Steamboat Springs City Council to revisit water proposal for new west end neighborhoods | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Springs City Council to revisit water proposal for new west end neighborhoods

Scott Franz

Brynn Grey Partners is proposing to phase in new neighborhoods in west Steamboat Springs, with the first neighborhood consisting of 131 homes.

— The Steamboat Springs City Council and a developer interested in building new neighborhoods in west Steamboat will see if they can tread the water issue together on Tuesday night.

Assuming a new water tank is built as planned on the west side of town, city officials say Steamboat could accommodate the 450-housing unit without spending millions of dollars to tap into the Elk River.

But they note that the water would have to come from Fish Creek, and the annexation would "effectively maximize the water base that our current system can serve."

The city would also have to forgo a $50,000-a-year contribution it currently gets from Mount Werner Water for using an available filtration bay.

Brynn Grey's water proposal is largely similar to one that the council rejected in October, according to city officials.

The biggest difference is a much smaller proposed annexation area with fewer units.

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The new proposal includes 450 housing units built over the course of 8 to 12 years, a reduction from 1,600 units.

Brynn Grey's water proposal includes a $16,000 fee that buyers of all market-rate units in the neighborhood would pay at the time a tap fee is assessed.

The city estimates that fee would generate $4.8 million in a fund the city could use to shore up more water rights or secure another water supply in the future.

According to a report the council has received, city staff has some concerns about the fee, noting it would pass the financial burden from the developers to future homebuyers in a city where a steering committee has found that tap fees are "prohibitively high."

Representatives of Brynn Grey on Tuesday night will stress that under their water proposal, city taxpayers would not pay for the infrastructure that is needed to serve the development.

They will also point out there is time for the city to resolve the issue of lack of redundancy in its overall water system.

Brynn Grey and the new homeowners will contribute at least $12.75 million for water-related infrastructure, according to a report from the developer. Most of the spending will come from tap fees.

City staff is again not recommending approval of the water proposal as presented.

The city wants the council to seek a modified proposal or delay any agreement until the city has more time to talk about other aspects of the housing plan.

After the water discussion on Tuesday night, the council will interview the nine applicants who are vying for a chance to replace Councilman Tony Connell.

"It's going to be tough, because a lot of good people put in," Council President Pro-Tem Jason Lacy said. "I think it's good we have so many people interested."

The interviews are expected to start shortly after 7 p.m. and will be conducted in public.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10