High-Rise in Steamboat? Not in my back yard . . .

October 25th, 2011

Neighbors have already objected and attorneys are already involved, but Steamboat Springs City Council showed initial unanimous agreement in favor of the conceptual development plan for a 10-floor condominium building replacing the existing 4-floor Ptarmigan Inn. This development project would take place at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area – a location that has seen its share of construction projects over the past 5 years.

Ptarmigan Inn in Steamboat Springs

Ptarmigan Inn in Steamboat Springs

Concerns raised by attorneys representing those opposed to the redevelopment project center around the following points:

  • Proposed height will obstruct views and create shadows
  • The lack of a well defined development plan with conceptual implications addressed at the onset
  • Drainage impact

According to Tyler Gibbs, Steamboat Springs Planning Director, the conceptual development plan just approved is only the initial step and in effect gives the developers a green light to dive into an extensive development plan that still has to meet 27 conditions identified by the Steamboat Springs City Planning Commission and City Council. So the project is not by any means “approved” and still has many issues to address including one from City Council itself who questioned the lack of winter pedestrian connectivity.

Ah yes, the sidewalks to no where that seem way too plentiful around our beautiful resort town. It is refreshing to hear that pedestrian connectivity is being addressed at the pre-approval stage. To solve this issue and connect with the city’s new public promenade that ends just west of the Ptarmigan Inn, the developers will have to work with Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. and One Steamboat Place. I for one, hope this gets resolved; if we are going to market ourselves as a family friendly resort, connecting walk-ways should be a priority especially in the busy Steamboat mountain base area.As with any proposed change in a location as prominent as our Steamboat ski mountain base, this project will in all likelihood be debated in earnest over the coming months. Those debates should be welcomed by every one of us. They will serve to ensure the best decisions are made for Steamboat Springs as a whole, and the best decisions usually aren’t made in isolation, but instead result from collective decision making and yes, sometimes exhausting pros/cons resolution. Our Steamboat Springs Ski Area mountain base deserves that kind of careful deliberation since we’ll all have to live with the final product and how it enhances (or detracts) from the base area we all have a vested interest in seeing improved from where it’s been stuck for the past few decades.

Regards,

Charlie Dresen

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