Focus Team Weekly Report – February 25th 2022

Published On: February 25th, 2022Categories: Focus Team Updates, Focus Team Weekly Report

Review: Week of February 21 – 25, 2022  

  • Housing & Non-Residential Demand #2 – February 21, 2022
  • Infrastructure #4 – February 23, 2022
  • Urban Design #3 – February 23, 2022
  • Stewardship & Project Economics #2 – February 23, 2022

Combined Focus Team Attendance Total: 93

Top 10 things we heard 

  • Buildings at Brown Ranch should be constructed with durable material that will last long and  need minimal maintenance. Construction methods and materials should be used to minimize  sound travel between shared walls, to avoid neighbor complaints and conflicts.
  • Mobility at Brown Ranch is important. Brown Ranch is the pathway for young professionals and  others currently excluded from ownership to be able to afford having children, owning a single family home, etc. Make sure there are plenty of options for the entry level and move-up  categories. There needs to be both for-sale and rental housing available.
  • Regarding the initial demand study: “Move up” category seems low and doesn’t seem to be  meeting the needs of healthcare workers, teachers, first responders, etc.
  • There is need for transitional housing and an emergency shelter in the community. Additional  outreach to nonprofits and social service agencies is needed to fully understand the need of area  nonprofits and the people they serve.
  • People who cannot work on the ground in the community: elders who have lived in Routt  County a long time, people with disabilities, people raising children or caring for elder family  members and unable to perform paid work, etc. should not be excluded from Brown Ranch.
  • Non-residential demand: medical service, childcare, non-profit center, places for kids/teens to  safely hang out (sports), community center, small market/grocery store that stays open late.  • No short-term rentals should be allowed at Brown Ranch. Homes at Brown Ranch should be  one’s primary residence.
  • The community wants multi-modal transportation at Brown Ranch. Prioritize choice and ease of  use. Consider creating a separate mobility network for pedestrians/bikes and cars to keep  cyclists feeling safe. A bike commuter trail (extended core trail) should be plowed more  frequently and designed so it’s faster to bike to work than getting into the car and finding  parking. Also, easily accessible public transportation is critical!
  • People want garages (or carports with solar arrays). Gear storage is important. People were  open to collected parking as overflow, but not the primary parking solution at Brown Ranch. • People were interested in all the different housing typologies MIthun presented, as long as the  architecture and materials are compatible with the local character and viewsheds are not  compromised.

Top things we learned  

  • The community wants a definition of “Local Workforce.”
  • Without making any upgrades to electrical infrastructure, Yampa Valley Electric Association could  serve 15 houses at Brown Ranch today. If Brown Ranch will be grid-tied, major electrical  infrastructure investments are necessary, starting with construction of a new substation to feed  Brown Ranch.
  • To achieve long-term affordability (a top line goal for Brown Ranch), we should use the most efficient  heating system available/possible. Might require significant upfront cost but over lifetime, it will  have lowest cost. There are many heat pump options to explore in depth as legitimate ways to  reduce energy consumption at Brown Ranch.
  • We need to continue this conversation and solicit feedback from the community to help understand  what paths of the “energy decision tree” we explore as legitimate options. We need to address this  question soon, so we can start designing and seeking funding for electrical infrastructure. This could  be a pinch point that delays timely delivery of units.
  • As it relates to specific infrastructure investments, we need to tap into experts to understand costs.  That info feeds to project economics team to analyze cost per units and other “moving levers” to  analyze project economics and timeline of all infrastructure investments.