Richard Levy: Vote ‘no’ to WSN | SteamboatToday.com

Richard Levy: Vote ‘no’ to WSN

Thank you, Steamboat Pilot and Today, for your June 4 “Our View” editorial. You stated that “West Steamboat Neighborhoods was never intended to be an affordable housing project.” I could not have said it better. That statement of theirs should be enough for all voters to vote “no” on this proposed annexation. According to our adopted West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan: “One of the fundamental objectives of the WSSAP is the provision of attainable and affordable housing”.

So, if this is not an affordable housing project, what is it? 

  • Emerald neighborhood is zoned for larger lots of 5,000 to 24,000 square feet.
  • Nothing in the annexation agreement restricts Emerald or Slate Creek neighborhoods from becoming nightly rentals.
  • In the deed restricted neighborhood of Gateway, anyone with any income or assets or number of homes owned can purchase those homes intended for our most needful workforce.

The Steamboat Pilot and Today refers to the developer’s other projects. The project most touted is Wellington. It should be noted that this “successful project” has units that are income and asset qualified. Why doesn’t WSN include income qualifications?

The Steamboat Pilot and Today cites the developer’s PR material of homes available for $300,000 to $500,000. This is misleading. When the developer submitted their proposal, these were the expected selling prices for homes within WSN’s Area Median Income targets. Actual sale prices, per the annexation agreement, will be created by the AMI at the time of purchase, not back when this project submitted its plan. AMI changes annually. As AMI goes up, so does the “target sale price.” As reported, the project is expected to last for 16 to 20 years. The 2019 AMI for a family of four is $86,100. In 2005, it was $72,700. So, what will be the actual sales prices?  

I have been on the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission for over 10 years. I can tell you that just about every development proposal is built to our regulations and (legally) exploits every loophole they can find. This annexation agreement is short on requirements and long on promises.

Vote “no” on promises.

Richard Levy
Steamboat Springs


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