With access resolved, West Steamboat Neighborhoods and Overlook Park move one step closer to construction | SteamboatToday.com

With access resolved, West Steamboat Neighborhoods and Overlook Park move one step closer to construction

Both developments will have temporary road access to U.S. 40

Artist rendering of Brynn Grey's Gateway Neighborhood, one of three neighborhoods slated for Steamboat's west side.
Brynn Grey Partners/courtesy

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The developers of both the West Steamboat annexation and Overlook have cleared one of the biggest hurdles standing between them and construction: road access.

A road planned to line up with the entryway into Sleepy Bear Mobile Home Park over a sliver of private property was set to serve as the primary road to West Steamboat Neighborhoods and as an emergency exit road for Overlook Park.

To link to that access, West Steamboat Neighborhoods had to negotiate an access easement over that private property with either Overlook Park or the property owner, the Satre family. Overlook Park and West Steamboat Neighborhoods were also in disagreement over whether a different easement over the eventual West Steamboat Neighborhoods property was still valid. If so, it would allow Overlook Park its secondary access.

That road over the Satre property needed to be in that location because that’s what is outlined in the Colorado Department of Transportation’s long-term plans for intersections on U.S. Highway 40.  

CDOT agreed to permit temporary access on West Steamboat Neighborhoods property, about 300 feet east of the eventual road across from Sleepy Bear, as long as the city supported that temporary access.

On Tuesday, the Steamboat Springs City Council agreed to sign a letter of support for that permit, connecting both developments to the highway until the planned access over the Satre property is complete and dedicated as a city street.

“This solution, as proposed to the City Council (on Tuesday) — it gives each development a path forward that is not dependent on the other, and that’s the key,” Steamboat City Engineer Ben Beall said. 

West Steamboat Neighborhoods

West Steamboat Neighborhoods had to meet a Sept. 3 deadline to obtain agreements that would eventually allow the direct road access to U.S. 40 from the development. Missing that deadline would mean the annexation ordinance approved by City Council and voters would not take effect.

On Tuesday, City Council members gave a nod that two mechanisms for access — neither of them the original planned access — will satisfy that deadline.

Brynn Grey will be allowed to use the temporary access to U.S. 40, as well as a western route linked over the Steamboat 700 property to Routt County Road 42.

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The access that City Council, city staff and developers have had in mind for the property as they’ve negotiated over the last year was over the Satre property, across from Sleepy Bear Mobile Home Park. 

Melissa Sherburne, managing partner of West Steamboat Neighborhoods, said that not receiving an extension on the ordinance-mandated deadline to get access to the property required Brynn Grey staff to “look creatively for a solution.”

“It required us to look at other solutions for access, and the access coming through the westerly side of the property was an excellent solution,” she said. “The phase one access permit with CDOT is additional access. In a way, it was a really effective solution to the issue.”

That temporary access permit will allow for the anticipated number of trips per day from a 30-home development, the same threshold that will require Brynn Grey to complete secondary access under city fire code.

Overlook Park has an access easement over the Satre property, and is required to dedicate that access to the city when it records its final plat. That means that Overlook cannot sell lots in its subdivision unless the Satre access is dedicated as a city street. Assuming this occurs, West Steamboat Neighborhoods will be able to link their streets to that eventual city street, thus obtaining direct access to U.S. 40 in line with the CDOT plan.

Brynn Grey will also be allowed to pursue access via an easement over the Steamboat 700 property, which is adjacent to the Steamboat 700 parcel Brynn Grey plans to purchase. Under this plan, Brynn Grey could extend Gloria Gossard Parkway to C.R. 42 and send cars to U.S. 40 via that route. This road would require review by CDOT and the county.

City Council members expressed a hope to see access over the Satre property, with C.R. 42 providing a backup should Overlook’s development not proceed as planned.

In the City Council meeting, Council Member Sonja Macys said she’d heard from a constituent who worried that with the temporary access only allowing for the construction of 30 homes, that those 30 homes would be market homes without the workforce deed restriction.

Council Member Heather Sloop said she understood that concern, but that if Brynn Grey pursued access C.R. 42, they might have to sell market-rate homes to pay for intersection improvements on the county road and its intersection at U.S. 40.

Sherburne said that Brynn Grey has always planned to build the Gateway neighborhood first. The neighborhood will contain 198 Brynn Grey homes, with 158 of those, or 80%, being deed-restricted to people who work within Routt County

“I understand (Macys’) concern, but it’s always been our intention, and it still is, to build the Gateway neighborhood first,” Sherburne said.

Under the annexation agreement, Brynn Grey must build the deed-restricted homes within 10 years, or the development loses its vesting.

“One home out of five might be market,” Sherburne said. “That’s averaging across the whole neighborhood, but the breakdown will ultimately be 20% market, 80% deed restricted.”

Sherburne said Brynn Grey will be working through development approvals with the city and the county. The company will also work to finalize the land purchase, which must be completed by Nov. 12 to satisfy conditions of the annexation ordinance.

Overlook Park

Overlook Park is a planned neighborhood of about 125 homes and 14 commercial or mixed-use lots. For Overlook, the issue of emergency access has stalled the project for a year, according to Tony Emerson, a partner in the development.

“Had our progress not been stopped, basically at the end of last summer, by this access issue, I think we’d have been paving Gossard Parkway right now or very soon,” Emerson said. “Basically this whole year all we’ve done out there has been on hold. We’ve been pretty much doing erosion control, which with all the snow and the rain, has been a job in itself. It’s been tough.”

Overlook’s main route to get in and out of the neighborhood will initially connect to Downhill Drive via Gloria Gossard Parkway and a new street connection to West End Avenue. Ultimately, developers also want Overlook to have direct access to U.S. 40 via the road over the Satre property.

Due to the number of homes planned for the development, it also needs emergency access at another route. This is what has caused the hang-up.

Under the temporary access permit, Overlook will be able to make use of an existing easement linking their property to U.S. 40 east of the Satre property. This will allow Overlook to build the planned gravel road for emergency access, which will be a gated gravel road and is only planned to be used if needed.

“It’s not ideal for either property, but at least it’s a way forward for both properties, which is a lot more than we had a week or two ago,” Emerson said.

Overlook has filed final plat documents with the city, which are pending review. Emerson said he anticipates putting in utilities early next spring, as long as those documents get approval.

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

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