Steamboat to consider allowing Overlook Park Metro District to acquire easement with eminent domain |

Steamboat to consider allowing Overlook Park Metro District to acquire easement with eminent domain

Easement would provide secondary access for subdivision and the main access for Brown Ranch

The purple box in this graphic depicts the access easement being sought by the Overlook Park Metropolitan District.
City of Steamboat Springs/Courtesy photo

Steamboat Springs City Council will consider a resolution on Tuesday, April 25, to allow the Overlook Park Metropolitan District to exercise eminent domain to create a secondary access route for the subdivision.

This secondary access, through a strip of land between the Brown Ranch and U.S. Highway 40 known as the Satre Parcel, would serve as a main access point to the Brown Ranch and provide the required secondary fire access for Overlook Park. State requirements say the road needs to be across U.S. 40 from the entrance to Sleepy Bear Mobile Home Park.

Council members directed City Attorney Dan Foote to place the resolution on Tuesday’s agenda at their April 4 meeting and indicated they would likely approve granting the metro district the ability to use eminent domain to construct the road.

“There was a time when this situation was a little simpler than it is now,” Foote said on April 4.

The secondary access road has been discussed since 2004, and at the time, the owners of Overlook Park and Marc Satre, who previously owned the parcel in question, entered into an agreement to grant the easement, according to a description of events from the city.

In 2011, the city conditioned the preliminary plat for Overlook Park on the creation of this easement, so when Overlook Park developed, the easement would be granted to the city.

But in 2019 things got more complicated when the original agreement was amended to say that the easement didn’t need to be granted until the road is actually built. Foote explained that this complicates things because Overlook and the Brown Ranch would need to be coordinated in their construction, which isn’t feasible. Overlook is looking to get its final plat now while the Brown Ranch isn’t yet part of the city. 

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“Overlook Park is in a position of wanting to plat their property, but Brown Ranch is not ready to develop,” Foote said. “Brown Ranch is not ready to build a road. Brown Ranch may not even know where the road is going to go at this point.”

Foote explained that the issue is essentially timing.

Overlook Park has been trying to engage with the current owners of the Satre Parcel to iron out an agreement for the easement, but Foote said there hasn’t been any deal. City staff have not been involved in those discussions, and the city wouldn’t have a role in eminent domain other than to grant the metro district the ability to do it.

Foote told council members they could grant that ability, allow Overlook to plat by assigning the agreement to the city or do nothing. Foote recommended against the second option, saying that it would not satisfy the intent of the original agreement.

City Council did not vote on the issue on April 4, but five members indicated they wanted to place the resolution on Tuesday’s agenda.

“I’m frustrated that it’s taken to this point, and it’s got to this point,” Council member Michael Buccino said. “I would say let’s move forward with getting the metro district to eminent domain or condemnation and accelerate this as needed to build the Overlook Park and continue with the platting. I haven’t heard a compelling reason why we shouldn’t grant that to them.”

The resolution is on council’s consent agenda, which means it could be approved without discussion, unless a council member or a member of the public pulls the item from the consent agenda.

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