Steamboat City Council analyzes traffic impacts of proposed annexation in west Steamboat
September 22, 2017
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A new 436-unit housing development in west Steamboat Springs would generate an additional 3,331 car trips each day, according to estimates included in a recent traffic study.
Now city officials and the developers who want to make these homes a reality are trying to figure out if they can agree on how much money Brynn Grey should pay to help improve the roads and intersections these extra cars will travel on.
That conversation hit some potholes Tuesday night as some city council members criticized the developers for not providing more specifics about their plans to address the added traffic.
“You need to have the numbers, not all this off-the-cuff stuff,” councilwoman Heather Sloop said.
Councilman Jason Lacy also said he was ready for more specifics and suggested the developers’ lack of details had the council negotiating against itself.
Brynn Grey Partners CEO David O’Neil floated the idea of the development contributing around $4 million to help improve the intersections and stretches of highways that residents in the new neighborhoods will use the most.
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But city officials have done an analysis that concluded Brynn Grey’s share of road and intersection improvements should be in the range of $5.7 to $6.4 million.
One area the city and Brynn Grey aren’t seeing eye to eye on is the proposed widening of U.S. Highway 40 from Downhill Drive to the development’s front door at Routt County Road 42.
Brynn Grey and their traffic consultant don’t think the extra traffic from the West Steamboat Neighborhoods will necessitate the widening of the highway.
But city officials say having Brynn Grey pitch in for this project will help make future developments in west Steamboat more feasible while reducing their traffic impact.
“If we want to continue to grow west, we should probably be getting some seed money so new developments out west don’t have an insurmountable hurdle,” public works director Jon Snyder said.
The developers countered that they are looking to contribute to projects that have a direct tie to the extra traffic from the new neighborhoods.
In addition to debating the overall contribution from Brynn Grey for roads, the council will also have to consider the timing of payments.
Brynn Grey also proposed the idea of generating a big chunk of its road contributions by assessing a $10,000 fee on the sale of each market rate home that would go toward a transportation fund.
Councilwoman Kathi Meyer feared the payments wouldn’t come in quickly enough because only 20 percent of the homes in the first neighborhood are proposed to be market rate.
“What I’m concerned about is not just the amount (of Brynn Grey’s contribution) but the timing,” Meyer said.
Brynn Grey would use an extension of the Gloria Gossard Parkway as a secondary access.
The developers indicated they might be looking for an exception to city fire codes to allow that project to wait until the third neighborhood commences.
After some tension during the road discussion, the council and the developers agreed that it was time to start comparing the proposed contributions from Brynn Grey and what the city thinks the developers should pay.
The council will then have to decide whether they are close to coming to an annexation agreement.