On Tuesday February 17, 2009 City Council denied the redevelopment plans for the old Thunderhead Lodge which sat slope side at the Steamboat Ski Area in Ski Time Square. The old and outdated Thunderhead lodge was demolished in the summer and fall of 2008 leaving a beautiful but vacant building site. The Atira Group (Mark Mathews, Vice President and Jane Blackstone, Development Manager) approached the Steamboat Springs, City Council with the favor of the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission and city staffers, but the council voted 3 – 3 not to move forward without more information (one council member could not vote due to having performed work for The Atira Group). The Atira Group was hoping to receive a variance on the height restriction of about 30 feet and to incorporate some private improvements to the public right of way. The two buildings will total 390,000 square feet and proposed to be 100 feet tall.
Council feels there needs to be more public benefit within the project to allow for the height variance. Council cited that two public benefits need to be addressed: environmentally friendly design and “Hot Beds”(tourist lodging with very low vacancy rates). Last year council changed the base area redevelopment requirements. The economic sustainability (“Hot Beds”) was replaced with the requirement of a Silver Certification from LEEDS (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Tuesday night, No one really argued the LEEDS aspect of the project. The Bronze Tree attorney also argued against the height variance. The Bronze Tree condominiums sit across the street and behind the area so they may be impacted by the height.
The questions remains if council would have been measuring the project based on LEEDS and not “Hot Beds” would it have passed? We will find out in April when The Atira Group represents to council.
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