COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Brown Ranch Community Engagement

YVHA is committed to community engagement. We have both organized presentations and given presentations to community groups about the Brown Ranch. If you would like YVHA to give a presentation to your organized group about the Brown Ranch, please contact us at inquiry@yvha.org.

YVHA used a variety of methods and tools to engage with the community and capture feedback on the approach to develop Brown Ranch. These included the creation of a Steering Committee comprised of community members, a series of public meetings focused on specific topics (Focus Team meetings), meetings with various City agencies, correspondence with specific interest groups, and targeted outreach to community members hardest to reach through a public engagement process.

Using this blended approach to community engagement, we connected with community organizations, businesses, and individuals, reaching over 3,300 residents through more than 230 meetings. Community engagement is ongoing and will continue through the development process.

Steering Committee

The YVHA created a Steering Committee of 20 people to help create the vision and guiding principles for the Brown Ranch.

Focus Teams

YVHA, along with the Steering Committee, created five specific categories to organize community input. These categories included Residential and Non-Residential Demand, Project Economics & Stewardship, Infrastructure, Urban Design, and Sustainability.

Focus Team leadership included a Steering Committee member, a local expert, a YVHA board member, and at least one technical consultant.

The YVHA facilitated approximately 30 Focus Team meetings between February and April of 2022 with both in-person and on- line participation available. The team heard from a broad range of community members through this process and much of what came from these meetings is incorporated into the Community Development Plan (CDP).

Targeted Outreach

Recognizing that participation in public meetings is difficult or impossible for many people for a variety of reasons, the YVHA did targeted outreach to capture the perspectives of those traditionally unheard in public processes.

Other Engagement

The YVHA also met with a range of stakeholders identified as potential partners in developing Brown Ranch. This included City agencies, the Yampa Valley Electric Association Board of Directors, Steamboat Springs School District board and staff, LatinX, and other local groups providing youth and human services, medical providers, businesses, and a wide range of community groups.

Health Equity

The Health Equity group was a unique Focus Team that functioned in a slightly different way than other teams. Unlike all other meetings, the Health Equity group meetings were not open to the public. Rather, they were limited to a group of community members currently active in this space. The meetings focused on identifying challenges and opportunities tied to health equity.

Brown Ranch Focus Teams

YVHA, along with the Steering Committee, created five specific categories to organize community input to give to the master plan consultants.

These categories included Residential and Non-Residential Demand, Project Economics & Stewardship, Infrastructure, Urban Design, and Sustainability.

Focus Team leadership included a Steering Committee member, a local expert, a YVHA board member, and at least one technical consultant. The YVHA facilitated approximately 30 Focus Team meetings between February and April of 2022 with both in-person and on- line participation available. Each team heard from a broad range of community members through this process and much of what came from these meetings is incorporated into the Community Development Plan (CDP).

Health Equity

Health Equity Icon
As part of the Brown Ranch Design process, YVHA researched how to develop health equity at the Brown Ranch. This popular concept can be defined as: “Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care”, as defined by the leader in health equity, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Creating a community that focuses on health equity includes safe and stable housing; access to medical and mental health services; childcare, schools and after school programming; recreation and community centers; digital access; health air quality; access to affordable and healthy food; and transportation options including walking, biking and public transit. YVHA intends to measure the baseline and outcomes of developing a health community.

Click here to read the health equity report.

Housing & Non-Residential Demand

Housing and Non-residential Demand GraphicThis group analyzed existing shortages and the future needs for seasonal, low-income, entry level and move-up housing market segments. The Team also analyzed non-residential needs to support the neighborhood such as commercial, recreational, childcare, nonprofit and anything else our community prioritizes.

Team principles:

  • Develop to provide prices that are attainable:
    • Cater to local income levels to meet the community need
    • No short-term rentals, foster community, make housing available for full-time locals
    • Ensure rents and mortgages are affordable so residents aren’t cost-burdened
  • Create Diverse housing options:
    • Offer a range of housing options so that there is room for mobility
    • Keep residents from “missing out” on the benefits of home ownership
    • Offer Housing for first-time homeowners, aging residents, growing families, etc.
  • Reflect the need:
    • Only for local employees, not those who work remotely
    • Ensure unit sizes are able to comfortably serve the local workforce demand
  • Scale Size to meet demand:
    • Deliver enough homes to begin addressing the urgent need
    • Plan future phases to accommodate additional growth addressing long-term expansion of the community
  • Build in time to meet demand:
    • Work within the bounds of local processes for provide quality housing as quickly as possible given the depth of demand in the community today

Infrastructure

Infrastructure GraphicThis team analyzed on-site and off-site needs including transportation, water, wastewater, stormwater, and dry utilities along with phasing for the entire buildout of the community.

Team principles:

  • Maximize water efficiency:
    • Minimize water use in landscaping;
    • build in flexibility as more units are built.
  • Prioritize transit and shared mobility and design for alternative modes of transportation;
    • prioritize trails,
    • cycling and walkability;
    • encourage the reduction of vehicle miles traveled;
    • optimize parking and limit heat islands;
  • Maximize energy efficiency:
    • Focus on the cleanest energy that is economically viable;
    • Consider the lifecycle cost of ownership not just the initial cost;
    • Utilize joint trenching;
    • plan for 2050.
  • Manage stormwater:
    • Integrate solutions with Urban Design & Open Space;
    • reduce impervious surfaces;
    • pursue long-term runoff barrier solutions;
    • maximize groundwater recharge;
    • design for retention vs. conveyance;
    • deliver quality water to Yampa River
  • Pursue sustainability:
    • Integrate with Routt County Climate Action Plan

Natural & Built Sustainability

Natural & Built Sustainability GraphicThis group explored the best approaches to sustainability including the natural environment and the built environment.

Team principles:

  • Follow the Routt County Climate Action Plan and Water Conservation Plan.
  • Protect Ecosystems:
    • Create meaningful open space that:
      • Creates and restores riparian corridors;
      • Allows for wildlife movement;
      • Considers habitat for wildlife
  • Develop energy solutions that have the smallest carbon footprint;
    • provide long-term affordability and security for residents;
    • and have the lowest life-cycle costs.
  • Utilize building materials that are healthy and affordable for the lifetime of a building with a focus on durability and zero waste.
  • Create community that both climate and socially resilient.
    • Include wildfire resilient design;
    • prepare for increased temperatures;
    • prevent food deserts.
  • Conserve water by developing systems with low flow and minimal water use.
    • Create adaptive reuse of water systems;
    • only allow low to no irrigation of private landscapes.
  • Ensure wellbeing of residents through access to essential services like transportation infrastructure that prioritizes walkability;
    • Connections to the environment and outdoor activities;
    • and healthy buildings with good indoor air quality.

Stewardship & Project Economics

Stewardship & Project Economics GraphicThis team analyzed the funding mechanisms for each urban design and housing concept to ensure targeted affordability price points while maintaining long term affordability for workforce housing.

  • Make it simple:
    • Reserve housing for local employees, not for those who work remotely;
    • No short-term rentals.
  • Build equity:
    • Keep residents from “missing out”on the benefits of home ownership;
    • Ensure that residents are able to enjoy housing stability and build wealth.
  • Create mobility within housing types:
    • create housing for first-time homeowners, aging residents, growing families, etc;
    • Ensure rents and mortgages are affordable so residents are not cost-burdened;
    • Offer a range of housing options so that there is room of mobility from rental to ownership.
  • Prioritize affordability:
    • Ensure long-term affordability through appreciation caps, setting an appropriate and resale formula and stewardship techniques;
    • consider the housing authority owning the land and separating the economics of infrastructure from the development economics to make homes more affordable (only paying for the structure)
  • Develop relationships with residents:
    • Maintain strong relationship between residents and YVHA;
    • provide education and clear expectations/guidelines for residents;
    • Offer support and oversight to residents to maintain the quality of homes and ensure residents are able to make payments.

Urban Design

Urban Design GraphicThis team worked with the master plan consultants to create concepts for the entire buildout of the site utilizing City of Steamboat Springs Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) Transect Zone District, Street Sections and Open Space/Trails requirements.

Here are their principles:

  • Create planned neighborhoods that are compact, walkable and bikeable;
    • prioritize people over cars;
    • optimize creek and natural areas and support habitat;
    • integrate wildfire resilience strategies.
  • Develop integrated housing and commercial spaces together;
    • create compact mix of multistory, townhouses, and houses that reflect Steamboat’s character.
  • Provide transit and shared mobility:
    • prioritize trails, safe cycling and pedestrians;
    • optimize parking and minimize heat islands.
  • Create optimal streetscape:
    • minimize pavement;
    • Create street and shared parking, alleys and accessory dwelling units (ADUs).
  • Maximize shared open space:
    • create drought-tolerant native and adaptative landscapes;
    • capitalize existing creek, natural areas and hillsides.