Planners approve ski base project |

Planners approve ski base project

City Council to consider One Steamboat Place next week

— City planners have approved a mixed-use development at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area, clearing the way for the Steamboat Springs City Council to discuss its second large-scale project in two weeks.

At a meeting Thursday night, the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission gave the go-ahead to One Steamboat Place, a multi-story, 500,000-square-foot development including 85 residential units, 15,000 square feet of commercial space and a large public plaza. The development would be on about 4 acres next to the Gondola Building and AprÃs Ski Way.

Planning Commission chairwoman Kathi Meyer called One Steamboat Place a “catalyst for redevelopment” at the ski base and gave one of the five votes in support of the project. Commission members Dana Stopher and Nancy Engelken voted against the project. They expressed concerns about the M-shaped building’s height and overall size.

“It’s just too massive,” Engelken said. “It doesn’t fit what, to me, is a village concept.”

Timbers Company, an international resort development firm based in Carbondale, is the project applicant. Robin Schiller of CCY Architects, based in Basalt, presented building plans to the commission, which first discussed One Steamboat Place on July 13 but tabled a decision and asked for modifications to the plans.

The primary issue is the building’s height. Timbers Company and Schiller are req-uesting a height variance that will allow the building to reach 104 feet, as opposed to the 67 feet allowed in city zoning codes for the site. The building is six stories tall.

In response to the commission’s height concerns, Schiller presented new plans Thursday that lowered a portion of the building that connects the east and central wings to two stories rather than four stories. The lowered portion allows for a view corridor that, from some angles around the building, would provide views of the ridgeline to the south.

Schiller said the building’s size is necessary to house enough residential units to allow for a profitable project. He also argued that there is little difference in view obstruction and in the amount of sunlight that will reach the Gondola Building if the building was 67-feet high or 104 feet.

“The difference between that and our building is incremental,” Schiller said.

Steamboat resident Bill Jameson responded that money should not be a factor in deciding a height variance.

“It’s hard to see how this project wouldn’t be viable with one less floor,” Jameson said.

The City Council is scheduled to discuss One Steamboat Place at upcoming meetings on Tuesday and Aug. 22. On July 25, the council approved Wildhorse Meadows, a 47-acre development including 567 residential units and more than 35,000 feet of commercial space south of Mount Werner Road and Steamboat Boulevard.

The two projects are tied financially to Whitney Ward, a landowner and partner in Resort Ventures West, which is leading the Wildhorse Mea-dows project. Ward owns the land slated for One Steamboat Place. Jim Wells, Timbers Company vice president, said Thursday that closing on the purchase of that land would occur 30 days after council approval of the project’s development plan.

“At that point, we would be separate entities,” Wells said about Timbers Company and Resort Ventures West.

To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203 or e-mail

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