Steamboat City Council to hear annexation proposal Dec. 4 | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat City Council to hear annexation proposal Dec. 4

Should City Council approve annexing the land, Brynn Grey Partners would develop this area west of the under-construction Overlook Park subdivision into three neighborhoods west of Steamboat Springs. (Photo by John F. Russell)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs City Council will soon consider Brynn Grey Partner's proposal to annex 190 acres west of current city limits.

Brynn Grey plans to build 450 housing units, including single-family homes, duplexes and triplexes in an area adjacent to the Overlook development.

During the past two years, the city and Brynn Grey have negotiated through issues in transit, water, affordability and natural resources. Now, the proposal is in what could be the finish line to annexing the property.

The Steamboat Springs Planning Commission heard the annexation proposal on Thursday and approved the annexation 6 to 1. It will go before the council in two public hearings. The first hearing will be Dec. 4.

Council has expressed interest in discussing whether the annexation would go to a public vote. City Council could also annex the property by ordinance, without sending the proposal before voters.

Much of the discussion in the planning commission meeting focused on affordability and the development's deed-restricted homes.

In the development, 158 homes will be deed restricted. The terms of these homes will require buyers work 30 hours per week in Routt County and would have an appreciation cap of 3 percent per year or the increase in area median income, whichever is greater. Short-term rentals would not be allowed in deed-restricted homes.

Brynn Grey has said its targeted prices for the deed-restricted homes will be between the lower $300,000 and the upper $400,000 range, depending on the type of unit. Brynn Grey also plans to donate land for 50 housing units to be developed by the Yampa Valley Housing Authority.

"We have dedicated 35 percent of the total development to deed restricted, locals housing. And through that, as well as the language in the annexation agreement regarding target pricing, we’re really confident that we'll be able to provide homes for a range of homeowners in the Steamboat community," said Melissa Sherburne, Brynn Grey’s director of acquisitions.

Sherburne said Brynn Grey neighborhoods in Summit County reflect this, with a range of people from “all walks of the workforce.”

“We hope to do something similar in Steamboat,” she said.

City and county planning staff found the proposal to be compliant with the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan, which set guidelines to develop affordable housing in West Steamboat in 2003.

"I think this complies with the vision of the (West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan), particularly what we've learned about that in the 15 years it's been in existence,” said Planning Commissioner George Eck in the meeting. “Studies have been done in the last two years. It's going to really help out with the affordability measure, not just out there but throughout the community.”

Planning Commission Chair Richard Levy was the sole vote opposing the annexation. Levy has been a vocal opponent of the annexation. He explained that, because the board acted as a legislative advisory board, and because he has argued for the public good, not personal gain, he could vote without a conflict of interest.

Levy said he did not think the project would address the need for housing for people making median and moderate income.

He worried that there was no guarantee that those who the deed restricted homes are intended to serve will be the ones to purchase those homes. He's also concerned that the units to be built on land donated to the Housing Authority will not come to fruition.

"It's just too much of an unknown for me, so I will not be supporting the project," he said.

Sherburne said Brynn Grey was "feeling good" about the proposal, and it is the right time for West Steamboat Neighborhoods.

You can view the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission’s discussion of the annexation proposal online by visiting docs.steamboatsprings.net:10100/onbaseagendaonline/ and selecting the Nov. 15 Planning Commision meeting.

To reach Eleanor Hasenbeck, call 970-871-4210, email ehasenbeck@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @elHasenbeck.

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