Olympian on agenda | SteamboatToday.com

Olympian on agenda

City Council scheduled to act on Fifth and Yampa project tonight

Mike Lawrence

— The Steamboat Springs City Council tonight is scheduled to act on a potential landmark structure that would change the face of Yampa Street.

In a meeting that could include final approval of the city’s 2007 budget, which totals more than $93 million in revenues and expenditures, the council will address The Olympian, a 41,100-square-foot commercial and residential building proposed for the northwest corner of the intersection at Fifth and Yampa streets. The site is near the Fifth Street Bridge. The proposed building includes 20 market-rate residential units, three residential units that are deed-restricted as affordable housing, more than 6,900 square feet of commercial space, underground parking, and minor changes to the Yampa streetscape.

The Steamboat Springs Planning Commission unanimously approved The Olympian in November, praising nearly all aspects of the predominantly brick and stone, creatively designed structure with varying rooflines and an inner courtyard.

Tonight, the council is scheduled to take action on The Olympian’s development plan and final development plan. Approval of both would clear the way for the project applicant, Steamboat resident Paul Franklin, to move forward with construction documents and a building permit application.

Franklin bought the property in 2004 and said he hopes to break ground in the spring.

Franklin previously developed the Elkins Meadow and Aspenview Estate projects in the Fish Creek Falls Road area.

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The City Council has been working on the city’s 2007 budget since an all-day hearing Oct. 3. Lingering questions about unmet funding requests, such as $213,000 to help fund four additional firefighters for the Steamboat Springs Rural Fire Protection District, delayed final budget approval at a Nov. 21 meeting. Questions also remain about a city contribution of $50,000 to help with terminal expansion at Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden, and $38,000 to fund an update of Vision 2030 – formerly Vision 2020 – a compilation of public policy recommendations created by a multi-faceted citizen committee in 1994. The goal of Vision 2020 was to create guidelines for development and community growth in a region with a booming population and tourism industry.

The dispute about whether to fund additional requests began at the Oct. 3 meeting, when the council decided to approve only $1.4 million in extra funding requests.

In a Nov. 27 e-mail to City Council members, City Manager Alan Lanning said the council has four options: fund everything, let city staff individually choose what to cut, make cuts as the council, or cut community support funding to local nonprofit organizations.

Although some council members have stressed a conservative fiscal policy, and Lanning said “some fiscal discipline” will be needed in the future, the city manager also said the first option – funding everything – is financially feasible.

“You have a very healthy reserve and another $300,000 will make absolutely no difference in the ‘big picture’ at this point,” Lanning wrote in the e-mail. “This has been the pattern for years and so is not out of the ordinary. The $300,000 will have very little impact.”

The proposed 2007 budget lists total projected expenditures of $48,233,506, which is about $2.3 million more than projected 2007 total revenues of $45,952,760. The city will have more than $10 million in reserves at the end of 2006.

A copy of the proposed budget is available for public review at City Hall, 137 10th St.

The council must finalize and adopt the 2007 budget by the end of the year.

On the agenda

3:30 p.m. Presentation by Jonathan Schechter, Charture Institute executive director, about dynamics of growth in resort communities

4 p.m. Executive, or secret, session

5 p.m. City staff reports, including an update on the downtown post office and new recreation center developments by City Manager Alan Lanning; first reading of an ordinance amending the city’s planned unit development regulations; second reading of an ordinance that would adopt the city’s 2007 budget, with a modified funding request for the Vision 2030 community plan

7 p.m. Public comment; Steamboat Springs Planning Commission report; possible action on proposed development, The Olympian, on the northwest corner of the intersection of Fifth and Yampa streets

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