Our view: Council needs to act now
The Steamboat Springs City Council has been discussing the West Steamboat Neighborhoods project for over two years, and just when we thought an annexation decision was going to be made, council found a reason to delay action once again.
City Council was stymied by an outstanding access agreement between developer Brynn Grey Partners and the owner of an adjacent piece of property, known as Overlook Park. Following a split vote on how council wanted to handle the annexation decision in light of the missing agreement, a decision was made to table the annexation issue for the third time.
Council members Jason Lacy, Lisel Petis and Robin Crossan were in favor of approving the annexation on first reading if the ordinance included a condition of approval that would have set a deadline for the agreement between developers to be finalized. In our opinion, this was the direction council should have taken.
At issue: For a third time, City Council postponed its decision on the annexation of West Steamboat Neighborhoods.
Our View: It’s time for council to take action and move forward with the first reading of the proposed annexation.
• Logan Molen, publisher
• Lisa Schlichtman, editor
• Mike Burns, community representative
• Melissa Hampton, community representative
Contact the Editorial Board at 970-871-4221 or lschlichtman@
At this point in time, we’ve written at least three other editorials urging council to move forward with the West Steamboat Neighborhoods project. After two years of talking and negotiating, the time for action is now. Citizens elected members of City Council to make decisions on their behalf, and it is well within the Council’s purview to vote on this annexation proposal.
In our opinion, there has been plenty of opportunity for public comment during the two-year stretch of discussion, but if there is anyone out there who doesn’t believe they know enough about the project or hasn’t had a chance to add their two-cents, City Council is hosting a town hall meeting on the topic from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17 in the Citizens’ Meeting Room in Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.
The first town hall on Saturday was well-attended, and we would hope to see a bigger crowd at the second and final event. The town halls are aimed at helping people understand the specifics of the annexation proposal. Fact sheets about the proposal will be made available, and residents also will have the opportunity to participate in a 90-minute Q & A session.
As we’ve stated in past editorials, we believe Brynn Grey has worked in tandem with city leaders to create a viable housing project that could help ease our community’s affordable housing crisis. West Steamboat Neighborhoods would build about 450 units of housing over 20 years with 158 of the homes being deed-restricted to Routt County residents.
It’s also important to remind readers that West Steamboat Neighborhoods is not a public housing project. It’s a market development that would provide some options for teachers, police officers, health care workers and young professionals to purchase a home in Steamboat — an option that is quickly disappearing with limited attainable housing inventory.
And if the city can’t make the project happen with a proven developer like Brynn Grey, which has successfully built similar projects in other mountain towns, we’re not sure what other developers will step forward. It’s time for City Council to quit kicking the can down the road and take action now while Brynn Grey is still ready and willing to invest in building homes for our community’s vital workforce.
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