Council to discuss Fairview lot issue

Time is running out for Fairview and Miller-Frazier residents who want to build additional homes on their lots.

The Steamboat Springs City Council tonight will discuss zoning issues in the two subdivisions.

In the late 1980s, city officials wanted to annex the subdivisions, which are on the west side of 13th Street. To do so, residents and officials had to reach an agreement, City Attorney Tony Lettunich said Monday. As part of the agreement, the city agreed to sell lots to adjacent landowners.

Neighbors have different opinions about what the agreement's intent was, Lettunich said. Some say those lots were intended to be side or back lots and can't be built on. Others say that the deed restrictions did not limit residents' ability to build on the lots. Neighbors also have discussed whether the lots should be sold separately from the adjacent lots.

The council has passed a series of moratoriums restricting building on the lots for the past year. The current moratorium expires April 18.

Last week, Lettunich asked council members whether they wanted to change the zoning of the subdivisions. The change still would allow residents to build garages or similar structures but not buildings such as houses. Lettunich said Monday that he asked members last week because it was the council's last chance to decide whether to have legal staff draft an ordinance about rezoning; the first and second readings of an ordinance would have to pass before the moratorium ends.

The council voted unanimously not to rezone the area. Some neighbors wanted to talk to council members about their decision, city staff said, so a discussion was added to tonight's agenda.

A separate issue involves the Miller-Frazier subdivision. Part of the area is zoned industrial. Earlier this year, a developer attempted to rezone the area for a multi-family project, and the city's Planning Commission denied the request. Tonight, the developer will ask the council whether he can change the lots to residential Old Town zoning. Planning commissioners recommended approval of the request.

Council members also will review the development plan for Walton Creek Park II, also called The Aspens of Walton Creek. The development would be between Walton Creek Road and Mariah Court, on lots across from Casey's Pond.

The 28-unit multi-family development would include eight buildings. Seven of the buildings would contain townhomes, and the eighth would have two employee condominiums and three condominiums for people with disabilities.

City staff is recommending that the council approve the project's development plan with some conditions. The conditions include that the two employee units be deed-restricted and that the applicant, listed as the group The Aspens of Walton Creek, receive approval from the Army Corps of Engineers for a proposed disturbance to wetlands.

Development plans address elements such as height and mass. The project's final development plan, which covers elements such as architecture, must be approved before the project can move forward.

The council's agenda includes the Riverwalk project's development plan, but staff has asked council members to postpone the plan review to next week. The project is scheduled on an agenda for a March 28 meeting. If the project meets approval, it will result in the demolition of Westland Mobile Home Community.

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