YVHA Submits Petition for Brown Ranch Annexation to the City Council
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO, October 18, 2022 – At the Steamboat Springs City Council meeting tonight, Jason Peasley, executive director of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority (YVHA) submitted the formal petition to annex the Brown Ranch property within the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) into the City of Steamboat Springs. This annexation petition begins the process of joint discussions between YVHA and the City on issues like water, sewer, transit, parks, trails, and more. YVHA also gave City Council members a briefing on the Brown Ranch Community Development Plan.
“We as a community have this incredible opportunity to solve the affordable housing crisis in Steamboat Springs and show our workforce that we care about them, and that we know how to develop solutions for our own problems,” said Jason Peasley in his opening remarks. “Today, I submitted the petition for annexation, and I look forward to working with you to develop a written shared agreement and timeline on how the City and YVHA can jointly create the Brown Ranch neighborhood with the services and utilities it needs.”
The Brown Ranch presentation included maps and illustrations about the future neighborhood and focused on the themes developed with the Steering Committee, community members and specialized focus teams. These themes include affordable and attainable housing, sustainable design, connected and healthy services, community-driven decisions and healthy living strategies. Mr. Peasley also explained some of the neighborhood elements:
- The 420 acres of land inside the Urban Growth Boundary meet the City’s statutory annexation criteria.
- 1400 housing units are needed for the current workforce now and it is estimated that 2,300 housing units overall will meet the current and future housing needs for the local workforce through 2040.
- Housing based on need at every income level for the local workforce
- The Brown Ranch housing will provide diverse housing choices and are based on community input, economics and compact walkability
- 65% Apartments and Condos
- 22% Single Family Attached
- 13% Single Family Detached
- 250,000 square feet of community supporting retail, services, office and community assets
- 40% of the land is dedicated to open space and parks
- There will be four distinct, compact neighborhoods built on a gridded street network
Sheila Henderson, Director of Community Engagement for the Brown Ranch emphasized the connections to already approved City and County plans. “As part of the Brown Ranch Community Development process, we examined existing plans and worked with our design teams to ensure that we included those goals as well as the priorities of the community. Luckily, many of them were aligned. For example, the Routt County Master Plan as well as the planning for the Regional Transit Authority emphasizes mobility beyond the car. Those plans and the feedback we got from the community was that we need more public transit, and we need to build and maintain more walking and paths. All these efforts lead to healthy living of our residents.”
Ms. Henderson explained how their outreach and their review of other plans revealed that the community wants more services on the west side of town, like access to food, medical services, parks, open spaces, and childcare. The more services at the Brown Ranch, the more the neighborhood will be self-sufficient without needing to drive to the other side of town. The Brown Ranch has already created over 20 community partnerships to help provide these services into the Brown Ranch.
Mr. Peasley emphasized the need to start joint planning now, “We all agree that the Brown Ranch is needed to address our housing crisis. We are ready to discuss and address very serious topics like water, traffic, municipal services funding and equity. We want to have open and transparent conversations and we stand ready to commit to a schedule for annexation with you.”
The City Council asked for a summary of federal, state and philanthropic grant opportunities that could help inform the timeline and process of this joint partnership.