Tuesday, September 30, 2008

August 2008 - Real Estate Statistics - Steamboat Springs, Colorado

On the Market for Sept. 26
Sunday, September 28, 2008

Steamboat Springs — Real estate dollar volume in Routt County was off 61.5 percent in August at $58.86 million, but even that number was inflated.

Of the total sales, about $16 million could be attributed to a pair of in-house transactions involving the same vacation ownership company based in Washington state.

At the conclusion of construction on new buildings in its Village at Steamboat project, Wyndham Resort Development Corp. sold condominiums valued at $6.22 million to WorldMark the Club, as well as condos valued at $9.88 million to Wyndham Vacation Resorts.

WorldMark by Wyndham is the management company for WorldMark, based in Redmond, Wash.

The last time Routt County’s August dollar volume was less than $60 million was in 2003, when it was $53.7 million. The August 2007 dollar volume was $152.6 million.

It’s significant to note that the dollar volume of August 2003 was achieved through 243 transactions. August 2007 recorded 270 transactions, and last month saw only 70 transactions close.

Notable sales last month included an 8,444-square-foot home in Agate Creek Preserve, said Bruce Carta, of Land Title Guarantee Co. The purchase price for the six-bedroom, 7 1/2-bath home was $5.25 million.

Of the 41 residential properties that closed last month, three sold at prices of more than $3 million. Seven August sales were valued between $1 million and $1.5 million.

At the other end of the spectrum, 22 residences sold for less than $500,000.

Hayden market still moving in transactions
When the final tallies on the 2008 real estate market are known, Hayden and the surrounding area are likely to rank second among Routt County geographic regions in terms of real estate transaction volume.

Steamboat’s mountain and downtown areas are most apt to rank first and second in dollar volume. But Hayden, with 145 transactions through August, is on pace to rank second only to the Steamboat mountain area, where 264 transactions had been recorded.

Downtown Steamboat is about $2 million ahead of Hayden’s year-to-date dollar volume of $51.2 million. However the unit volume is less than half of Hayden’s, at 60. The next closest competitor is West Steamboat, with 48.

Hayden’s transaction volume represents 17.5 percent of the Routt County market, but just 9.15 percent of overall dollar volume of $560 million.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Affordable Housing for Teachers - First Tracks - Steamboat Springs

Affordable a stretch
Teachers struggle to buy deed-restricted housing
By Zach Fridell (Contact)
Sunday, September 28, 2008

Steamboat Springs — A new cooperation between First Tracks at Wildhorse Meadows and the Steamboat Springs School District is attempting to create housing opportunities for school staff and increase teacher retention rates.

District Superintendent Shalee Cunningham said last week that she is interested in creating housing opportunities to help district personnel and to keep young faculty and staff in Steamboat Springs longer.

“Whatever we can do to help retain not only our teachers, but all of our staff,” she said. “Teacher retention and recruitment has been one of our goals. We have had a hard time keeping them.”

To help create the opportunities for teachers, Cunningham also has been in talks with local Colorado Mountain College officials who face many of the same issues. She is working with First Tracks, the affordable housing component of the Wildhorse Meadows development off Mount Werner Road, to give teachers information about their options.

First Tracks recently held an informational session at Steamboat Springs High School, but turnout was low, with about five district staffers expressing interest in the deed-restricted housing.

First Tracks targets homeowners earning 80 to 120 percent of the area median income, or AMI, but teachers — especially those new to the job — have a lower starting salary than that 80 percent target. While the AMI for a single homeowner is just above $42,000, according to district officials, the average teacher salary in the district is $41,000. The base salary for a new teacher just out of college is $32,900.

But that doesn’t mean teachers won’t qualify for the housing, said Mariana Ishida, development manager for First Tracks developers Resort Ventures West.

Potential homeowners still can qualify for the housing if they have an income lower than 80 percent of AMI, she said, as long as they can find a loan or mortgage from a bank. But that can be challenging in today’s uncertain economic climate.

The AMI also is adjusted as the size of the household goes up. Eighty percent of the AMI for two people is $48,450.

First Tracks units range from $165,000 to $299,000.

Jenn Spurlock, a 26-year-old math and science teacher at Steamboat Springs Middle School, said she likely will not use the affordable housing options provided by the district.

Spurlock, who bought a home in Steamboat with help from her parents, said it isn’t especially reasonable for teachers to buy homes on their own.

“Young teachers, straight out of college, are slammed with student loans and, quite frankly, don’t have the credit and can’t afford the affordable housing in Steamboat,” she said. “They’re trying to make it more affordable, but for service workers and teachers in Steamboat, it’s not enough, especially when you include student loans and credit card debt.”

Spurlock said she appreciates the district making the options available, however.

“I think that it’s great they are now doing more to emphasize affordable housing in the area,” she said. “But sometimes, the affordable housing isn’t very affordable, and the median income is a bit skewed.”

— To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208

or e-mail zfridell@steamboatpilot.com

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Slow (not reverse or declining) Market in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Veteran Realtor views market in contrast to crises of the ’70s, ’80s
By Tom Ross (Contact)
Sunday, September 28, 2008

Routt County Sales Volume
Steve Downs tells the story of a colleague at Steamboat Village Brokers who was showing resort condominiums to a cash buyer last week.

The client was looking for a condominium at the ski mountain and was prepared to follow through with a fairly quick closing.

“He wrote five offers, all at between 10 to 15 percent of the list price,” Downs said. “How many of the offers do you think were accepted? No sellers took those contracts! It was amazing!”

Downs, who was named the Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors Realtor of the year this month, tells the story to make a point about the condition of the market, which he describes as “soft” but still exhibiting an underlying strength.

“It’s unique and weird and scary that we’re in a holding pattern,” Downs said. “There’s a lot of money on the sidelines. There are still buyers out there who want to come here.”

However, that the reasonable offers of last week’s cash buyer didn’t result in a contract, at a time when the market is languishing, is telling, Downs said. He interprets the anecdotal evidence as a sign that Steamboat’s market isn’t rife with the speculation that is undermining other real estate markets across the country.

He said he interprets the spurned offers as a sign that the sellers may be looking to upgrade or that they have found they don’t use their vacation home as much as they once did, but their intent to sell isn’t born of financial duress.

“Still part of the basic underlying health of the Steamboat Springs market is the family orientation of this resort,” Downs said.

“People haven’t bought here just to make money. It’s a multi-generational decision to acquire a place for family gatherings. It’s one of the oldest underpinnings of our market.”

Although there have been small price reductions in Steamboat, the overall market hasn’t retreated in part because this is a maturing market that has moved beyond pervasive speculation.

“We have a slow market; we don’t have a reverse or declining market,” Downs said. “That’s because a lot of vacation owners did not buy on speculation, so they are not on the edge and under financial duress.”

Ups and downs

Colleen de Jong, of Prudential Steamboat Realty, said the market segments that seem to be hurting this month are undeveloped land and condominiums.

“The more motivated sellers are the ones who will make deals,” de Jong said. “I have a handful of buyers who have been waiting for the market to drop so they can jump in.”

De Jong said she has prospective buyers from Boulder, Houston and Denver who are looking for condos in the $400,000 to $700,000 range but are not in a hurry to take action.

Downs, who first put his real estate shingle out in Steamboat in June 1975, has seen other markets that were more worrisome and then watched them recover.

In the early to mid-1970s, he said, Steamboat’s market was hot and over-built, largely because of speculation based on the awarding of the 1976 Winter Olympics to Colorado.

Steamboat would have hosted the Nordic events in ’76, but Colorado’s voters rejected the Olympic bid, and Steamboat’s real estate bubble burst.

Another real estate crisis surfaced in the early 1980s, when loose lending practices by the nation’s “savings and loan” institutions and lax government oversight resulted in a financial crisis. The creation of the Resolution Trust Corp. was created by the federal government to take over failed savings and loans, including one in St. Louis that had loaned money to the struggling developer of the Timber Run condominiums in Steamboat — a project that is stable today.

“It’s an interesting parallel to today,” Downs said. “In the 1980s, prices here went down.

“I listed one-third or 30 of (Timber Run Units). I sold them out in the $80,000 to $90,000 price range. Once that inventory cleared, the market started seeking its own level.”

Since that era, Downs observed, real estate prices here have risen steadily.

“We haven’t lived through a flat market in 22 or 23 years,” he said.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Iron Horse Inn - Redevlop or keep "as is" - Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Redevelopment weighed
Special committee discusses the future of the Iron Horse Inn
By Tom Ross (Contact)- Reporter Steamboat Pilot & TODAY
Saturday, September 27, 2008

Steamboat Springs — The city has formed a committee of citizens, staff and City Council members to weigh the value of someday redeveloping the Iron Horse employee housing property.

The intent of redevelopment would be to maximize the available number of units.

The city purchased the Iron Horse Inn in late 2007 for $4.05 million, with the intent of managing the existing 52 units to provide employee housing.

Interim City Manager Wendy DuBord said in August that the site has the potential to offer as many as 100 units with more vertical development.

There remains the possibility that the city would not redevelop but would continue offering the existing housing on site through its contract with a property management company.

The city’s community housing coordinator, Nancy Engel­ken, said members of the committee would study tentative proposals already submitted by private sector design/development teams. The plan is to make a recommendation to Steamboat Springs City Council by Oct. 21 about whether to take the next step in the process.

The committee will look at the track record of as many as nine groups that responded in August. Its community members include Rotarian and retired business executive Mike Forney as well as Wade Gebhardt of Wells Fargo Bank. City Council members Loui Antonucci and Meg Bentley will serve on the committee, as will Engelken, Planning Director Tom Leeson and Finance Director Lisa Rolan.

Ex-officio members of the committee will include Facilities Manager Bob Ro­­bichaud, Purcha­sing/Contracts and Risk Manager Anne Small and DuBord.

For the near term, the city has contracted with Resort Group/Mountain Resorts LLC to manage the property. That step is expected to reduce the city’s annual deficit on the Iron Horse Inn to less than $50,000.

The city will have access to 15 to 25 units for its employees at a rate of $30 a night. Mountain Resorts would rent out efficiency units to area employees on a long-term basis for $40 a night.

In preparation for turning the project over to Mountain Resorts for the winter, the city is remodeling nine of the existing units, primarily to modernize the kitchens and bathroom vanities.

Robichaud said those nine units had metal cabinets and cooktops that dated to the 1960s. The budget for repairs, including new heating/air conditioning units, patching walls and painting, is about $9,000 per unit for a total of $81,000.

“City Council specifically directed staff to minimize any renovation expenses,” Robichaud said.

Redevelopment of the Iron Horse, if it takes place, probably would not happen for a couple of years, he added.

If City Council decides to take another step toward redeveloping the property, Engelken said, she’s hopeful the committee would produce a short list of perhaps four development entities that would be asked to provide more detailed proposals.

She expects the committee to focus on companies that can demonstrate a track record in redeveloping affordable housing that targets households that earn 80 percent of the area media income, or AMI.

The AMI varies with the size of a household but currently is $51,475 for a household of three.

Engelken would like to have the request for proposals mailed to the short list no later than the third week in November.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Ski Time Square (Steamboat Springs, Cololrado) - Road Issues

Ski Time Square plan flexible
Proposed looped road stirring debate; alternatives raised
By Tom Ross (Contact) -Reporter Steamboat Pilot & TODAY
Thursday, September 25, 2008
If you go
What: Steamboat Springs Planning Commission meeting

When: 6 p.m. today

Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

On the agenda:

■ Permit for the Steamboat Ski Area’s temporary music tent in The Knoll parking lot

■ Consideration of a final development permit for InSpiritu Verde, a proposed live/work development at the corner of Oak and Fourth streets.

Steamboat Springs — The fate of a proposed looped road replacing Ski Time Square Drive will be on the table tonight during a meeting of the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission.

Planning Services Manager John Eastman is seeking direction from the commission about revisiting plans for the road, described in the November 2005 Mountain Town Sub-Area Plan Update. The looped road originally was envisioned to foster a pedestrian-friendly ski base.

Ski Time Square Drive dead-ends near the Christie chairlift at the Steamboat Ski Area. The aging commercial strip along the north side of the road is being torn down as Atira Group, acting for Cafritz Interests, pursues redevelopment.

The road is becoming a sticking point as redevelopment plans progress.

The sub-area plan went through a series of public hearings before adoption three years ago. It recommends converting the dead-end road into a loop in order to transform the commercial frontage into a pedestrian environment. But the plan also opens the door to two other alternatives, which would not involve the expense of converting to a looped road.

“The plan clearly provides the flexibility to allow redevelopment with or without the loop road, provided that the overall goal of a revitalized and pedestrian-friendly base area is achieved,” Eastman wrote in a memo to Planning Commission.

Before the looped road could be built, access would have to be granted to a landscaped area controlled by the homeowners association of the Ski Time Square Condominiums. Additionally, a 99-year lease that grants condo owners parking in the existing underground garage would have to be terminated.

Atira Group Vice President of Development Mark Mathews told the Urban Redevelopment Area Advisory Committee in June that negotiations with the association had not been fruitful.

However, Joe Somers, president of the association, wrote a letter to Steamboat Springs City Council stating that his group would agree to provide the necessary access for the looped road as long is it receives “security” to ensure its parking spaces will be restored in the future.

“We want to be clear that we do not think STS Condos is the insurmountable hurdle to making the preferred plan a reality,” Somers wrote.

Mathews and other members of the mountain resort community say the results of a retail study of the ski area base suggest a pedestrian commercial environment along Ski Time Square Drive might not work anyway, because the area would lack sufficient parking and a ski lift on the upper end to attract shoppers.

Chris Diamond, president and chief operating officer of Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp., wrote a letter to city officials in favor of abandoning the plan for a looped road.

“We support maintaining Ski Time Square Drive in its same general location,” Diamond wrote. “This configuration is also supported by the proposed St. Cloud development, further supported by the recent retail study and vetted amongst many base-area properties. We feel it is time to move away from the 2005 upper loop road concept.”

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Creek View Townhomes - Hayden, Colorado

Creek View coming on line
Brothers developing project have moved into townhome
By Blythe Terrell (Contact)
Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Steamboat Springs — The brothers who are developing the Creek View Townhomes and Plaza in Hayden fully endorse their project — by living there.

Stef and Louis Nijsten already have set up housekeeping in their new townhome. Their project includes Creek View Grill, eight condos, seven retail units and six townhomes. Two more sets of five townhomes each are under construction.

The units are in western Hayden, across U.S. Highway 40 from the Hayden Mercantile.

“It’s starting to come alive,” Stef Nijsten said. “I’m pretty pleased with how that worked. It’s a nice place to live.”

The three-bedroom town­­homes cost about $310,000. About four of the first six units have been spoken for, Nijsten said. Two couples are set to move in soon, he said. The brothers, who are developing Creek View with Bob Zibell, plan to rent out some of the townhomes and condos.

“I think it’s just like anybody else that’s developing property in this market,” Stef Nijsten said. “It’s changed a lot from everything sells to things not moving very fast. … If it’s not on the buyers’ market, it’s on the rental market, and we’re going to adapt.”

He said they plan to sell two-thirds of the units and rent the other third. The brothers might own some units and open up others to investors. The Nijstens would manage the properties for those investors.

The properties will rent for about $600 a bedroom, Stef Nijsten said.

“Another advantage of it is people who are not able to buy will still have an opportunity to get in,” he said.

And that way, the units won’t go to waste, he said.

“What’s the point of having these beautiful units sitting empty when we know there’s people that need them?” Nijsten asked.

Annette Hall, who is listing the units with Louis Nijsten through Mount Werner Realty, said interest in the project had lagged but was picking up.

“They turned out nicer than I thought they would be,” Hall said.

The units come with appliances, including a washer and dryer, and hookups for surround-sound systems. The townhomes include tiled kitchen areas and fireplaces. Pets are allowed in the units, Hall said.

Three of the seven retail units are available, she said. The others will house a lender, an appliance and home furnishings store, a Mount Werner Realty office and a home electronics store. A motel also is planned for a separate lot on the 3.21-acre parcel.

“Everything is starting to look real nice, and we still have a few units available in that retail space,” Stef Nijsten said. “If anyone thinks the town of Hayden needs a business that’s not here yet, they should look us up.”

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Lake Village in Hayden - Road Repaired

Holes in roads fixed at Lake Village
Oregon contractor smoothes pavement at Hayden subdivision
By Blythe Terrell (Contact)
Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Steamboat Springs — Crumpled pavement has been repaired at the Lake Village subdivision in Hayden.

The five houses in the neighborhood still are unoccupied, but holes around manholes no longer make the roads risky. Robinson Construction out of Oregon handled the work, project executive Kirk Moisan said.

“We went and completed all the repairs,” Moisan said. “We did what we said we’d do. We’re still negotiating, still trying to get paid, still trying to move forward.”

Robinson Construction, which is not affiliated with RN Robinson & Son of Hayden, filed liens last year against the subdivision’s developer, Mountain Adventure Property Investments LLC. Robinson Construction says it has not been paid for work it did as the project contractor.

The company has not worked on the site since making repairs, Moisan said.

Lake Village is the first filing of a larger development, the Villages at Hayden. Nearly 100 homes were planned for the 40-acre subdivision, which sits south of town off Routt County Road 53.

Another Oregon company, Robinson and Sons, is a member of the partnership building Lake Village. Mountain Adventure Property Investments also consists of local company Grassy Creek Holding; local company 4-S Development; and Oasis Development, an Oklahoma subsidiary of FSB Bancorp.

Grassy Creek and 4-S are locally owned and control 61 percent of the company’s stock. Mountain Adventure and 4-S have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The partners have been negotiating for months, trying to resolve the lien and bankruptcy issues. Those talks are ongoing, said Ron Sills, who owns 4-S.

“I can’t give anything out,” Sills said, referring to information about the conversation.

Last month, the Hayden Town Board voted to move toward calling the letter of credit and the bond for the project. That would allow the town to use funds — at the expense of developers, not taxpayers — to complete infrastructure work on Lake Village.

The letter of credit is worth nearly $502,000, and the bonds are worth more than $1.3 million.

Vectra Bank issued the letter of credit, and Safeco Insurance is the bonding company.

Town Manager Russ Martin has indicated that Hayden is pushing forward on calling the letter and bonds. Neither he nor the town’s lawyer returned calls seeking comment Tuesday.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Monday, September 22, 2008

Steamboat Ski Area - Ranks 8th Out of 25 Resorts

Steamboat ranked No. 8
Copper Mountain, Winter Park in SKI magazine’s top 25
By Brandon Gee (Contact)
Monday, September 22, 2008

SKI magazine rankings
1. Deer Valley

2. Vail

3. Whistler-Blackcomb

4. Snowmass

5. Park City

6. Beaver Creek

7. Aspen Mountain

8. Steamboat

9. Breckenridge

10. Telluride

11. Sun Valley

12. Mammoth

13. The Canyons

14. Jackson Hole

15. Squaw Valley

16. Keystone

17. Heavenly

18. Aspen Highlands

19. Copper

20. Crested Butte

21. Winter Park

22. Solitude

23. Northstar

24. Big Sky

25. Snowbird

Steamboat Springs — The Steamboat Ski Area is caught in a Catch-22 with SKI readers, whose opinions rated the resort No. 8 in the magazine’s annual rankings.

Readers expressed frustration with the resort’s “aging base area” and the pervasive construction under way to address that problem.

“If it were a day resort or a throwback mountain, Steamboat’s aging base area — which one reader describes as being ‘stuck in a 1970s time warp’ — might be tolerated,” SKI’s October issue reads, citing feedback from its annual Reader Resort Survey. “But the resort’s relative isolation in northern Colorado, while keeping it crowd-free, makes it dependent on destination travelers, who want more than great snow and small-town character.

“Still, some readers complain that ‘construction everywhere makes for vacation chaos,’ and that during renovations ‘the base village doesn’t have much to offer,’” the magazine continues later. “A stop-gap remedy is ‘great bus service’ that whisks guests away from the men in hardhats to Steamboat’s ‘quaint, positive and homey downtown,’ where visitors are ‘always made to feel a part of the community,’ says one reader.”

Steamboat’s No. 8 ranking is a slight improvement compared with the previous two years, when it ranked ninth. This is the third year in a row Steamboat has garnered a top-10 ranking. It was ranked 11th by SKI readers in 2005. Steamboat was sandwiched between Aspen Mountain in seventh and Breckenridge in ninth. Longstanding programs such as “Kids Ski Free” and “Kids Fly Free” made Steamboat SKI’s No. 1 family resort in the West.

With the demolition of Ski Time Square and Thunderhead Lodge, Steamboat doesn’t look to gain any ground in the upcoming ski season with those annoyed either by the lack of nightlife or the high level of construction.

“It will definitely be different this season,” ski area spokesman Mike Lane said, “but with the Tugboat staying open another year, along with Slopeside Grill, Saketumi and Café Diva, guests will still find a variety of nightlife options in the area. Down the road, planned redevelopment will provide new nightlife, dining and retail options that will complement those already in place.”

Lane said he doesn’t expect the loss of Ski Time Square to have an impact on future rankings.

“Nightlife’s always been one area we haven’t done well in,” he said. “I don’t think you’d expect a lot of movement in that area. For us, access is a bigger (concern).”

The resort will look to gain ground there. Lane said this year’s nonstop flight program will be Steamboat’s largest ever, with the recently announced addition of Frontier Airlines flights from Denver.

The resort will continue to rely on downtown to shore up base-area nightlife deficiencies. The opening of the Ghost Ranch Saloon at Seventh and Yampa streets could play a major role if it opens on schedule this winter. Co-owner Amy Garris told the Steamboat Pilot & Today last week that she plans to have live music seven nights a week during the winter and summer tourism seasons.

Those who purchase Int­rawest’s Rocky Mountain Ult­imate Pass will have unlimited access to three of SKI’s top 25 resorts, as SKI ranked Copper Mountain at No. 19 and Winter Park at No. 21. The pass became available last year with Intrawest’s purchase of the Steamboat Ski Area.

SKI typically polls about 6,000 readers each year to get their perceptions of ski areas in 18 categories. They include overall satisfaction, access, après ski, dining, family programs, grooming, lifts, lodging, off-hill activities, on-mountain food, scenery, service, snow terrain/challenge, terrain variety, terrain parks, value and weather.

Lane could not point to one specific area of improvement that may have explained Steamboat’s move from No. 9 to No. 8, but he did cite the multimillion-dollar capital improvements that have accompanied Intrawest’s purchase of Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. from American Skiing Co. in 2007.

“I think it’s kind of the overall appeal of Steamboat that people keep discovering and enjoying, and the overall level of service they receive throughout the community,” Lane said.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Friday, September 19, 2008

Downtown Steamboat Springs - Storm Drainage & Sewer Improvements

Downtown traffic snarls ahead
River Walk reaches cost-sharing agreement with Steamboat
By Brandon Gee (Contact)
Friday, September 19, 2008

Beginning Sept. 22, the Yampa River Core Trail will be closed from the Steamboat Springs Community Center to Shield Drive for about two weeks while the city installs a new sanitary sewer interceptor. Detour routes will be provided along U.S. Highway 40.

Steamboat Springs — An assortment of construction projects soon will have major impacts on downtown traffic and the Yampa River Core Trail.

A closure of Yampa Street between Fifth and Sixth streets that began Thursday will continue today and Monday be­­cause of a paving project. Also on Monday, Fifth Street between Lincoln Avenue and Yampa Street will be reduced to one lane of alternating traffic, also because of paving.

Greg Gunn, construction service foreman for the city of Steamboat Springs, said restricting traffic on Fifth Street is a particular headache because of the Fifth Street Bridge, which does not perfectly align with the road, and because the road is the only downtown access to Howelsen Hill. Gunn and Public Works Director Philo Shelton are encouraging motorists to consider using River Road to access Howelsen Hill on Monday.

“It’s the toughest street in Steamboat to work with because it is an artery to Howelsen Hill,” Gunn said. “You can’t feasibly maintain two ways of travel because then you get to the bridge and there’s a shift. … They can still get flagged through, but expect delays.”

An even larger project on Lincoln Avenue also will begin soon and include storm drainage and sewer improvements.

“It’s planned to be done in mid-November,” Shelton said, “and there will be a lot of traffic impacts.”

Traffic already is impacted at Third Street and Lincoln. City officials and developers of the River Walk development, near that intersection, have reached a cost-sharing agreement approved by the Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday. The $4.4 million infrastructure project, of which the city is contributing $1.6 million, will replace an aging sewer interceptor and storm drainage near Third Street and Lincoln Avenue. Gunn said that while the city will maintain two lanes of traffic in each direction on Lincoln Avenue, the turning lane at the intersection will be eliminated. Also, Shelton said the presence of construction alone will cause “rubber-necking” and inevitably slow down traffic.

The storm drainage im­­provements are the most significant part of the project, Shelton said, and will remap the Spring Creek flood plain. A 9-foot-by-5-foot concrete storm culvert will be installed underneath Lincoln Avenue and Third Street, replacing an older and smaller culvert. With the current culvert, Shelton said, Lincoln Avenue and several surrounding properties are vulnerable to a 100-year flood of Spring Creek.

“When this gets remapped, it will keep the flood plain in the creek,” Shelton said. “Right now, it’s limited by the box culvert. It’s not large enough. … (The improvement) protects our road. Also, all affected properties get removed from the flood plain.”

River Walk has not yet been granted a final development plan by the city, but has been approved for infrastructure work such as the sewer and storm drainage improvements. City planner Jonathan Spence said he expects de­­velopers to submit a final development plan this fall. Acting City Manager Wendy DuBord said the timing of the project is influenced by the Colorado Department of Transportation’s planned 2009 overhaul of Lincoln Avenue through downtown.

“They wouldn’t be doing this now … if we weren’t trying to get out of CDOT’s way,” DuBord said.

“This is a big investment up front for the developer,” Shelton added.

Looking For a Good Investment?

Looking for a real estate investment but aren't sure where to start? Now is the time to be a real estate investor in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We are Ski Town USA and have produced more Olympians than any other ski program in the country. Our lifestyle and natural beauty make this a perfect home for telecommuters looking for a healthier more relaxed place to live. Jet service is available just 30 minute from Steamboat Springs or land your private plane a few minutes west of downtown Steamboat Springs at Bob Adams airport. Steamboat is thriving with five new projects going up in the downtown corridor; several very large scale developments surrounding the ski mountain; and many more in the planning stages. With the decline in the economy, now is the time for the savvy investor to place Steamboat Springs in your real property portfolio. Buyers have more choices than ever before and a power position in negotiating the sales contract. Prices will not be on the decline forever. If you have followed the progress of Steamboat Springs as a world renowned Ski Area you already know what I am referring to in terms of its beauty and grandeur. Couple this with a million tourists a year and the culture and diversity of the clientele, plus the roots of home grown friendliness that comes from our western heritage and you have the most beautiful place on earth. Now is the time to get off the fence when it comes to real estate investment in Steamboat. I get asked if it has hit the bottom yet. If I knew that I would be on the president’s council, but what I do know is that in Real Estate it is not when you get in the market but how long you stay. Mark Twain penned it best by stating to buy land because they aren’t making anymore. There are many properties now priced below appraisal. Mortgage rates are low and attainable. If you are looking for an investment, let me show you your opportunity to live, work, vacation, and/or invest in Steamboat Springs, Colorado - Ski Town USA. Call me, Michelle Diehl, GRI at 970.846.1086 for Buyer's Representation and professional real estate guidance here in the beautiful Yampa Valley or go to http://www.SteamboatDream.com to learn more about Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Are you ready to increase your wealth through real estate? Call me…

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Steamboat Springs Housing Market Study - City Council Meeting

Housing market study reveals unmet needs
By Brandon Gee (Contact)
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Housing demand by the numbers

Singles Couples Empty nesters Families

One bedroom

4% 1% 0% 0%

Two bedrooms

38% 19% 25% 10%

Three bedrooms

48% 55% 61% 38%

Four or more bedrooms

10% 26% 14% 53%

Source: Yampa Valley Workforce Housing Demand Analysis,

September 2008
Steamboat Springs may need to change its strategies for providing affordable housing, a recently released housing demand analysis reveals.

The analysis, which will be presented at a joint meeting of the Steamboat Springs City Council and Routt County Board of Commissioners tonight, shows the Yampa Valley’s largest demand is for affordable rental housing and affordable purchase opportunities that are larger than what exists in the current housing stock.

Even among singles surveyed in the region, 86 percent expressed a preference for two- or three-bedroom homes, with only 4 percent preferring a one-bedroom unit.

“The disconnect with the current deed-restricted program is that the majority of … workers … will not accept a small, attached, deed-restricted unit,” states the study, performed by Robert Charles Lesser & Company. “The overwhelming preference is for a minimum of two bedrooms. … Buyers are more likely to invest … time, energy and money in the deed-restricted process for a larger unit as it alleviates fears of becoming ‘trapped,’ particularly as their space/family needs evolve over time.”

The $150,000 study was commissioned by the Yampa Valley Housing Authority and paid for by the city, the county, Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, major developers, and major public and private employers such as the Steamboat Springs School District, Yampa Valley Medical Center, Sheraton Steamboat Resort and Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. The full study and its executive summary are available at www.yvha.org.

“People really do want to grow a family here,” said Noreen Moore, business resource director for the Routt County Economic Development Cooperative and a member of the study’s working group. “The study really validated where we are at risk. We need to make some adjustments.”

Moore said the study reveals why developers are having trouble selling the smaller units in their affordable housing stock. City Council President Loui Antonucci said that although the city’s current affordable housing policies don’t encourage smaller units, “I don’t think it’s encouraging anything. That’s the problem. We’re shooting in the dark. In order to ensure success of the whole program, we need to find out what people need and build accordingly.”

Councilwoman Cari Herm­acinski said the city will begin pushing developers to do just that.

“I think that when people come in with their community housing plan, it should reflect the market demand analysis,” she said.

Moore and Housing Au­­thority Executive Director Donna Howell cited the analysis’s findings related to seasonal employees as particularly enlightening. According to the study, full-time employment in Routt County has grown at an annual rate of 4 percent since 2004, while seasonal employment has remained flat, meaning there is a proportionally greater need for ownership and year-round rental opportunities than in years past.

Nancy Engelken, community housing coordinator for the city of Steamboat Springs, said the city will use the analysis to better employ its affordable housing policies and possibly revise them. But implementing all of the study’s recommendations could prove challenging. For example, Engelken said land cost and scarcity in and around Steamboat make it challenging to implement a recommendation to build more small-lot and single-family homes.

“When there isn’t a lot of land to build within the existing urban growth boundary, it makes it very challenging,” Engelken said.

The urban growth boundary, or UGB, also will be a topic of discussion tonight when council members and commissioners consider an application by the developers of the proposed 360 Village project to extend the UGB by 240 acres.

The UGB is a provision of the Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan that delineates land appropriate and not appropriate for urban development. It is a precursor to annexation. The 350-acre west of Steamboat development proposal includes 240 acres outside the UGB. UGB amendments must receive joint approval from the city and county, which three other proposals this year have failed to do.

Also today, the council will consider the first reading of a “social host” ordinance that would institute penalties for parents and other adults who allow teens to drink in their homes. As originally proposed, the ordinance being presented by Grand Futures Prevention Coalition included mandatory jail sentences. That provision has been removed because of the financial impact it would have on the city’s municipal court system. That impact would include increased involvement of legal counsel, a sure increase in the number of jury trials, and the need to provide legal representation for indigent defendants.

— To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Short Sales - Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Short sales offer one strategy for owners under duress
By Tom Ross (Contact)
Sunday, September 14, 2008

A pair of homes in Red Hawk Village at Stagecoach have been listed for “short sale.” The process involves the mortgage lender agreeing to allow a sale to take place and settling for less than the value of the loan. (Courtsey photo)
Steamboat Springs — The filing of foreclosure notices in Routt County is on pace to exceed the seven-year average by 44 percent, but some Routt County property owners are working with their lenders to extricate themselves from mortgages that have become untenable well before there is a need to entertain foreclosure.

Routt County Public Trustee Jeanne Whiddon said that through the end of June, her office had processed 36 foreclosure filings compared to an average of 50 a year since 2001. However, that doesn’t meant that by year’s end the number of homes sold in foreclosure proceedings will come near that number. Homeowners have from 110 to 125 days to resolve their situation with their lenders.

“I’ve had only one go to sale this year,” Whiddon said. The Bank of New York held the loan on the property in Hayden.

Of the 36 instances when lenders formally filed notice of their intent to foreclose this year, 13 already have been withdrawn, Whiddon added.

“In some cases, that could mean the lender and the borrower reached an understanding or a payment plan,” she said.

Of the seven foreclosure sales Whiddon’s office had scheduled as pending in September and early October, six are off the calendar because the lender filed notification of its intent to cure the defaulted loans, Whiddon said. The seventh could be headed for a court proceeding, she said.

South of Steamboat Springs in unincorporated Stagecoach, where real estate transactions have been slower than average for Routt County this summer, there are two new homes for sale at prices reduced under a little-known procedure called a “short sale.” They are not in foreclosure proceedings.

Instead, the Federal Housing Administration reports, a short sale takes place when the property owner’s lender is willing to accept a discounted payoff — an amount lower than the value of the loan — to release an existing mortgage.

That arrangement can come about when a borrower goes to the lender and lets them know they are having trouble making the payments. Lenders may agree to a short sale to avoid going through the expense of foreclosure.

Realtor Cindy MacGray, of Prudential Steamboat Realty, has listed a pair of single-family homes built in 2007 in the Red Hawk Village neighborhood of Stagecoach for less than $400,000.

The homes on Sagebrush Circle include two-car garages, granite countertops, alder cabinetry and wood floors. And they have never been lived in.

One, comprising 1,874 square feet, is priced at $398,000, and another, offering 1,643 square feet, is priced at $345,000.

In March and April of 2007, some Red Hawk Village homes sold for $555,000. Another group of sales came in at $430,000 and $488,000 in July and August.

MacGray said she and the sellers studied the current market to arrive at a new asking price they think is fair and will motivate buyers. However, even if the sellers receive an offer they agree to, the lender still must approve the deal.

Should the sale go through, the seller walks away without any money and the possibility that he or she may be liable for income tax on the difference between the loan value and the lower short-sale price.

Sellers and buyers should consult with attorneys and accountants before entering into a short-sale transaction, Mac­­Gray said.

And buyers should anticipate that it can take weeks longer to close on a short sale as compared to a standard real estate transaction.

“The seller submits the offer to the lender,” MacGray explained. “It could take the lender one to five weeks to approve it.”

However, she said, she hopes the short-sale homes in Stagecoach present an opportunity for Routt County buyers hoping to make the move from a townhome to a single-family home, for example. Or, perhaps a second-home buyer looking for a boating, fishing and snowmobiling lifestyle near Stagecoach State Park and Lynx Pass.

Through July 31, Stagecoach had seen 27 transactions this year, for an aggregate of $11.62 million and an average price of $430,593.

MacGray recently worked with a Stagecoach seller who traded up from a townhome to a single-family home in Stagecoach, fewer than five years after purchasing the townhome.

Red Hawk Developer Ren Martyn would like to see Routt County families move into the homes.

Martyn said 19 of the homes at Red Hawk (the subdivision comprises 29 lots, not all of them developed), were sold during the height of Steamboat’s record year in 2007.

“We had a group of buyers, mainly from the Front Range, who were represented by a real estate consultant. They contacted us pre-construction and contracted all of our homes with the exception of eight (originally) deed restricted and two sold to local buyers through local Realtors,” Martyn said.

“I believe most (of the buyers) were highly invested in real estate” in the mountain markets and elsewhere, Martyn said. “The financing got very difficult, and they were not able to withstand the real estate recession. It’s unfortunate for our subdivision, and it’s unfortunate for them.”

Martyn said he hopes the short sales can offer the beginning of a turnaround at Red Hawk Village.

“If the short sales proceed, it’s a good thing. It starts the turnaround, and, hopefully, we get families in our subdivision. That’s what we intended from the beginning.”

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Steamboat Springs Local Realtor Michelle Diehl, Joins Prudential Steamboat Realty

Hello Friends,
I am excited to let you know I have joined Prudential Steamboat Realty.
My former company was acquired by Coldwell Bankers Silver Oak in August. I was offered a wonderful opportunity, but after due diligence, I chose to affiliate with Prudential Steamboat Realty (PSR). Their status as the top producing Real Estate Brokerage in Routt County since 2002 with over 25% of all market share in sold listings and dollar volume made PSR my best choice to serve you, my valued clients, when buying or selling in the Yampa Valley.

I am still the same hard working and caring broker you are used to, but now we have superior resources for marketing, networking, and success. I appreciate your business, inquires, friendships, and referrals!

Large purchases in 2007: Total real estate sales in Steamboat were record breaking in 2007 at $1.5+ billion which was 42% greater than sales in 2006. Resort operator Intrawest ULC (a Fortress Investment Group LLC company) bought American Ski Company's Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation for $265 million; Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. bought the Sheraton Steamboat Resort (Golf Course & Hotel) for $57 million; Cafritz Interests, LLC development group (engaged with the Atira Group) bought Ski Time Square's commercial property and Thunderhead Lodge Condominiums for $53.9 million; The Atira Group in a new partnership
with institutional equity partners, bought former Bear Claw III parcel (now the site of the new slope side development called Edgemont) for $25 million (late 2006); and finally, Steamboat 700 LLC bought Mary Brown's 700 acres west of town (estimated 2,000 homes to be built) for $24.6 million. All the purchasers have major plans and are in the process of demolition & rebuilding, new construction, and/or modernizing facilities.

I believe the closed transactions in 2007 are an indication of Steamboat's future growth and opportunity even given the economic trends and state of the real estate market as a whole. If you are looking for an investment shouldn't Steamboat be in your portfolio? Our prices are still below Vail, Aspen, and Telluride, but for how much longer? A Buyer's Market (over 6 month supply of inventory in a given price range) is a great time to negotiate a deal. With the government taking over Freddie & Fannie, the interest rates have dropped substantially. Now is a great time to take advantage of good rates and good prices. Steamboat will continue to grow and thrive. Call or e-mail me for available opportunities...I hope you all will enjoy receiving Steamboat Real Estate Updates (SREU from Michelle) in the future…

Michelle Diehl, GRI
Broker Associate
Prudential Steamboat Realty
Cell: 970.846.1086
Office: 879.8100
Web: www.SteamboatDream.com

610 Market Place Plaza, Suite 100 Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Frontier Lands in Hayden - Benefit to Steamboat Springs Tourists

Frontier lands in Hayden
Lower-cost airline plans 3 daily YVRA flights for ski season
Friday, September 12, 2008
Steamboat Springs/Hayden to Denve

Flight Number Departs Arrives Frequency

3388 9:55 a.m. 10:58 a.m. Daily

3380 1:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. Sunday to Friday

3380 1:55 p.m. 2:55 p.m. Saturday

3386 4:45 p.m. 5:48 p.m. Daily

Denver to Steamboat Springs/Hayden

Flight Number Departs Arrives Frequency

3389 8:25 a.m. 9:20 a.m. Daily

3381 Noon 12:55 p.m. Sunday to Friday

3381 12:25 p.m. 1:20 p.m. Saturday

3387 3:15 p.m. 4:10 p.m. Daily
Frontier Airlines has added ski season flights from Denver to Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden, the airline announced Thursday.

The service will run Dec. 18 to April 22 on Bombardier Q400 aircraft operated by Lynx Aviation, a Frontier Holdings subsidiary, according to a news release from the airline.

“It is great news,” said Andy Wirth, chief marketing officer for Intrawest, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.’s parent company. “It just adds yet another option for skiers and snowboarders across the country to get to Steamboat.”

Frontier will operate three flights a day to and from Denver International Airport, the news release stated. The turboprop Q400s contain 74 seats, four of which will be removed to add space for luggage and ski gear.

“A lot of the time, people are used to flying out and having their ski equipment arrive the next day,” Frontier spokeswoman Lindsey Purves said.

Frontier will not have a contractual relationship with Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. Other airlines have deals with the resort and the city, which collects a lodging tax to help support air service.

“Frontier choosing Steam­boat on a standalone basis is terrific because it speaks to our desirability as a destination,” Wirth said.

Steamboat Ski Area officials have been talking with the airline for two years, Wirth said. Frontier, which is going through Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, announced a set of new destinations in February. The Steamboat Springs area was not on the list, which included Aspen, Grand Junction, Durango and Colorado Springs.

“We always go through a process of evaluating and re-evaluating our routes and what makes good sense for Frontier at the moment,” Purves said. “After a re-evaluation, we looked at (YVRA). … We needed to announce it as soon as possible because we are launching it on the 18th. We needed to give people adequate time to book.”

Wirth said the presence of Frontier, a lower-cost airline, probably would put pricing pressure on other carriers. American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines and United Airlines offer nonstop flights to YVRA during ski season.

That variety is positive, Wirth said.

“It’s not only our diverse markets but our diversity in air carriers,” he said, “so if one is having some challenges in different ways, we don’t have to rely on them — we can fall back to another carrier.”

— To reach Blythe Terrell, call 871-4234

or e-mail bterrell@steamboatpilot.com

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Buyer's Market - Steamboat Springs, Colorado - Real Estate Trends

September inventory reverses 2007 trend
By Tom Ross (Contact)
Sunday, September 7, 2008

Steamboat Springs — Ten months ago, Steamboat’s inventory of properties for sale was at a five-year low. Things have changed.

When all categories of real estate are taken into account, the 2,100 properties on the multiple listing service represent a two-year supply, said Doug Labor of Buyer’s Resource Real Estate.

“The five-year average is 1,338,” Labor said. “We’re up 159 percent.”

Labor was careful to say that his two-year-supply calculation is based on the assumption that transaction volume in the second half of 2008 will roughly match the 462 sales through the end of June, effectively doubling the number to 920 sales at year end.

The category that stands out most to Labor doesn’t reflect the biggest 10-month percentage jump in inventory.

Noting that condominiums typically represent second homes more than other categories — single-family and townhomes — Labor observed that the number of listings has increased from 135 on Nov. 1, 2007, to 320 at the beginning of September 2008.

“That’s huge,” Labor said, with the caveat that almost two months remain in the selling season, offering a chance that the inventory will be further reduced.

Comparing this year’s inventory to that of 2007 could be misleading, Labor said. The record $1.59 billion in dollar volume last year naturally resulted in inventory shrinking by the end of the calendar year.

“We still don’t have many slopeside condominiums. It’s not a two-year supply in that category,” Labor said.

Notably, the number of condominiums in the sub-$250,000 range has jumped by 433 percent, from nine to 39, with deed-restricted units such as those at First Tracks in Wildhorse Meadows coming on line.

It’s hard to discern rhyme and reason in inventory trends among the various categories of real estate and the price ranges within them. The inventory of single-family homes priced between $500,000 and $1 million is up 192 percent while the number is up 80 percent for homes priced between $1 million and $1.5 million.

Townhomes priced between $1.5 million and $2 million are up just 6 percent, to 18, and townhomes priced between $2 million and $3 million are up 383 percent, from six units to 29.

The crowded market for single-family homes priced less than $1 million could be indicative of the national lending crisis hitting close to home. Those are typically primary residences, Labor said, and it’s possible the number of homeowners listing homes in that range is indicative of five-year adjustable rate mortgages maturing.

Whether people view Steam­boat’s increased inventory of properties as a positive or negative development depends on whether they are buyers or sellers, Labor said.

“For buyers, it’s great,” he said. “Things are finally starting to loosen up. They don’t have to make an offer the first day they identify a property they want. Sellers will either have to have patience or reduce the price to where it’s going to sell quickly.”

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Edgemont - Slopeside Development in Steamboat Springs, Colorado - Breaks Ground

Luxury slopeside project has broken ground
By Tom Ross (Contact)
Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ground has broken on the luxury condominiums at Edgemont, and Atira Group executives say construction will enter the vertical phase this fall and continue into the winter.

“The concrete structure will rise up three or four levels this fall, and the roof is scheduled to go on in the summer of 2009,” Garrett Simon said. “Building completion and homeowner occupancy are scheduled for early 2010, but expect to see a finished building on the slopes of Steamboat in the summer of 2009.”

Simon is vice president of development for The Atira Group. His company saw 22 of 42 condominiums in the first phase of the project go under contract for more than $40 million at a May 30 sales event.

Building permits have been secured, and preliminary site work on the property, which overlooks the base of the Steamboat Ski Area from the southern edge of the slopes, is complete.

GE Johnson, of Colorado Springs, has been named general contractor for the project, and OZ Architecture of Denver will remain the project architect through the construction.

Simon said GE Johnson has mobilized construction equipment, and activity (next to the existing Bear Claw condominiums) will increase significantly over the next couple of weeks as preparations are made for pouring foundations.

As the fall slides into winter, construction cranes will help place concrete columns and slabs for the building.

GE Johnson has built other mountain resort projects in­cluding Doral Peaks at Telluride, the Aspen Highlands Base village and One Beaver Creek Place. The company also is overseeing the demolition of buildings in Ski Time Square on behalf of Atira Group.

OZ Architecture was involved in the design of nearby Trailhead Lodge in Wildhorse Meadows, as well as projects in Keystone, Winter Park, Vail, Snowmass and other Colorado resorts.

Mark Murrell, sales manager for Edgemont, said OZ has selected traditional materials to be applied in a modern way at Edgemont.

For example, Murrell said, timber columns and ceiling beams will evoke the style of the past but will contrast with clean lines in all millwork. Similarly, the rustic stone selected for the exterior of the building and fireplaces will be in contrast to contemporary stone and granite used in the kitchens.

S&P Destination Properties is the exclusive listing broker for Edgemont.

— To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205 or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Steamboat 700 - Letter from Project Project Director and Principal of Steamboat 700 LLC, Danny Mulcahy

Danny Mulcahy: 700 moving forward
Sunday, August 31, 2008

On Aug. 12, the Steamboat Springs City Council and the Routt County Commissioners considered three applications to amend the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). One of them was our application to amend the UGB so that the entire 700-acre property could be placed within the UGB and annexed as a whole.

We were pleased to receive the support of the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission and City Council. And although we were disappointed not to garner the support of the Routt County Planning Commission or the county commissioners, we respect both county bodies for their thoughtful and consistent UGB policy decisions.

After the Aug. 12 meeting, one of my neighbors mentioned that they had read about the UGB ruling in the paper. “Sorry to hear that,” my neighbor said, “Wow — so does that mean it’s over?”

The question caught me off guard, so much so that I’ve wondered how many area residents are thinking the same thing.

Simply put, the answer is “no.” Far from it.

We are excited to move forward on designing one of the premier communities in the western United States and applying for annexation to Steamboat Springs.

We will make adjustments to our plans and continue to shape the 515 acres within the UGB as a mixed-use, New Urbanist community. The 185 acres outside the UGB will be developed at rural densities.

We will continue to focus on creating a dynamic community by employing New Urbanist design principles that will bring important benefits to the community and its future residents. A more concentrated community will have smaller lots and enhance the community’s housing attainability and affordability. This will push us to be even more creative in how we plan for a diverse array of housing options.

Moreover, the extensive parks and open space plan in the new community will be highly accessible with walkable connections. We will strive to fulfill the New Urbanist ideals below the UGB, which will enhance the potential for convenient and accessible transit service.

What has not changed is Steamboat 700 LLC’s commitment to building a world-class community. We still plan to submit our application for annexation in October and move toward Planning Commission and City Council consideration of our annexation application in summer 2009.

More importantly, our guiding principles remain the same:

■ A housing plan for the full range of households and families, both rental and home-ownership.

■ A creative and robust affordable housing program where Steamboat residents and workers can establish roots in the community. Our commitment is to provide at least 20 percent of the total homes as affordable housing.

■ A vibrant mix of land uses in a traditional setting, where people can live, work, shop and play.

■ A superior system of parks, trails and bike paths that reflects Steamboat’s outdoor lifestyle.

■ Planning and design that promotes sustainable and environmentally-responsible development.

In the meantime, we continue to work collaboratively with the city as we create a community that we all can be proud of.

Steamboat 700 has been — and should continue to be — a public process that involves the community. There is much more to come, and we encourage the entire community to get engaged in this process.

Danny Mulcahy

Project director and principal of Steamboat 700 LLC

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Hayden, Colorado - 185 Acres Near Airport Close to Annexation

Commission gives first OK to annexation
Hayden panel agrees to approval for 185 acres near YVRA
By Blythe Terrell (Contact)
Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hayden — The Hayden Planning Com­mission pushed forward a proposal Thursday to annex nearly 185 acres near Yampa Valley Regional Airport.

The commission gave a conditional but unanimous recommendation for approval of the annexation being proposed by Stef and Louis Nijsten and Bob Zibell, as Grandmothers Inc. and BZ&W Inc. About 45 acres of the land, which is north of YVRA, would be reserved for airport use. Airport Manager Dave Ruppel said the county probably would consider purchasing that parcel from the developers.

Another 40 acres probably would be devoted to a gravel pit, Stef Nijsten told the commissioners.

“If we open it up to the public, we will be able to provide something that’s very hard to come by,” he said, referring to gravel. “From that point of view, for someone to be able to call us and say, ‘I need a half load of gravel to finish my yard,’ we’d be able to do that.”

Development of the Hayden Regional Commerce Park would proceed in three phases spanning at least 15 years, starting with light industrial and going to a hotel and eventually retail, Nijsten said. The project also would include realignment of Routt County Road 51A.

“The vision is wonderful,” Commissioner Donna Hellyer said. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with vision. We need a gravel pit; we need a hotel. I’m just wondering, ‘What’s the hurry? Why do we have to do it now?’ It seems like there should be more thought put into it — more professional thought.”

The Nijstens need to consult with professionals who know more about large-tract development, Town Planner Tim Katers said. That is a process the developers confirmed they intend to undertake.

Stef Nijsten said the developers had aimed for a plan that matched the long-term visions of the town and of YVRA. Airport Manager Dave Ruppel told the commission that the proposal did jibe with his plans.

Ruppel expressed concerns about domestic water and traffic issues. The developers plan to do a traffic analysis.

“That study is going to be critical,” Ruppel said. “This is already a busy road, and it’s going to get busier.”

The commission initially was hesitant to recommend approval of the annexation because of unresolved questions about utilities and water. However, the commissioners became more comfortable with the proposal after they learned that land would go to YVRA and a gravel pit.

The Planning Commission approved zoning for the property reflecting a combination of open, light industrial and automobile-oriented commercial land.

“You’re talking about a much more manageable chunk that’s in play here for future development,” Commissioner Amy Williams said.

Officials also noted that the plan complemented their growth ideas.

“This is a proposal that’s very consistent with what we’ve said,” Chairman Karl Koehler said. “We have a recommendation from staff that allows us to protect our interests.”

The Hayden Town Board will discuss the proposal at its meeting Thursday.

In other business, the commission gave conditional app­roval to a site plan for live-work units at Valley View Business Park. The developer is Tony McKendrick, who runs a fencing company. McKendrick plans to put a workshop and two three-bedroom units in the building.

McKendrick’s designers must polish the project and resolve issues such as road width before moving ahead, the commissioners told him.

The commission also discussed the new Hayden Police Station and encouraged Town Manager Russ Martin to look at alternative energy sources for the building.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Steamboat 700 - SmartCode Introduction

SmartCode introduced for 700
By Tom Ross (Contact)
Thursday, August 28, 2008

On the agenda
Steamboat Springs Planning Commis­sion’s introduction to SmartCode planning is from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Cen­tennial Hall, with an open house and a public hearing beginning at 6 p.m.

Other business
The Planning Commission will consider a request for a permit to develop a new funeral home and chapel on a 0.7-acre lot in the Airport Meadows Subdivision on Elk River Road. The applicant is Mitch Locke.

Steamboat Springs — City planning officials will consider tonight a model zoning code for the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan and Steamboat 700 that has been used elsewhere in Colorado to create neighborhoods where pedestrians hold sway over automobiles.

A style of urban planning known generically as the Form Based Code has become one of the pillars of New Urbanism neighborhoods.

Senior City Planner Jon­athan Spence told Planning Commission members in a memo that Steam­boat 700 is open to that approach to its proposed development of more than 2,000 dwellings on 515 acres just beyond Steamboat Springs’ western boundary.

“We’re happy to do it,” Steamboat 700 Project Manager Danny Mulcahy said. “It’s a whole new approach. It’s easier to write new codes than it would be to rewrite” the existing community development code.

Spence, together with Daniel and Karen Parolek, principals in Opticos Design, will introduce the Planning Commission to SmartCode, a proprietary template designed to put a Form Based Code in place in a new neighborhood.

One of the basic tenets of SmartCode is that towns and cities should be structured as a series of walkable neighborhoods, where public spaces function like outdoor rooms, and a mix of retail, office and residential areas coexist.

Mulcahy said the SmartCode approach emphasizes the relationship among different types of land uses, from residential to commercial and schools, and how they can fit together in harmony.

Other developments where SmartCode has been applied include Prospect in Longmont and Three Springs in Durango.

New Urbanism is an approach to designing residential neighborhoods that avoid the trends of late 20th century suburbia that reflect a dependence on automobile travel to go anywhere outside the home. Houses grouped closely together with front porches and garage entrances in an alley to the rear of the homes are typical of New Urbanism.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Boulder Ridge - 18 Buidling Lots - Fish Creek Area of Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Boulder Ridge view lots previously ‘un-tapped’
By Tom Ross (Contact)
Sunday, August 24, 2008

Steamboat Springs — Bob Hamilton always dreamed of carrying through on the final phase of the Mountain View Estates development in Steamboat Springs. But there was one big hitch.

There was no way to get water to the approved lots on top of a hill overlooking Steamboat Ski Area, the links at Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club, Emerald Mountain and the entire South Valley.

“Ed MacArthur (of Native Excavating) has told me that the first thing Bob did whenever he came to Steamboat was walk out on that point and take in the view,” Jon Peddie said this week.

As the summer of 2008 winds down, MacArthur’s company is finally building the road to Mountain View Estates filing IV, now known as Boulder Ridge Steamboat Springs. And Peddie has purchased the approximately 25 acres for $10 million and other considerations from a family trust managed by Hamilton’s son, John.

Peddie acknowledges he is introducing 18 new building lots into a difficult real estate market.

“We believe we have the right product, but not necessarily at the right time,” he said. Still, he’s confident the relative scarcity of undeveloped view lots in the city limits will work in his favor.

“All of the good view lots in the city have already been sold,” he said. “All of these lots have the potential for 360-degree views and full south sun exposures in the winter.”

The 18 view lots are among the most expensive the city of Steamboat Springs has seen, beginning at $975,000 and running up to $2.39 million, with the majority priced at greater than $1.2 million.

Hamilton came to Steamboat from Florida in 1977, Peddie said, and built the original two filings of Mountain View Estates along what was then Steamboat Boulevard North. It was accessible only from Fish Creek Falls Road, as no connection across Fish Creek to Steamboat Boulevard had been made.

Development in Steamboat went into the tank in the early 1980s as the nation reeled under the Savings and Loan Crisis. However, Hamilton was able to successfully develop Filing III along Meadowbrook Circle in the early 1990s.

Rave reviews for views

Paul Franklin, the developer of The Olympian mixed residential/commercial project in downtown Steamboat, recalled how the needs of two developers not connected to Boulder Ridge and the city combined to make it possible to get municipal water to the hilltop subdivision.

Martin Hart needed a way to bring water to the final filing of the nearby Sanctuary subdivision and Franklin himself needed to get water across the ridge to Elkins Meadow. The city also needed more water from high up Fish Creek Falls Road because there wasn’t the desirable pressure for fire suppression efforts in the existing Willett Heights Subdivision.

Together with the Mount Werner Water and Sanitation District, all four entities entered into a cost-sharing arrangement. Franklin even was required to run the water line downhill beyond his subdivision.

Now, Peddie has the pleasure of helping to pay for the tank and the water line extension. He will pay Franklin $3,000 for every tap in Boulder Ridge. Peddie quickly adds that he also will pay Mount Werner Water $7,800 for each completed home to defray the original cost of building the storage tank that will feed his subdivision.

Peddie expects road paving to be done by late October. An independent Realtor himself, he still is weighing the question about whether to list the lots with another brokerage. They have not been entered into the Steamboat Springs Multiple Listing Service. However, promotional materials for the development offer 70 percent lot financing through Alpine Bank.

Technical aspects of Boulder Ridge aside, Peddie said the lots, ranging from 0.37 to 1.14 acres, will offer residents the luxury of unparalleled views from a city street that still has rural character just 1.5 miles from Fish Creek Falls and downtown Steamboat Springs. Two miles away via Steamboat Boulevard are the city’s large grocery stores, with the ski area almost as close.

However, Peddie said the views are the main attraction at Boulder Ridge.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Deed Restricted First Tracks Development in Steamboat Springs, CO

Buyers take plunge at First Tracks
Deed-restricted development has 12 new homeowners
By Tom Ross (Contact)
Sunday, August 24, 2008

Flat market a tough sell
Resort Ventures West Devel­opment Manager Mariana Ishida and Director of Sales and Marketing Kerry Shea don’t quibble about the fact that they would like to see more of First Tracks’ studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom condos go under contract this winter.

Despite their efforts to educate prospective buyers about the financial implications of purchasing a deed-restricted home, they feel there is significant hesitancy based on feelings of uncertainty.

Steve Gadbois, who owns a one-bedroom home at First Tracks, said he expects to benefit from modest appreciation in his condo — deed restrictions cap annual growth at 3 percent — but he also assigns significant value to the fact that he will be able to leave his children a condo at the base of Steamboat Ski Area.

“I won’t be leaving them a trust fund,” he said.

Uncertainty about deed-restricted housing as a business proposition isn’t the only factor holding back buyers at First Tracks. Ishida and her colleagues acknowledged during an interview in June that the gap between prices for deed-restricted condos at First Tracks and market-rate condos and townhomes nearby isn’t sufficient to really stimulate interest in the affordable units.

Ishida said pricing of the deed-restricted units is complex and varies with household size and percentage of the area median income for those different households. However, for purposes of comparison, she uses a 1,140-square foot, two-bedroom unit, where she assumes three people will live. At 80 percent AMI for a household of three — $51,475 — the two-bedroom units are priced at $213,000. For a similar-sized household making 100 percent of the AMI, or $64,350, the price is $266,000. At 120 percent AMI, or $77,200, the price jumps to $319,000.

A family of three earning $77,200 could shop for a 920-square-foot Whistler Village townhome with a remodeled kitchen and hardwood living room floor, currently listed at $322,000. That home is more than 200 square feet smaller, but for $3,000 the buyers would know they could participate fully in equity growth in Steamboat’s resort market. Since June, prices for similar units in Steamboat have remained flat or even gone down. The gap is not widening.
Steamboat Springs — After nearly 20 years of life in Steamboat Springs, Rene Mattone had begun looking for a job elsewhere when the opportunity to buy an affordable condominium at First Tracks presented itself.

“Owning my own home is important to me, being a prior homeowner,” she said. “Renting on a continuous basis is not OK for me. I’m 51 years old.”

First Tracks is a deed-restricted affordable housing project that resort developer Resort Ventures West was required to build by the city of Steamboat Springs as a condition of approval for the larger, market-rate project known as Wildhorse Meadows. Wintergreen Homes and Power­hoursing Real Estate are partnering in the development of First Tracks. Wintergreen developed the successful Villas at Walton Creek and Quail Run projects.

Resort Ventures West conducted its first contract-signing event with 12 qualified buyers Aug. 15 at its downtown sales office. In aggregate, the homes represent $2.3 million in sales.

Buyers at First Tracks must meet income requirements based on household size to be eligible to purchase. A 1 percent deposit is the only down payment required.

In addition to Mattone, the buyers include a bank employee; a manager for a large resort property management company; a radio personality; two employees of the national outdoor clothing brand, SmartWool; an executive chef; and two ski instructors who work in other industries during the spring, summer and fall.

Mattone is a collections investigator for the Colorado courts system. She previously owned her own home and later sold it to move in with her husband after they married. She divorced and found herself back in the rental market.

Despite that she likes her rented home, owning was a matter of pride and self-identity. And she recently had learned her adult daughter and son-in-law were relocating to Steamboat. But after looking for a new home she could afford to purchase, she’d nearly given up.

“It was more than I could do,” Mattone said. “I was already beginning to look at jobs outside Steamboat when I heard about this project.”

Despite that she calls the Yampa Valley paradise, she was resigned to the possibility her best option as a state employee was to consider government jobs posted in other Colorado cities.

Nailing down a home
The first phase of First Tracks, comprising 47 condominiums in two buildings, represents the first affordable homes due to be delivered to the market as a direct result of the city’s inclusionary zoning ordinance.

First Tracks, about to go vertical just east of the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs, is due to be completed in May or June of 2009, RVW Development Manager Mariana Ishida said.

The project must be completed before her company can close on the luxury condos nearby in Trailhead Lodge. The first phase of First Tracks satisfies the affordable housing requirements for Trailhead and The Range single-family subdivision. Two more buildings at First Tracks have been approved to meet affordable housing requirements for later phases of Wildhorse Meadows, including townhomes and another lodge/hotel.

Steve Gadbois, who manages six vacation condominium projects for Mountain Resorts, said his new one-bedroom condominium at First Tracks wouldn’t be the first home he has owned during his nine years here.

“I owned a three-bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home at Walton Village townhomes,” Gadbois said. “But I had a junior in high school and a sophomore in college at the time. I found I was house poor.”

He sold his townhome to help survive the college years, but he was determined to create a permanent place in Steamboat.

“I have a good job. I have a great job,” Gadbois said. “I didn’t come here to ski, but for the lifestyle. I intend to be here.”

‘The person I am’
Jay Allen has spent 13 years working as a commercial painter in the summer and ski instructor in the winter, originally in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and for the past four years in Steamboat.

Initially, he found that his construction wages in Steamboat afforded him a better lifestyle than he enjoyed in Michigan. But he grew weary of renting a bedroom in another person’s home and the awkwardness of sharing a kitchen. His faith in his decision to purchase a deed-restricted studio condo at First Tracks for $164,500 was buoyed this week by his landlord’s announcement that his rent would be raised from $500 to $600 because of increasing utility costs.

“I’m pysched to be where I’m at,” Allen said. “I’m excited to be close to the mountain, and it will be exciting to watch it go up and be a part of it. I don’t want to be paying the man $600 a month and not 100 percent feeling like the person I am, living under someone else’s roof.”

Wildhorse Meadows will feature a people-mover gondola that will ferry residents from its location adjacent to Pine Grove Road up and over Mount Werner circle into Gondola Square.

Gadbois agreed with Allen that quick access to the base of the ski lifts via the gondola is a notable amenity for the affordable housing project.

Mattone said she values the quick access to the Nordic skiing trails at the Steamboat Ski Touring Center a mile away. But she also appreciates that Resort Ventures West is providing its affordable housing within its market-rate housing. And she said she thinks more Steamboat residents would consider buying at First Tracks if they fully grasped the opportunity.

And then there is the pet factor. All three placed strong emphasis that their dogs and cats are welcomed home at First Tracks.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Hayden - 187 Acres - Proposed Annexation

Proposal would add 187 acres to Hayden
By Blythe Terrell (Contact)
Sunday, August 17, 2008

Steamboat Springs — Developers are petitioning Hayden to add nearly 200 acres to town limits.

Stef and Louis Nijsten and Bob Zibell have submitted plans to annex 187.5 acres to the town. The parcel adjoins Yampa Valley Regional Airport land and the partners have a development concept that stretches across two decades.

The annexation requires ap­­proval from the town and the county. Developers, who also are building the Creek View project in western Hayden, are meeting with Routt County and Hayden planners this month. A public hearing is set for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 4, at a meeting of the Hayden Town Board.

The developers want to start by bringing in light industrial development before moving to hotel and eventually retail space. Phase 1, scheduled for about the first one to five years, would include 35 acres of light industrial space, 20 acres for airport general aviation, a partial realignment of Routt County Road 51A and a gravel pit.

Light industrial space is scarce, Stef Nijsten said. Zibell owns the land, and Nijsten is leading the planning.

“There’s a pretty clear demand for larger lots, and that’s been made clear by people buying lots in the current business park and then putting them together,” he said.

The developers, who are operating under the names Grandmother’s Inc. and BZ&W Inc., said they aim to keep their plans on track with the town of Hayden’s.

“We’re right next to the airport, so everything we do we want to streamline it … for what they have there,” Nijsten said. “So the roads and infrastructure we’re proposing match the comprehensive plans of Hayden as well as the airport.”

The land sits between YVRA and U.S. Highway 40. Zibell said he bought it about a year ago from Twentymile Coal Co., which is owned by Peabody Energy.

The developers are not planning to put any residential buildings on the tract.

“We feel that that airport is a good location for the business park because it’s close to Highway 40, and it’s far enough away from town that it’s not an eyesore or a noise issue,” Nijsten said. “As far as commercial and retail is concerned, it’s pretty much the same — there’s already a lot of traffic from the airport and stuff.”

The second phase of the project, scheduled to come on line in six to 15 years, includes a hotel or motel, commercial space, and airport industrial and terminal expansion. Phase three, which is expected to be at least 15 years down the road, includes retail, expansion of the light industrial area, complete realignment of C.R. 51A and new road construction.

Stef Nijsten said that third phase eventually could include some sort of large retail store, if a chain were interested.

“The reason we think it could be good is you’re right between Craig and Steamboat,” Nijsten said. “It seems to me like Steamboat’s not that positive toward larger store development.”

Nijsten stressed that any large store on that 187.5 acres is years away.

“It’s a lot of land, but it’s all phased over about 20 years, so we’re going to start with what we have a real demand for right now, which is light industrial,” he said.

Zibell agreed, adding that the people of Hayden and the surrounding area wouldn’t see enormous buildings popping up overnight. The developers need to get annexation and zoning approval first.

“I hate to scare anybody away,” he said. “We don’t want to make people think there’s going to be a giant project, because I don’t think it will be. I think it’s something that’s going to take a period of years to develop.”

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Steamboat 700 - Moving Forward w/515 Acres in UGB

Steamboat 700 to drop acres
Developers will move forward with condensed application
By Brandon Gee (Contact)
Thursday, August 14, 2008

Steamboat Springs — Steamboat 700 developers told city planners Wednesday that they intend to move forward with pared-down development and annexation proposals after their application to extend the urban growth boundary was denied Tuesday night.

“They said they are moving forward, full-speed ahead,” Planning Services Manager John Eastman said.

The UGB is a provision of the Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan that delineates land appropriate and not appropriate for urban development. The Routt County Board of Commissioners voted, 3-0, against Steamboat 700’s request to extend the urban growth boundary by 185 acres at a joint meeting with the Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday. Although council approved the application, 4-2, amendments to the community plan must receive joint approval.

Steamboat 700 Project Man­ager Danny Mulcahy did not return a message left on his cell phone, but Eastman said the developers met with city planning staff Tuesday and committed to moving forward with an application for the project’s remaining 515 acres, which already are within the UGB.

Eastman said 515 acres still is a substantial project and noted that of a potential 2,200 residences, only 190 were intended for the 185 acres that lie outside the UGB. Eastman said Steamboat 700 developers still intend to meet an Oct. 31 deadline for submitting a petition and application for annexation.

By committing to a 515-acre application, Steamboat 700 would avoid presenting City Council with a volatile proposition: considering an annexation of the full 700 acres that would ignore the urban growth boundary and the area community plan. While Councilwoman Cari Hermacinski said Monday it would be “political suicide” to disregard the area community plan, Councilman Jon Quinn said Wednesday, “Everything’s on the table right now for me.”

Such a move would be legal because annexations are governed by state statute and master plans are considered only advisory, but Eastman said such a move would violate the terms of the city’s pre-annexation agreement with Steamboat 700, which stipulates that the development will conform to the Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan and West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan.

That agreement, approved at an Aug. 5 meeting of City Council, is not affected by Tuesday’s denial of a UGB expansion, City Attorney Tony Lettunich said.

“The concepts are still applicable, regardless of the size,” Lettunich said.

Per the agreement, Steam­boat 700 developers must complete a number of studies — on issues such as traffic, visual impacts, fiscal impacts, water capacity and environmental assessments — before they petition for annexation.

Quinn and other council members who voted in favor of Steamboat 700’s UGB expansion expressed disappointment Wednesday.

By denying the request, the community could lose out on some potential public benefits that would have been associated with the project, Quinn said.

“There’s no question, with a smaller parcel, they’re only going to be able to do portions of what they thought they could do,” Quinn said.

But Eastman noted that the city would only make demands of Steamboat 700 commensurate with the impacts of the development.

“We’re not asking for it to pay extra,” Eastman said. “If there’s less development, it’s got less it needs to pay for.”

— To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

700/River Haus/Doughtey - Annexation Denied on 3 Developments in Steamboat Springs, CO

County denies 700 request
Commissioners turn down growth boundary expansion for development
By Zach Fridell (Contact)
Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Steamboat Springs — The Routt County Board of Commissioners denied an expansion of the urban growth boundary for the proposed Steamboat 700 development Tuesday night.

In a joint session with the Steamboat Springs City Council at Centennial Hall, the commissioners voted 3-0 against the proposed expansion, which would have given the proposed development a major step toward annexation into city limits.

City Council members supported the action 4-2, but under the rules of the joint meeting, both bodies needed to approve the expansion to make it law. The Steamboat 700 development was seeking to expand the urban growth boundary by 158 acres west of Steamboat Springs, to encompass the entire 700 acres of the development that could include 2,000 homes, commercial space and community amenities.

Explaining his decision at the end of the five-hour meeting, Councilman Steve Ivancie, who along with Councilwoman Meg Bentley voted against the expansion, said he was unconvinced of the need to expand the boundary now.

“Until we substantially build out what’s in the urban growth boundary, what do we really need?” he said. “(The boundary line) is there for a reason, it’s a transition line.”

After the vote was held, Steamboat 700 land use consultant Peter Patten laughed when he was asked what the next step for his group will be.

“I don’t have an answer,” he said.

The group still can develop the 515 acres currently inside the urban growth boundary and may ask the city for annexation.

Several of the lawmakers commented on the hard work and money developers had put into the plan and asked for the issue to be raised again after the initial phases of construction are complete.

“There is no question the developers have put forward a lot of effort and expense,” said Councilman Jon Quinn, who voted for the expansion. “This is a package and we have to ask ourselves if we limit or do not allow it, we have to decide what we are willing to give up. Is it the space for schools or a fire department?”

The lawmakers judged the requested amendment on five requirements: policy compatibility, public benefit, reasonable accommodation, land suitability and a logical change to the boundary line.

Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush called Steamboat 700 “the very definition of leap-frog development” because land adjoining the site within city limits is not developed.

Two more denials
City Council members and commissioners voted down two other potential expansions of the growth boundary Tuesday night.

A potential half-acre expansion of the boundary on North Larimer Street, to include a property owned by L.A. “Butch” Dougherty, was denied 3-0 by the county commissioners and 3-1 by the City Council. Council President Pro-tem Cari Hermacinski and Councilman Walter Magill recused themselves from the vote. Only Scott Myller voted in favor.

City Council President Loui Antonucci was not present at the meeting.

Both bodies also denied a boundary expansion for the proposed River Haus development, along the Yampa River near the Tree Haus subdivision, south and east of downtown Steamboat. The county commissioners again voted the proposal down 3-0, while City Council voted 4-2, with only Hermacinski and Myller voting to include the land in the urban growth boundary.

— To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208 or e-mail zfridell@steamboatpilot.com

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

web: http://www.SteamboatDream.com/
e-mail: MichelleDiehl@comcast.net
cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434