YVHA in the News and Media


Young Professionals survey shows 67% worry housing costs will force them to leave

May 24, 2023

Survey results released this week by the Young Professionals Network — a part of the Steamboat Springs Chamber — showed that 67% of survey participants worry that high housing costs will force them to leave Steamboat Springs.

During the first two weeks of May, the Young Professionals Network conducted a housing survey for its members in partnership with the Brown Ranch Annexation Committee, with 254 individuals responding to the questions.[…]

The Brown Ranch promises to be affordable. How will the Housing Authority make that happen?

May 12, 2023

The number one goal of the Brown Ranch is to provide affordable and attainable housing for Routt County’s workforce, but some locals are somewhat skeptical that will actually happen.

On Wednesday, Yampa Valley Housing Authority Executive Director Jason Peasley shared how they intend to provide that affordability both initially and in the future. […]

Brown Ranch traffic study shows need for two more stoplights, additional lanes on U.S. 40

April 27, 2023

U.S. Highway 40 will need to be widened — two lanes in each direction from Dream Island Plaza to Routt County Road 42 — and two more stoplights will need to be installed potentially as soon as 2030, according to a traffic study conducted to inform the development of the Brown Ranch.

While the need for these improvements would be accelerated because of the Brown Ranch, the upgrades would be needed even without the Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s 2,200 unit-development, said Steamboat Springs Public Works Director Jon Snyder. […]

Housing Authority working to find balance between park space and housing at Brown Ranch

April 21, 2023

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority is working to increase the amount of park space included at the Brown Ranch, but the loss of units that would stem from some of the city’s asks may be too great.

When first presented last month, Steamboat Springs officials said the Brown Ranch plan was not providing the park acreage that is called for in various city plans, mainly the Parks, Recreation, Open Space, Trails and River Comprehensive Master Plan.[…]

Housing Authority hires Elliot Lawrence to fill new deputy director role

April 18, 2023

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority has hired Elliot Lawrence to serve as the organization’s deputy director to handle day-to-day business operations and staff management.

Lawrence has been the director of resort operations at One Steamboat Place since 2015 and has worked in Steamboat Springs since 2008. He also has a background in development, project management and construction, which checks many of the boxes the housing authority was looking for in a deputy director.[…]

Annexation committee settles on new Brown Ranch population estimate

April 13, 2023

The Brown Ranch Annexation Committee has settled on a population estimate of 6,113 people to live at the development, though they emphasized that doesn’t mean the project will grow Steamboat Springs’ population by that much.

The population estimate became important when city staff found an error in the Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s development plan that estimated between 6,895 and 7,590 people would live there.[…]

Steamboat City Council approves plat for next housing authority project

April 8, 2023

Steamboat Springs City Council approved an initial step for the Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s Mid Valley project, allowing work on the land along U.S. Highway 40 to start this year.

The unanimous approval allows the housing authority to obtain a grade and fill permit and start preparing the site for construction on the 234-unit development next year.

The next step for Mid Valley, which includes a development plan and another preliminary plat, is currently being reviewed by the city, with public hearings expected in May.[…]

Steamboat public safety officials hope for regional training facility at Brown Ranch

April 1, 2023

While land for a fire station has always been part of the plan for Brown Ranch, Routt County public safety officials are hoping to get additional land for a regional training facility somewhere in the development.

The Brown Ranch Development has a fire station planned in the first neighborhood in the southeast part of the parcel, which Steamboat Springs Fire Chief Chuck Cerasoli said he felt was a good location, though he was looking for a slightly bigger parcel.[…]

Steamboat City Council worries Gov. Jared Polis’ new bill could derail Brown Ranch

April 1, 2023

Fearing a state “power grab” could derail the city’s best chance to fix its affordable housing crisis, a shorthanded Steamboat Springs City Council voted unanimously during an emergency meeting Thursday, March 30, to oppose Gov. Jared Polis’ sweeping land use reform bill.

That chance — the Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s Brown Ranch that promises to deliver affordable and attainable housing over a 20-year buildout — is going through the city’s annexation process right now.[…]

‘Error’ in Brown Ranch plan sparks larger discussion over development’s eventual population

March 29, 2023

While the number of units planned at the Brown Ranch — 2,264 — has been a headline number in the 167-page community development plan, the actual number of residents intended to live there isn’t as clear.

The only population reference in the document is a range of 6,895 to 7,590 on pages 79 and 81 in a section related to parks amenities.

But on Wednesday, March 29, during the Brown Ranch Annexation Committee meeting, Yampa Valley Housing Authority Executive Director Jason Peasley said that range is incorrect.[…]

Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s Mid Valley development gets initial planning commission approval

March 28, 2023

The Mid Valley housing development along U.S. Highway 40 in Steamboat Springs was given an OK by the planning commission last week, in the first of what will likely be several planning applications for the Yampa Valley Housing Authority project.

The planning commission approved the preliminary plat for the project, which — if given approval by City Council next week — would allow the project to start moving dirt this year. The land was purchased with an anonymous donation to the housing authority in 2021.[…]

Initial analysis shows Brown Ranch won’t pay for itself, would increase Steamboat’s housing stock by 20%

March 16, 2023

A preliminary fiscal analysis of the annexation of the Brown Ranch into Steamboat Springs shows it would increase housing stock in the ski town by roughly 20%, but that the new development overall would have a net-negative impact on the city’s general fund.

The analysis from RCLCO Real Estate Consultants, which has offices in four states, is still being refined, but seeks to understand what additional revenues the Brown Ranch would spur as well as measuring the costs to extend city services.[…]

First Brown Ranch annexation town hall expected later this month

March 11, 2023

Who will eventually live at Brown Ranch will be an important factor when calculating the impacts of the development on Steamboat Springs’ general fund, both in terms of costs and potential revenues.

Through annexation meetings, some services like road maintenance, snow plowing and transit have shown they will require investments to expand services that are already stretched thin, both up front and over time.[…]

First Brown Ranch annexation town hall expected later this month

March 8, 2023

The first town hall about Brown Ranch annexation into Steamboat Springs is expected to take place later this month, after the annexation committee approved the outreach plan last week.

The plan is a hybrid of initial approaches from the city and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, and hopes to get broader outreach about the community’s thoughts on annexation that may not be addressed during public comment of Brown Ranch Annexation Committee meetings.[…]

Steamboat council weighing whether to make Brown Ranch pay fee for water rights

March 3, 2023

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority believes the Brown Ranch should not be required to adhere to a city policy requiring dedication of water rights or a fee to secure water rights for new annexed property in Steamboat Springs.

The water rights dedication policy was put in place in 2009 during the first attempt to annex land then called Steamboat 700. That land is now referred to as Brown Ranch.

As the Brown Ranch property does not have any water rights to contribute to the city, the housing authority would be subject to the fee-in-lieu aspect of the policy, if the city opts to require one.[…]

Steamboat’s struggles to pay for its current transit network make expanding service to Brown Ranch even more complicated

March 2, 2023

The cost of Steamboat Springs’ transit network is increasing faster than the funding for it grows, which has led to a decline in services in recent years just to keep the program within budget.

This can be seen through reduced late night bus service this winter, and city Public Works Director Jon Snyder said more cuts are likely in the future unless more dedicated funding for transit is secured.[…]

Creating Attainable Housing for the Workforce in Resort Communities

February 21, 2023

Resort communities are appealing places to live year round, with stunning natural beauty and recreational opportunities in abundance. However, the same factors that make these places attractive can make them difficult for year-round and seasonal locals who run the ski lifts, fight fires, serve meals in restaurants, and teach in the schools. Even as the COVID-19 pandemic raised awareness of the importance of essential workers, it has also exacerbated the housing affordability challenge with the rise of remote work and the resulting spike in second-home ownership rates.[…]

Brown Ranch in Spring from above
Water isn’t as big an issue for Brown Ranch as it’s been in Steamboat Springs’ past annexation attempts

February 17, 2023

The availability of drinking water won’t be the same hurdle during Brown Ranch annexation that it has been in two previous efforts to expand Steamboat Springs’ city limits west.

That is because in 2020 Steamboat Springs was able to obtain a perpetual lease agreement for water out of Steamboat Lake, a move that made the Elk River a viable third water source for the city.

“This was the major tripping point in all previous annexations,” Steamboat Public Works Director Jon Snyder said. “Not really the tripping point now.”[…]

Yampa Valley Housing Authority starts process to hire developer for Brown Ranch infrastructure

February 15, 2023

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority is looking for an experienced developer to help bring the vision for the Brown Ranch crafted in a community-driven process to reality.

On Thursday, Feb. 9, the housing authority board approved a request for qualifications document that will be sent to developers in the Yampa Valley and far beyond to narrow down firms that could be a fee developer on the project.[…]

Brown Ranch will utilize geothermal heating system eligible for significant federal incentives

February 11, 2023

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority Board decided on Thursday, Feb. 9, that the Brown Ranch will use a ground source heating system — a key early decision in planning for the development that could deliver its first units by the end of 2026.

The system was chosen in a unanimous vote of the board and follows the recommendation passed along from engineering consultants that have been studying the 2,300 unit development’s energy plan for several months.[…]

Number of single-family homes planned at Brown Ranch an early concern amid annexation talks

February 2, 2023

The number of single-family homes included in the Brown Ranch development was highlighted as a potential concern Wednesday, Feb. 1, as the special annexation committee begins forming an agreement.

As presented, the Brown Ranch would create 2,262 units over the next two decades, with 65% of that being multifamily units. Nearly 300, or 13%, of those would be detached single-family homes, and almost another 500 units would be attached single-family units like row homes or town houses.[…]

Mid Valley housing project won’t start until 2024; Units at Anglers 400 could be ready by end of year

January 27, 2023

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s Mid Valley project along U.S. Highway 40 in Steamboat Springs won’t start construction until 2024, as officials finalize the terms of the development deal.

While early plans called for 200 for-sale and rental units, housing authority Executive Director Jason Peasley said the mix of units at Mid Valley has continued to evolve. The current mix now includes 234 units — 150 for rent and 84 for sale.[…]

Committee outlines how it hopes to pull Brown Ranch annexation agreement together over next five months

January 20, 2023

Officials are hoping the “third time’s the charm” as they start work to annex the Brown Ranch property into Steamboat Springs’ city limits.

In the first meeting of the Brown Ranch Annexation Committee on Friday, Jan. 20, representatives from the city, Yampa Valley Housing Authority and third-party facilitator Jason Lacy laid out a plan to hold 10 meetings between now and the end of June to put together an annexation agreement.[…]

Brown Ranch annexation talks start Friday

January 19, 2023

The Brown Ranch Annexation Committee will hold its first meeting on Friday, Jan. 20, kicking off a monthslong process that hopes to reach an agreement by the end of June.

The seven-member committee is made up of three representatives each from the city and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, and one member from a neutral third-party, who would serve as chair.[…]

Geothermal system at Brown Ranch could cost twice as much up front, but might save residents big bucks over time

January 14, 2023

While a geothermal system would have roughly double the installation cost for the Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s Brown Ranch development than other options, it could save future residents as much as $195 million over 30 years.

Based on an analysis from the engineering firm Page Consultants, a community-wide geothermal system would cost nearly $48 million to install at Brown Ranch, compared to $24 million for an all-electric, air source heat pump system.[…]

Is a geothermal system right for the Brown Ranch?

December 20, 2022

On Thursday, Dec. 15, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority board opted to further investigate three options for heating homes at the Brown Ranch, with one of those options being a communitywide geothermal system.

The other two options were a baseline electric system with a natural gas backup and an all-electric system. Each requires more energy than geothermal, but would likely have cheaper costs upfront — though a geothermal system could have significant grant funding opportunities […]

Steamboat Council sets full 9% STR tax to start Jan. 1; exempts reservations made this year

November 17, 2022

In a vote that took place just before midnight on Tuesday, Nov. 15, Steamboat Springs City Council decided to assess the full 9% tax on short-term rentals that voters approved by a strong margin last week.

In a first reading of an ordinance implementing the tax, council decided it will start for all stays that are reserved on or after Jan. 1, but any reservations made before the end of the year would be exempt […]

Building Community: Separating myths from facts for the Brown Ranch project

November 3, 2022

There’s been a fair amount of misinformation circulating about the Brown Ranch, and I’d like to separate some of the myths from the facts.

Myth: No more than 10-20% of the homes will be “affordable.”

Fact: The entire Brown Ranch development will be affordable housing for the community. The first guiding principle the Steering Committee agreed on was “the Brown Ranch will provide affordable and attainable housing options for the Routt County workforce …” […]

Yampa Valley Housing Authority submits Brown Ranch annexation petition to Steamboat Springs

October 19, 2022

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority submitted a petition to annex the Brown Ranch into Steamboat Springs on Monday, Oct. 18, officially starting an expedited effort that could wrap up by this time next year.

The petition submitted to City Council has been expected after officials from the housing authority presented plans for the 536-acre development earlier this month. […]

First units at Brown Ranch expected by end of 2026

October 7, 2022

Construction at the Brown Ranch would start in 2026 with the first units coming at the end of that year and all 1,200 units planned for the first phase of development built by the middle of 2029, according to the development plan presented Thursday, Oct. 6.

When fully built out over the next 20 to 25 years, the plan shows the Brown Ranch will feature four neighborhoods, each with a variety of housing types ranging from single-family homes to large-scale apartment complexes […]

Plan for Brown Ranch hopes to inspire those trying to hang on in Steamboat

October 6, 2022

On Thursday, Oct. 6, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority will present what it has learned from its extensive work on purchasing and planning the Brown Ranch.

The presentation, offered at both 2 and 6 p.m. at the Strings Music Pavilion, should give the community the most complete view yet of what could be Steamboat’s best chance to address affordable housing […]

YVHA board approves first step toward annexation of Brown Ranch

September 22, 2022

Housing officials took the first step in the process to annex the Brown Ranch into the city limits of Steamboat Springs on Thursday, Sept. 22.

In a special meeting, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority Board approved sending a petition to city officials that would start the third attempt to extend the city limits westward since 2010 […]