Density--and Why It Matters
There’s been good discussion lately about how much growth is coming to Steamboat Springs, and to West Steamboat Springs in particular.
This discussion is a continuation of one that began more than a decade ago with the Steamboat Springs Area Plan, which was followed by the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan adopted in 1999 and updated in 2006. The rationale behind those plans was to address a reality: Growth is coming.
Routt County’s population is projected to grow 71% over the next 20 years to almost 40,000 residents (source: Colorado Department of Local Affairs).
Current estimates call for more than 22,000 Steamboat Springs residents in 2035, about 10,000 more than today.
These plans—which form the framework of our Steamboat 700 plan—call for density on the west end of town as an important tool to manage growth and prevent sprawl.
Today’s congestion challenges on US40—which have existed for years, long before a single rooftop is ever built at Steamboat 700—can be addressed by creating more density in West Steamboat Springs. It sounds counter-intuitive, but adding more homes and more residents in a master-planned, mixed-use community will create a transit-friendly community that gets people out of their cars.
Density adjacent to the city also provides more opportunity for Steamboat Springs workers to live close to where they work, instead of increasing the ever-growing commuting pressure from Hayden and Craig on US40.
A major source of vehicle trips in West Steamboat Springs today is car trips through Old Town to access grocery stores and other services on the other side of town. The Steamboat 700 plan calls for mixed-use retail and services such day care, post office, employment centers and a grocery store, which should cut down on those cross-town car trips on US40.
Steamboat Springs Transit has limited service and stops in West Steamboat Springs today because there are not enough residents to justify more stops. More density at Steamboat 700 will enhance our transit system’s service on the west side of town, with more stops and more routes.
Density will help prevent sprawl and preserve the region’s environment. Fewer cars on the road and more use of alternate modes of travel (bike, transit, walking) will reduce air pollution, and help preserve the natural beauty of the Yampa Valley.
Importantly, density at Steamboat 700 will not “create” more demand to live or work in Steamboat Springs. On the contrary, density will allow the community to respond to a range of community needs and gaps that exist today, prevent the negative impacts of sprawl that could come in the future, and preserve the character of the community for future generations.
If you are looking for a home site, completed home, condo or townhome, in or near Steamboat Springs, Colorado... Contact me: Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I work as a Buyer's Agent for my clients. I also represent Sellers. If you are buying or selling in the Steamboat Springs or surrounding areas, I can provide what you need. I am paid my success fee only after you experience success!
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