Read what our Focus Teams learned during their community meetings and the opportunities for public participation in the future.

Community Engagement

We are committed to working with the community to design the Brown Ranch. We have conducted more than 200 meetings to date and connected with more than 3250 community members, community groups, governmental agencies, non-profits, and businesses.

Starting in January 2022, we also organized over six meetings with each Focus Team. The teams were Housing and Residential Demand, Infrastructure, Urban Design, Built and Natural Sustainability and Stewardship and Project Economics.

Each team created guiding principles to help us develop a draft community plan that reflects the community’s vision. The challenge we face is incorporating every principle, there will be compromises. However, our guiding principle remains strong and is in our vision:

“The Brown Ranch residents will live and connect in a vibrant, resilient, diverse, and welcoming neighborhood that provides a wide variety of housing options and services designed by and for the Yampa Valley community.”

Read below the principles developed by each Focus Team:

Health Equity

Health Equity Icon
As part of the Brown Ranch Design process, we researched the needs to develop health equity: “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.”

– Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Health Equity Initiative Purpose

  • Work together to lift up health equity opportunities and shape priorities for the physical development and services coordination at Brown Ranch
  • Understand long-term outcomes and success at Brown Ranch
  • Advocate for health equity more broadly, beyond Brown Ranch

Health Equity Opportunities

Cross cutting opportunities:

  • A community that accepts, welcomes, and provides services for everyone
  • A leadership community in mental and physical health
  • Follows the Health Equity Action Plan

Safe, stable housing

  • Creates workforce housing for teachers, healthcare providers and more
  • Provides variety of housing types
  • Supports intergenerational families
  • Expands homeownership opportunities including access to loans
  • Supports housing mobility as life stage and needs change
  • Addresses domestic violence

Mental Health

  • Provides services and programs for seniors and youth
  • Access to mental health clinics
  • Transitional, supportive and adaptative housing
  • Behavioral health services and treatment facilities
  • Biophilic design and connection to nature
  • Opportunities for physical activities in all seasons

Access to Essential Services

  • Provides Universal access to essential services:
    • Health and dental care
    • Pharmacies
    • Clinics
    • Childcare
    • Parks and trails
    • Schools
    • Community Center
    • Recreation Center
  • Access:
    • Physical access with transit and clear trails
    • Internet access
    • Affordability
    • Inclusive services without cultural or language barriers

Health, Smoke and Air Quality

  • Incorporates fire safety recommendations
  • Provides community services for cooling/heating and fire smoke relief
  • Promotes healthy construction materials and indoor air quality
  • Minimizes heat islands

Healthy Food

  • Access to federal nutrition programs like SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistance program)
  • Farmer’s markets
  • Supermarkets
  • Local grocery stores
  • Community gardens

Traffic Safety

  • Safe sidewalks and streets
  • Safe and convenient access to public transit
  • Walkable, accessible, and ADA-compliant street design
  • Snow removal services for sidewalks, trails and bike faciilities

Health Graphic Sourced From: Healthy People 2030, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Retrieved 05/17/22,  from

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.

Based on the numerous community meetings the Housing and Non-Residential Demand Focus Team developed these principles in the following areas: attainable, diverse, appropriate, sizable, timely.


  • 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


  • Offer a range of housing options so that there is room for mobility
  • Keep residents from “missing out” on the benefits of home ownership
  • Housing for first-time homeowners, aging residents, growing families, etc.


  • Reserve for local employees, not those who work remotely
  • Ensure unit sizes are able to comfortably serve the local workforce demand


  • Deliver enough homes to begin addressing the urgent need
  • Plan future phases to accommodate additional growth addressing long-term expansion of the community


  • Work within the bounds of local processes for provide quality housing as quickly as possible given the depth of demand in the community today

Click here for the latest Housing & Non-Residential Demand updates

Natural & Built Sustainability

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

Based on the numerous community meetings the Natural and Built Sustainability Focus Team developed these principles in the following areas: ecosystems, energy, materials, resilience, water, wellbeing.


Meaningful open space that:

  • Creates and restores riparian corridors
  • Allows for wildlife movement
  • Consider habitat for wildlife


Smallest carbon footprint that:

  • Provides long-term affordability and energy security for residents
  • Has the lowest life-cycle costs


  • Building materials that are healthy and affordable for the lifetime of a building with a. focus on durability and zero waste


Community is both climate and socially resilient by:

  • Including wildfire resilient design and building
  • Preparing for increased temperatures
  • Preventing food deserts


Low flow, minimal water use development with:

  • Adaptative reuse of water
  • Building designs that minimize water use
  • Low to no irrigation of private landscapes


Ensure wellbeing through access to resources and essential to resources and essential services with:

  • Transportation infrastructure that prioritizes walkability
  • Connections to the environment and outdoor activities
  • Healthy buildings with good indoor air quality

Cross Cutting themes:

  • Concentrated density with shared resources
  • Community scale systems that can prepare for future climate conditions
  • Follow the Climate Action Plan and Water Conservation Plan

Click here for the latest Natural & Built Sustainability updates

Urban Design

Urban Design GraphicThis team worked with the CDP 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.

Based on the numerous community meetings the Urban Design Focus Team developed these principles in the following areas: planning, building, open space, transportation, sustainability and streetscape.


  • Create compact, walkable, bikeable spaces
  • Prioritize people over cars
  • Optimize creek and natural areas. Support habitat.
  • Integrate wildfire resilience strategies


  • Create compact mix of multistory, townhouses, and houses within financial constraints
  • Mix housing with commercial locations
  • Fit in Steamboat character

Open Space:

  • Capitalize on the creek, natural areas and hillsides
  • Maximize shared open space
  • Create drought tolerant native and adaptive landscapes


  • Prioritize transit and shared mobility
  • Prioritize trails, safe cycling, and pedestrians
  • Optimize parking and minimize heat islands


  • Minimize irrigation. Investigate non-potable water for community parks
  • Develop water efficient buildings
  • Build energy efficient buildings and use solar energy


  • Minimize pavement
  • Create street and shared parking, alleys and accessory dwelling units (ADUs)

Click here for the latest Urban Design updates


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.

Based on the numerous community meetings the Infrastructure Focus Team developed these principles in the following areas: water, transportation, energy, stormwater and sustainability.


  • Build in flexibility that can accommodate changes between now and 2050
  • Maximize water efficiency
  • Minimize water use in landscaping
  • Identify number of units that can be built at each of the capacity limits


  • Prioritize transit and shared mobility and design for alternative modes of transportation
  • Local street cross section that prioritize trails, cycling and walkability
  • Optimize parking and limit heat islands
  • Encourage the reduction of vehicle miles traveled


  • Think 2050
  • 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


  • Reduce impervious surfaces
  • Deliver quality water to Yampa River
  • Integrate solutions with Urban Design & Open Space
  • Design for retention vs. conveyance
  • Pursue long-term runoff barrier solutions
  • Maximize groundwater recharge


  • Integrate with Climate Action Plan
  • Reduce all thing

Click here for the latest Infrastructure updates

Stewardship & Project Economics

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

Based on the numerous community meetings the Stewardship and Project Economics Focus Team developed these principles in the following areas: simplicity, wealth-building, mobility, affordability, communication education and relationships.


  • Simple and inclusive restrictions
  • No short-term rentals. Foster community, make housing available for full-time locals
  • Reserve for local employees, not for those who work remotely
  • Ensure definitions are clear and understandable (i.e. what does “sole residency” mean?”)

Wealth Building

  • Ensure that residents are able to enjoy housing stability and build wealth
  • Keep residents from “missing out”on the benefits of home ownership


  • Promote movement of residents from low income to deed restrictions
  • Offer a range of housing options so that there is room of mobility
  • Housing for first-time homeowners, aging residents, growing families, etc.
  • Ensure rents and mortgages are affordable so residents are not cost-burdened.


  • Ensuring long-term affordability through appreciation caps, setting an appropriate and resale formula and stewardship techniques.
  • The housing authority would own the land and separate the economics of infrastructure from the development economics to make homes more affordable (only paying for the structure)

Communication Education and Relationships

  • Maintain strong relationship between residents and YVHA
  • Offer support and oversight to residents to maintain the quality of homes and ensure residents are able to make payments
  • Provide education and clear expectations/guidelines for residents throughout the process

Click here for the latest Stewardship & Project Economics updates

Throughout the Focus Team process, we conducted targeted outreach to ensure every voice is heard during the planning process. We gave special attention to the hard-to-reach residents who don’t tend to have access to these community processes.

Click here to view the latest Focus Team Updates

Click here to view the Focus Team Meeting Calendar

The Process

Meet the Steering Committee