Scott Wedel: City zoning restrictions illogical, immoral |

Scott Wedel: City zoning restrictions illogical, immoral

For years, I have complained about illogical and immoral zoning restrictions by the Steamboat zoning on number of adults allowed in a residential unit. It says single-family housing is limited to three adults and multi-family, such as condos and apartments, is limited to five adults per unit.

Thus, I was very surprised to read last week that the Ponds was planning on putting six adults in a two bedroom unit. I would have hoped that in the days since then that city planning and/or members of the City Planning Board would have observed the Ponds’ intent to violate city zoning and ordered them to stop.

On Thursday morning, I sent a letter to the city of Steamboat so they cannot continue to ignore this blatant violation of city zoning. I have received acknowledgement that it was received and that is it.

I was personally involved when the city enforced the limit of three adults in single-family housing, which includes duplexes, against two couples renting a two-bedroom duplex. Thus, it cannot be claimed this is some obscure, unenforced, definition in the city code.

It makes no sense in terms of living conditions or occupant safety for Steamboat to have set the rules to be three adults per single-family residence. That limit is contradicted having no restriction on large families and by allowing nightly rentals to allow far more adults per house.

And why are condos and apartments allowed to have five adults in small one- or two-bedroom units? It makes no sense to allow more people in smaller units than in larger houses.

Seems obvious to me that Steamboat zoning represents and codifies a slave owner mentality where those providing the essential labor can be treated poorly while wealthy property owners are protected from living near laborers by restrictive zoning.

Thus, Steamboat’s current housing situation is the successful execution of the long-term plan.  Steamboat has created gated communities with the virtual gates created and enforced by Steamboat government’s zoning laws.

Every person with a shred of humanity should be appalled that Steamboat Ski Area treats their employees so poorly that they are willing to violate zoning by packing six adults into a two-bedroom unit. The same bit of humanity should be extended so that if we say our community needs these workers then we should be willing to live next to them. It is morally indefensible that a house can be used as a vacation rental for a dozen adults but is legally limited by the laws of Steamboat to three working adults.

Scott Wedel

Steamboat Springs


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