Brown Ranch in the News and Media


Steamboat Springs clerk certifies Brown Ranch annexation petition; decision headed for a voter referendum

Steamboat Pilot & Today

November 29, 2023

Steamboat Springs City Clerk Julie Franklin announced Tuesday that her office has certified a referendum petition for the city’s annexation of Brown Ranch.

Organized under the Let Steamboat Vote — Brown Ranch Annexation Committee, the petition collected 2,016 signatures, of which 494 were rejected by the clerk’s office for a variety of reasons including names not being found on the city’s voter registration list, the address of the signature not matching voter records, and signatures being illegible or not including dates.

Despite the rejections, the accepted 1,522 signatures collected by committee surpassed the threshold needed to force the Brown Ranch annexation decision to a voter referendum.[…]

Steamboat Clerk certifies Brown Ranch petition, council to discuss election date next week

The Yampa Valley Bugle

November 29, 2023

Nearly 500 signatures were thrown out, but there were still more than the 1,133 signatures needed to force a vote.

Steamboat Springs City Clerk Julie Franklin has certified more than 1,500 signatures submitted by the Let Steamboat Vote campaign, well above the 1,133-signature threshold needed to force the question of Brown Ranch annexation to a city-wide vote.

Petitioners submitted more than 1,900 signatures to the city ahead of a Nov. 17 deadline, but just under 500 signatures were tossed out for several reasons. Some signers were not registered to vote, didn’t live in the city limits, or omitted some key information.[…]

YVHA gets $7 million in state grants for Brown Ranch infrastructure projects

Steamboat Pilot & Today

November 10, 2023

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority received a pair of notices this week that the Colorado Department of Local Affairs has offered two grants totaling almost $7 million to support onsite infrastructure development needed to build the Brown Ranch affordable housing development.

One grant, drawn from the state’s More Housing Now & Land Use Initiative and valued at $1.9 million, will support construction of wastewater infrastructure for the initial construction phase of the project, which will contain 400-800 affordable housing units restricted to local workforce households. In addition, commercial and civic amenities will include a child care center, fire station and a grocery store.[…]

Letter: Brown Ranch will provide housing for Steamboat Springs athletes like me

Steamboat Pilot & Today

November 8, 2023

My great-great-grandmother came to Steamboat Springs in a covered wagon in the late 1800s. My family has called Steamboat home for generations. I grew up in Steamboat and attended school in Steamboat.

I followed the dream of so many young athletes in our town. I trained with the Winter Sports Club and at 20, I now train and compete with the U.S. Ski Team. I am ranked third in the country in Freestyle skiing, and I am on the path to compete in the 2026 Olympics in Italy.

I represent Steamboat Springs with my whole heart as I chase my dreams on the international ski circuit. When I think of my future, I would love to be able to rent and own a home in the city I represent one day. Unfortunately, right now I am not even close to being able to afford rent.[…]

Statement from YVHA Executive Director, Jason Peasley, on results of Ballot Initiative 2i that dedicates funding to the Brown Ranch

Yampa Valley Housing Authority

November 8, 2023

“On behalf of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, we would like to thank the voters of Steamboat Springs for dedicating 75% of the existing short-term rental tax to building affordable and attainable housing at the Brown Ranch. I’m just incredibly grateful for the commitment that the community is making. This financial commitment to Brown Ranch is foundational. The land donation was transformational, the investment of our local resources is foundational.

We would also like to thank the many community members that engaged in dialogue about the Brown Ranch. Your love of our community is the inspiration that moves us forward. Productive dialogue is not always easy, and it is not always civil, but your engagement is appreciated. We believe that we can come together to solve our problems and we at YVHA want to be part of the solution of solving our affordable housing crisis for our local workforce.[…]

‘The work begins now’: Steamboat makes historic commitment to affordable housing at Brown Ranch

The Yampa Valley Bugle

November 8, 2023

Steamboat Springs Ballot Measure 2I to dedicate 75% of short-term rental tax revenues approved by margin of 487 votes, with just 150 votes outstanding.

More than two years after the property was anonymously donated to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, Steamboat Springs voters allocated dedicated funding to the Brown Ranch on Tuesday in another vote reaffirming the community’s desire for a solution to its decades-long housing crisis.

By a margin that grew to 487 votes through the night, Steamboat approved Ballot Measure 2I with votes falling 55% for ‘yes’ and 45% for ‘no.’ With 150 votes remaining, measure 2I was passing with 2,777 ‘yes’ votes and 2,290 ‘no’ votes. […]

Steamboat voters approve short-term rental tax revenue to fund Brown Ranch

Steamboat Pilot & Today

November 8, 2023

Steamboat Springs voters approved a ballot question Tuesday to allocate 75% of the city’s short-term rental tax revenues to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority through 2042 for the purpose of funding the Brown Ranch affordable housing project.

Unofficial election results released by the Routt County Clerk’s office Tuesday evening showed 54.8% of the 4,633 Steamboat voters who considered Question No. 2I opted to support the measure, which will lock in the city’s short-term tax revenue at a 9% rate levied on individual bookings in the city and direct the majority of the money collected to the housing authority to support the affordable housing development.

The remaining 25% of the short-term tax revenue will go to the city to support affordable housing projects.[…]

Guest column: Brown Ranch keeps Steamboat Steamboat

Steamboat Pilot & Today

November 4, 2023

Brown Ranch is the solution for keeping Steamboat Steamboat.

It is an unprecedented opportunity with benefits that range from providing affordable and attainable housing for all levels of the workforce to directing the growth west of town, which protects the South Valley and the feeling one gets when coming down the pass, marveling at how lucky we are to live here and knowing we are home.

The annexation agreement protects our community.

After months of negotiations between the city and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, the annexation agreement approved by City Council is a sound agreement.[…]

Guest column: If you support Brown Ranch, don’t sign the petition

Steamboat Pilot & Today

November 4, 2023

I am disheartened by the disingenuous messaging of the “Let Steamboat Vote” campaign. I’ve had several people come to me with concerns that the petitioners are misleading and “duping” our community.

Two people were at the ski and snowboard swap at Howelsen said the petitioners were claiming, “If you support Brown Ranch, sign the petition.” Another was told, “If you support affordable housing, sign the petition.”

The petition would delay Brown Ranch, and those who are running the petition are diametrically opposed to the Brown Ranch. If you sign the petition, you cannot remove your signature. So be careful what you sign.[…]

How a call from Colorado Gov. Jared Polis helped swing Steamboat’s Brown Ranch annexation vote

Steamboat Pilot & Today

October 29, 2023

“Please hold for Governor Polis.”

On the day before she and her colleagues were slated to vote on second reading of the Brown Ranch annexation ordinance, Steamboat Springs City Council member Joella West said the start of a phone call from Gov. Jared Polis felt a bit surreal.

“It was just like in the movies,” West said, adding that she had never received a direct call from the governor before and doesn’t expect to receive one in the future.

The week prior, West had joined the majority in a 4-3 decision to send the Brown Ranch annexation decision to a referendum tentatively scheduled for June, but at second reading on Oct. 17, a day after speaking to the governor, she changed her vote, opting instead to approve the annexation by a City Council vote.[…]

Guest column: Know the top 10 facts about Brown Ranch

Steamboat Pilot & Today

October 26, 2023

In an environment where disinformation and misinformation are rampant, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority Board compiled these facts to educate the community about the Brown Ranch.

More information is available at

1. Fact: Steamboat Springs is in a housing crisis. We know we need 1,400 housing units now for existing workers. Businesses, schools, the hospital and nonprofits cannot hire the staff they need because there is no housing workers can afford.

2. Fact: Brown Ranch is phased, responsible growth that has been contemplated for years.[…]

Gov. Jared Polis’ support for Brown Ranch factored into Steamboat Council’s annexation decision

The Yampa Valley Bugle

October 20, 2023

A letter from the Department of Local Affairs warned a delay to annexation could put $15 million in grant funding at risk.

In the 36 hours before casting the deciding vote to annex the Brown Ranch into the city of Steamboat Springs without a public vote, Council member Joella West got a call from Colorado Gov. Jared Polis.

“When you pick up the phone, you say this doesn’t look like I’m going to know who it is and the voice on the other end of the line says, ‘Will you hold for Gov. Polis please,’” West recalled at Tuesday’s council meeting. “So I talked to the governor for a while about Brown Ranch and tried to explain not only what my concerns were, but the potential solutions that I hope we could all find.” […]

Council reverses on public vote; Annexes Brown Ranch in dramatic vote to shape Steamboat’s future

The Yampa Valley Bugle

October 18, 2023

The 4-3 vote saw Council Member Joella West change her vote to support annexing the planned 2,262 unit development that promises to heal Steamboat’s decades-long housing pain without a public vote.

In a dramatic reversal, Steamboat Springs City Council approved Brown Ranch annexation in the early hours of Wednesday without subjecting it to a city-wide referendum — a move that only became possible when Council Member Joella West switched her vote.

Council’s 4-3 vote means annexation will not automatically be referred to a special election, an about-face from last week’s decision that saw West join the other three council members to insist annexation be in the hands of Steamboat voters.[…]

City Council passes Brown Ranch annexation ordinance on second reading; reverses course on public vote

October 18, 2023

Steamboat Springs City Council passed an ordinance to annex Brown Ranch during a marathon meeting that began Tuesday.

After more than five hours of discussion, public comments, questions to city staff and, at times, heated back and forth between council members, the ordinance passed 4-3 in the early morning hours Wednesday.

Council members Joella West, Dakotah McGinlay, Michael Buccino and Gail Garey voted to approve the annexation outright. Ed Briones, Heather Sloop and Robin Crossan voted against the annexation after stating their preference that it be sent to voters.[…]

How does the Brown Ranch Annexation Agreement ensure housing will be affordable for locals?

October 16, 2023

The annexation agreement includes a section specifically focused on ensuring units will be affordable and attainable now and into the future.

Social media posts are often quick to declare that the Brown Ranch will not be affordable housing, but largely ignore details in the annexation that are in place to ensure units will be kept affordable and attainable.

In fact, the annexation agreement city council approved last month includes a whole section about how housing built at Brown Ranch — whether rental or for sale units — will be kept affordable now and in to the future. An additional 13-page exhibit to the annexation agreement further lays out affordability. […]

Brown Ranch annexation timeline frustrates housing authority

October 15, 2023

With second reading of the Brown Ranch annexation ordinance set for Tuesday, Yampa Valley Housing Authority Executive Director Jason Peasley is hoping Steamboat Springs City Council members will change course on a decision to refer the matter to voters next summer.

The annexation of Brown Ranch would bring 534 acres west of downtown Steamboat under the control of the city after the housing authority purchased the land with a $24 million anonymous donation in 2021. Plans for the project would see 2,264 affordable housing units, available for rent and for ownership, built over the 20-year lifespan of the project.[…]

City Council agrees to send Brown Ranch annexation decision to Steamboat Springs voters

October 11, 2023

The question of whether Steamboat Springs should annex the Brown Ranch property for the purpose of constructing more than 2,000 affordable housing units will be decided by voters after a 4-3 City Council vote Tuesday night.

During the first reading of the annexation ordinance, Robin Crossan, Joella West, Heather Sloop and Ed Briones voted to approve the agreement with a stipulation that it be enacted with voter approval.

Unless changes are made at the council’s second reading of the ordinance next week, the annexation vote will take place June 25 of next year.[…]

Brown Ranch annexation will be decided by Steamboat Springs voters

October 10, 2023

Brown Ranch annexation will be decided by Steamboat Springs voters

The question of whether to annex the Brown Ranch into the city limits of Steamboat Springs will be decided in a public vote, city council decided on Tuesday, a move that will delay when the first units at the development will be available.

In a 4-3 vote, a majority of Council President Robin Crossan and council members Joella West, Heather Sloop and Ed Briones voted to approve the agreement and delay implementation until the voters weigh in. […]

Letter: Now is the time; Brown Ranch is the place

October 10, 2023

I am writing as a volunteer member of the development team of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority. My experience for almost all my career was as owner of 50% in commercial real estate development entity. My experience with the YVHA has covered the last five years or so.

This is all said only to show that I have some experience that informs my view on the current situation of the annexation and the ballot measure 2i. It does the same for insight into the working of the YVHA. At the outset, I will say without equivocation that this is a fine, well-run and motivated group set on one goal and one only: increasing the amount affordable and sustainable residential units, and every single dollar received or spent goes and has gone directly to that goal. […]

Guest column: The truth about Brown Ranch is Steamboat desperately needs it

October 10, 2023

Heather DeVos’ Oct. 3 column regarding the Brown Ranch project propagates a number of misconceptions about this important initiative. Contrary to her position, the evidence of our housing crisis is obvious, the ranch is the right location to address the need, the funding plan includes no new taxes and the development methodology — a public-private partnership — is a well-proven, time-tested approach to meeting community-development needs.

Our current need for affordable workforce housing, demonstrated through detailed market research, community surveys and social media forums, is immense. Our employers are desperate for workers, but most candidates — bartenders, plumbers, teachers, even doctors — can’t find decent, affordable places to live.[…]

Steamboat City Council member Michael Buccino on Brown Ranch annexation: ‘We need to do this’

October 9, 2023

In less than a month, a ballot question will ask Steamboat voters whether to direct 75% of the city’s annual short-term rental tax collections to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority to fund the affordable housing development at Brown Ranch.

If approved, the funding would support the planned development of more than 2,264 housing units on a 534-acre plot of land purchased by the housing authority in 2021 with a $24 million anonymous donation.

The project would provide deed-restricted affordable housing options intended for locally employed residents and would be constructed over three phases planned for completion by 2042.[…]

Zoning framework for Brown Ranch approved by Steamboat Planning Commission

October 2, 2023

The Brown Ranch affordable housing development took another step forward last week after the Steamboat Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve a zoning framework for the project.

The zoning framework, which must be finalized by a City Council vote, is needed to set development standards for the Brown Ranch property should the land be annexed into the city.

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority submitted the zoning application for Brown Ranch as part of the agency’s effort to guide the development of 2,264 affordable housing units on the Brown Ranch property by 2024. The authority purchased Brown Ranch in 2021 after receiving an anonymous donation of $24 million.[…]

Guest column: The Michaels’ approach to Brown Ranch will build community, not just homes

October 2, 2023

In Steamboat Springs, a new era in community development is underway. As Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s builder, developer and property manager partner, The Michaels Organization brings a distinct approach to housing communities, and that approach defines this project.

For close to five decades, Michaels has been a national cornerstone in affordable housing, prioritizing environments where individuals and families truly prosper. Building communities that lift lives is the heart of our work.

Now, let’s delve into the Brown Ranch project.[…]

Steamboat council sets stage for Brown Ranch annexation ordinance decision

September 20, 2023

Steamboat Springs City Council approved an annexation agreement for the Brown Ranch affordable housing development in a 5-2 vote Tuesday night, setting the stage for council members to decide on a formal annexation ordinance that, if approved, would officially bring the land into the city.

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority purchased the 534-acre Brown Ranch using a $24 million donation in 2021. The planned development would provide housing to qualified residents earning between 60% and 258% of the area median income. […]

Brown Ranch Annexation Agreement approved by Steamboat Springs City Council

September 19, 2023

Approval of the agreement is an important step, but does not annex the land into the city limits.

In a 5-2 vote on Tuesday, Steamboat Springs City Council passed a resolution approving the Brown Ranch Annexation Agreement with the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, a crucial — but not final — step on the path toward growing the boundaries of the city to include the proposed affordable housing development. […]

Steamboat Springs, Housing Authority arrive at Brown Ranch annexation agreement language

September 13, 2023

City council will consider a resolution approving the agreement next week, but that doesn’t annex the Brown Ranch. Actual annexation will be considered in October.

After another meeting that extended late into the night on Tuesday, Steamboat Springs City Council and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority have completed the draft of the Brown Ranch Annexation Agreement that council will consider approving in a resolution next week. […]

Brown Ranch ballot language finalized; City Council votes to remove regional park costs from project

September 6, 2023

After an extended and at times heated Steamboat Springs City Council discussion Tuesday night, officials approved sending a ballot measure to be decided in November asking voters to allocate 75% of short-term rental tax revenues to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority for the planned development of 2,000-plus affordable housing units by 2042.[…]

Brown Ranch annexation agreement closer than ever, but it now has a hard deadline

September 6, 2023

Steamboat Council intends to review the agreement line-by-line next week; will consider a resolution approving the agreement on Sept. 19.

Steamboat Springs City Council and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority made several strides toward a finalized annexation agreement on Tuesday, though that agreement now needs to be finalized before the end of the month. […]

Four votes put question of sustainable STR Tax revenues for Brown Ranch in Steamboat voter’s hands

September 6, 2023

Each of the four votes in support of the question Tuesday came from council members elected in 2021 to address affordable housing.

Four Steamboat Springs City Council members voted to ask voters to dedicate long-term funding raised by a voter-approved tax on short-term rentals to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s Brown Ranch affordable housing project on Tuesday.[…]

Guest column: The cost of doing nothing at Brown Ranch is real

September 5, 2023

FACT: Steamboat Springs has both a housing crisis and an employment crisis. For years now, we’ve seen the working-age share of the local population shrink, largely due to the high cost of living here. According to the Colorado Futures Center, Steamboat Springs has 1,000 fewer workers now than we did in 2010, and Routt County has one of the fastest declining workforces in the state. This labor shortage has reduced revenues and increased costs for local businesses. Those operating close to the margin will likely close their doors.[…]

Brown Ranch annexation getting closer to agreement as ballot question deadline looms

August 30, 2023

A key issue remaining is what performance metrics will be in the agreement, which could reduce or end funding for the project if not met.

Several key developments moved the city of Steamboat Springs and Yampa Valley Housing Authority closer to a Brown Ranch Annexation agreement on Tuesday ahead of an all-important city council meeting on Sept. 5. […]

Brown Ranch negotiations advance as development’s future hangs in the balance

August 24, 2023

On Wednesday, Jason Peasley, executive director of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, said he had a “totally positive” outlook regarding the prospects of the Brown Ranch housing development becoming a reality in the coming years.

The outlook differed from the perspective he had expressed the night before.

Standing outside city hall during a break in the almost eight-hour Steamboat Springs City Council meeting, Peasley had described ongoing negotiations over the project as “a rollercoaster ride.”[…]

Steamboat Council drops demand for regional park at Brown Ranch

August 23, 2023

Council was vague in the reasoning for the change after discussing the regional park in an closed-door session.

Steamboat Springs City Council made a stark reversal on Tuesday, dropping their insistence that the Yampa Valley Housing Authority provide land for a regional park as part of Brown Ranch annexation after meeting in executive session.[…]

U.S. 40 traffic study shows Brown Ranch accelerates need for improvements, but doesn’t cause them

August 23, 2023

A significant part of the road upgrades are the responsibility of the city, but how to pay for them is an elusive question.

A 1,600-page traffic study conducted as part of the Brown Ranch annexation process shows that traffic on U.S. Highway 40 isn’t broken right now, but it will deteriorate over time — with or without the more than 2,200 housing units Brown Ranch plans to provide. […]

Key issues like ballot language, regional park and water rights remain for Brown Ranch annexation

August 22, 2023

Steamboat Springs City Council and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority are working to have a finalized agreement approved via resolution on Sept. 5.

After setting an aggressive timeline in January to pull a Brown Ranch annexation agreement together in a fraction of the time previous deals have taken to be struck, things are now getting down to the wire. […]

Council approves first reading of Brown Ranch funding question locking in 9% STR tax rate

August 22, 2023

The ballot language was being amended on the fly Tuesday and could see more changes ahead of second reading.

If approved, language of a ballot measure Steamboat Springs City Council intends to send to voters this fall would commit 75% of short-term rental revenues to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority to support the build-out of Brown Ranch and lock in the STR tax’s current rate of 9%.[…]

Hope for housing: Brown Ranch could be a game-changer in Steamboat’s affordable housing crisis

August 21, 2023

New neighborhoods start with unseen essentials. At Brown Ranch, three miles west of Old Town Steamboat and six miles away from the ski resort, those rudiments will be key to transforming the 534 acres into a mixed-use district intended to house thousands.

The necessary infrastructure will include the typical components of the human urban experience — utilities, parks, sewers, sidewalks, streets and water lines — and the data conduits essential to modern digital habits.[…]

Hope for housing: Brown Ranch could be a game-changer in Steamboat’s affordable housing crisis

August 19, 2023

For Heather Fattig and her partner, housing in Steamboat Springs has been an annual headache. A local server and bartender and the parent of a 2-year-old daughter, Fattig is preparing to move yet again.

The family will soon take up residence in a two-bedroom home, a step down from their current three-bedroom rented house.

“It’s going to cost us more to live there than it does to live in this house, which is insane to me,” Fattig said.[…]

Steamboat Springs City Council questions project’s long-term financial implications during Brown Ranch annexation talks

August 7, 2023

A joint meeting last week between the Yampa Valley Housing Authority and Steamboat Springs city leaders did not lead to agreement on the question whether to commit short-term sales tax revenue to the Brown Ranch project.

Nor did the discussions indicate that the city and housing authority have reached an accord on an annexation agreement for the tract west of Steamboat. Instead, City Council members and representatives from the housing authority focused on several points of division, including ongoing questions about the financial impacts to the city. […]

Special Steamboat Council meeting results in little progress toward Brown Ranch Annexation deal

August 2, 2023

Council showed support for allocating 75% of STR tax revenues toward Brown Ranch, but lacked consensus on whether to send the question to voters to dedicate funding in future years.

There was little progress toward a Brown Ranch Annexation deal during a special Steamboat Springs City Council meeting on Tuesday, as council members had their first meaningful discussion on the project in public since annexation talks started in January. […]

Public comment focuses Brown Ranch annexation discussion on Steamboat’s desperate need for housing

August 2, 2023

About 45 minutes of public comment showed strong support for the project, with most commenters expressing that the most important thing for them was to get an annexation deal done.

Housing, Steamboat Springs’ lack of it and the impacts that shortage has on the community was the main focus of 45 minutes of public comment on Tuesday, bringing the Brown Ranch annexation conversation out of the weeds, if only for a moment. […]

Steamboat identifies $10.5 million payment for fee in lieu of water rights at Brown Ranch

July 27, 2023

Housing Authority argues assessing the fee will only make housing more expensive to deliver.

The city of Steamboat Springs is asking the Yampa Valley Housing Authority to pay $10.5 million as a fee in lieu of bringing water rights to the table as part of Brown Ranch Annexation.

The city has a water rights dedication policy that applies to annexed land that was put in place in 2009 during the then Steamboat 700 annexation process. That process — which sought to annex land that is now part of Brown Ranch — ultimately failed. […]

Steamboat negotiators float potential breakthrough deal to secure land for regional park

July 27, 2023

The deal, which would offer the Yampa Valley Housing Authority its request for a ballot measure allocating 75% of short-term rental tax revenue for Brown Ranch in exchange for the parkland, has not been approved by the broader city council.

City of Steamboat Springs negotiators floated a potential breakthrough deal on Wednesday that would see the city receive land for a regional park on Yampa Valley Housing Authority-owned land in exchange for a funding question to voters that would allocate a larger share of short-term rental tax revenues to fund Brown Ranch development. […]

The $250 million Brown Ranch question

July 26, 2023

In its last scheduled meeting, the Brown Ranch Annexation Committee hopes to answer the biggest question: How can they close a $250 million capital funding gap?

The Brown Ranch Annexation Committee will meet Wednesday morning for what is currently the last scheduled meeting. While much of an annexation agreement has been decided on, the issues left to iron out are some of the most important. They are also the most expensive.

Chief among the remaining issues is how to pay for the infrastructure needed for the Brown Ranch, which in total is now projected to cost nearly $590 million through the 20-year build-out. (This is up from an earlier $355 million estimate). With revenues the project is expected to spur and 50% of Short Term Rental tax revenue factored in, the committee has $250 million in costs that lack identified funding. […]

One of the nation’s largest affordable housing firms tapped to serve as Brown Ranch master developer

July 7, 2023

An Urban Land Institute panel recommended the Yampa Valley Housing Authority bring on a development partner last year.

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority identified one of the nation’s largest affordable housing developers to serve as its development partner for the Brown Ranch on Thursday.

The Michaels Organization, a New Jersey-based housing firm that has developed 57,000 units across 39 states and manages even more, would serve as a joint venture partner on the Brown Ranch with the Housing Authority, taking over roles like developing project proformas, raising capital, project engineering and design, and providing cost and completion guarantees. […]

Housing Authority wants to put Brown Ranch funding on the ballot

July 7, 2023

The question, if referred to the November election by Steamboat Springs City Council, would dedicate future STR revenues toward the Brown Ranch.

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority intends to push Steamboat Springs City Council to place a Brown Ranch funding question on the November ballot, a move, that if approved by voters, would commit a portion of short-term rental tax revenues to the Brown Ranch for as long as two decades.

Use of the STR tax has seen increased discussion at recent Brown Ranch Annexation Committee meetings, with the city having started out with the position of using 50% of the tax revenues for the Brown Ranch while the Housing Authority has suggested 75%. What the final percentage should be has only been minimally discussed in annexation meetings so far. […]

Michaels Organization named community development partner for Brown Ranch

July 6, 2023

In a special board meeting Thursday, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority Board voted to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with The Michaels Organization.

The MOU sets the stage for The Michaels Organization to be YVHA’s Community Development Partner for the Brown Ranch and is a document that outlines key terms of a future agreement between the two groups.

The Michaels Organization is the nation’s largest privately-held owner of affordable housing with 50 years of experience working in more than 39 states and with $11 billion of assets under management. This partnership will expand YVHA’s capabilities to build an affordable housing neighborhood, according to a YVHA news release. […]

Will Brown Ranch annexation go to a vote?

June 14, 2023

Steamboat Council is still weighing whether an eventual annexation agreement will go to the voters. If they don’t send it to the ballot, voters could put it there anyway.

The first two attempts to annex land west of Steamboat Springs into the city have each gone to a public vote of the people.

When it was called Steamboat 700 in 2010, voters rejected annexation by more than 20 percentage points. With the name West Steamboat Neighborhoods in 2019, voters approved extending the city by an almost opposite margin, though developer Brynn Grey Partners failed to close the deal. […]

City, housing authority lack ‘common ground’ on 46-acre regional park at Brown Ranch

May 30, 2023

While the Brown Ranch Annexation Committee is in agreement on other parks, open space and trails, a regional park is still an issue where there isn’t any agreement.

Finding space for a 46-acre regional park continues to be an issue where the Brown Ranch Annexation Committee cannot find agreement.

While there is agreement on other parks in the Brown Ranch — pocket, neighborhood and community level parks — the current development plan does not include the larger regional park that is required by city of Steamboat Springs’ parks plans, and the Housing Authority asserts if it was included it could lead to a steep loss of housing units. […]

Updated estimate predicts Brown Ranch infrastructure costs would exceed $355 million

May 30, 2023

Revenues from taxes associated with building the Brown Ranch and from Steamboat’s tax on short-term rentals still leave the balance for capital costs short by about $157 million.

The updated draft fiscal analysis for the Brown Ranch shows capital infrastructure needed for the development is projected to cost more than $355 million in today’s dollars.

This estimate, arrived at through an analysis conducted by the City of Steamboat Springs’ consultant EPS, includes cost projections for public works like water infrastructure, road improvements, a new fire station, an additional police substation, various new parks and miles of trails. […]

Two-thirds of young professionals surveyed fear lack of housing will force them from Steamboat

May 30, 2023

A survey of more than 250 people involved in the Young Professionals Network and local teachers show 63% do not have affordable housing.

More than two-thirds of people surveyed by Steamboat Springs’ Young Professionals Network say they are concerned they will have to leave the Yampa Valley because they cannot find housing.

Of the more than 250 people ages 20 to 40 surveyed by YPN, about 63% of them said they currently do not have housing that is affordable for them, meaning it costs less than 30% of their total income, though about 54% did identify their housing as stable. […]

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

May 25, 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. […]

City, county talk Brown Ranch road maintenance responsibilities

May 17, 2023

Routt County Public Works Director Mike Mordi and Steamboat Springs Public Works Director Jon Snyder approached Routt County Commissioners and Steamboat City Council on Monday, May 15, to discuss the fate of County Road 42 through the potential annexation of Brown Ranch.

The question of the hour: If Brown Ranch gets annexed, should the city or the county maintain County Road 42?

The area of County Road 42 specifically of interest is the half mile north of U.S. Highway 40. On the stretch of road where Brown Ranch is slated to be, one side falls under city territory while the other side of the road would be the county’s. […]

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.[…]

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 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.[…]

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.[…]

Who lives at Brown Ranch will be important to assess costs, revenues from the development

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.[…]