Residents weigh in on Steamboat downtown development proposal
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — There will be more places to stroll and relax along the banks of the Yampa River in downtown Steamboat Springs if a large development proposal gains city approvals in the coming months.
A revised plan for RiverView includes a public riverside path extending from a proposed public plaza at Fifth and Yampa streets to a piece of open space near the river’s confluence with Spring Creek.
The previous proposal did not include such a path but, instead, pushed pedestrians and cyclists onto a road that ran through the interior of what will be a mixed-use development. After a few weeks of negotiations, the developers included the river path in a new plan.
City planners favored the riverside path, and they are now recommending approval of the initial project plans. On Thursday, April 27, the city’s planning commission will finally get to weigh in on what would be one of the largest developments downtown has seen in many years.
While the plan, at this point, only proposes zoning and public amenities on the site, it would essentially serve as a blueprint for future buildings and developments that would come through the city planning process. Plans in this phase are called planned unit developments.
The owners of the site want to begin construction on public infrastructure as soon as this summer. The RiverView site itself encompasses 4.74 acres and is poised to include a mix of residential and commercial spaces and possibly a boutique hotel on downtown’s east end.
Community members have already started to weigh in on the proposal in letters to city officials. Former City Councilman Jon Quinn thinks the project should get a nod from city officials.
“RiverView satisfies several needs for our downtown,” Quinn wrote. “The vacant parcel at Third and Lincoln is not currently the most welcoming visage for the downtown, and this project is an excellent opportunity to revitalize this gateway to our downtown.”
Quinn said young professionals in the community desperately need new housing inventory to choose from. Other community members, however, are raising concerns about the project.
Local attorney Tom Sharp, who owns property adjacent to the proposed RiverView site, submitted a lengthy letter to the city that includes a number of objections. Sharp thinks the developers should restore Fourth Street to a fully functioning road with sidewalks, among other things.
A homeowner at the nearby Olympian development also wrote to the city expressing concerns about how the project would block views of Mount Werner.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.
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