Construction workers place steel beams at the site of the new combined law enforcement facility in July 2018 in west Steamboat Springs. (Photo by John F. Russell)
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — In a joint meeting Tuesday, the Steamboat Springs City Council and Routt County Board of Commissioners will discuss marijuana, regional transportation, the new combined police and sheriff’s building and an update on redevelopment at the base of the ski area.
City Council and the commissioners will discuss the concept of a regional transit authority. There are no documents or presentations associated with the discussion item. Council Member Lisel Petis said even council members don’t have much more information on the idea.
“Most of the time, these meetings with the county commissioners are really for us to continue to foster relationships between entities as well as discuss potential collaborations in the future,” she said. “Regional transportation is something we’ve talked about for a very long time.”
The group also will receive an update on construction of the new combined Routt County Sheriff’s Office and Steamboat Springs Police Department facility. Petis said the new station cannot house rooftop solar panels because of the safety elements required for the building. Along with the update, the group will discuss the option of an off-site solar garden and other ways to incorporate sustainable practices in the new facility.
City Council also will update commissioners on their plans to change code impacting recreational marijuana dispensaries in the city, including a provision that would mandate Steamboat dispensaries’ growing and manufacturing operations are located in Routt County, where those operations are allowed.
Base area redevelopment
County Commissioner Tim Corrigan said he requested an update on the urban renewal authority, the funding mechanism that has paid for redevelopment at the base of Steamboat Resort by financing bonds with property and sales tax revenue collected from businesses near Mount Werner.
He thinks the city should use the funding to pay down the bond more quickly instead of taking on new projects.
“I know that there’s a lot of city councilors that are tired of hearing about that from me, but I’m going to continue to raise that issue,” Corrigan said.
Following the joint meeting, City Council will continue in an independent meeting to consider a number of planning decisions.
The biggest item on the agenda is a permanent repeal of the city’s inclusionary zoning code.
From the time it was enacted in 2006 until it was suspended in 2013, inclusionary zoning and related development code required residential developers provide deed-restricted housing units to households making 30 to 150 percent of area median income or pay a fee. The code has been suspended multiple times since 2013.
The Steamboat Springs Planning Commission rejected, 6-1, a motion to repeal inclusionary zoning, with many planning commissioners requesting more information on the matter before it was repealed.
Petis said, although some community members have vocally supported inclusionary zoning, she doesn’t think the effort to keep the code on the books will get much traction.
“We’re still very committed to finding affordable housing, but it’s become pretty clear that inclusionary zoning is probably not the option that we’re going to go with,” she said. “It’s been kicked down the road multiple times because it has essentially been said that we’re not going to put it back into action.”
To reach Eleanor Hasenbeck, call 970-871-4210, email ehasenbeck@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @elHasenbeck.