700’s site, it is central to the broader west of Steamboat Springs area.

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“The community wants a grocery store,” Danny Mulcahy, Steamboat 700 project manager, said at the same meeting.

Mulcahy also noted two smaller, mixed-use centers that would be dispersed in other areas of the project to serve other neighborhoods. Bill Fox, Steamboat 700’s transportation consultant, said 60 percent of Steamboat 700’s homes would be within a quarter-mile of a mixed-use center.

“It’s a place that’s very walkable,” Fox said.

On Wednesday, Planning Services Manager John Eastman said city staff has not been swayed by the arguments of Mulcahy and his team.

“The key is the village center functions as a pedestrian-accessible experience for a significant portion of the development,” Eastman said.

Nonetheless, Eastman said he is confident the village center issue will be worked out. He said the grocery store argument is a legitimate one.

“We absolutely need a grocery store out there,” Eastman said.

Eastman said the developers and the city are much farther apart when it comes to the issue of affordable housing, but that is a situation that might be changing. Eastman said progress was made in a meeting between city officials, Steamboat 700 and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority on Wednesday.

“We didn’t reach any solutions but at least found some ways that might lead to some solutions,” Eastman said. “I’m a lot more optimistic.”

If you go

What: Steamboat Springs Planning Commission pre-application review of Steamboat 700

When: 6 p.m. today

Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

Call: City offices at 879-2060 for more information

On the ‘Net

For more information on the Steamboat 700 annexation and development, visit http://www.yampavalley.i…

steamboat700.asp and http://www.steamboat700….