Letter: Council appears to favor special interests over local residents

Several weeks ago, I sent a letter to Steamboat Springs City Council regarding the article in Steamboat Pilot & Today covering the work session on short-term rentals Aug. 17.

All five council members favored short-term rentals for Cornice Road and Clubhouse Drive. I explained that at the top of Clubhouse Drive is a small 29-lot subdivision that was developed in 1980 by Don Valentine. All are single-family homes, most of which were built in the the ‘80s and ‘90s, with mostly full-time residents. Among the full-time residents, several have lived here since the ‘80s. There are no duplexes, condos or town homes on this section of Clubhouse Drive. None of the homes have a view of the ski area. If this is not a residential neighborhood, what is?

Moving Mountains and Steamboat Lodging Co. presented a map to the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission and City Council with hand-drawn boundary lines and arrows in green felt pen demanding what swath of the city should be removed from the moratorium on new short-term rental permits, including the area just described along with other similar neighborhoods. Our City Council completely ignored the pleas of residents and caved in to special interest demands, business people who demonstrate no interest in community, neighborhoods or residents who make this town what it is.

Their primary concern appears to be lining their bank accounts at the expense of many who actually live and work here. All under the pretense of bringing in more sales tax dollars through increased tourism. Then to top it off, one of our city council members tells those of us who have lived here for 30 or 40 years that if we don’t like it, we should move.

What really needs to happen is for the city planners and City Council to actually listen to the residents of this community instead of continuously caving in to special interests in the name of increased tax revenue.

A blanket map imposed by special interests is not the answer. When was the last time anyone on the planning commission or City Council actually took a drive up to the end of Clubhouse Drive, Meadow Lane, Stone Lane or many of the other residential streets and asked themselves, “Is this a sales tax-generating zone, or is it a residential neighborhood?” Council appears to favor special interests and nonresident owners over their constituents.

Michael Turner

Steamboat Springs

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