Brown Ranch 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.[…]

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.[…]

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.[…]

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.[…]

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.[…]

Traffic top of mind as Steamboat Springs community learns more about Brown Ranch

October 10, 2022

Effects the Brown Ranch will have on Steamboat Springs’ roads was top of mind for residents as officials with the Yampa Valley Housing Authority fielded questions about the development during a presentation last week.

There were numerous questions at each session about how building the 2,300-unit development west of town over the next 20 to 25 years will impact traffic that is already congested along U.S. Highway 40 — especially west of town where backups are a daily occurrence […]

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 […]

Brown Ranch will need about $10M a year from Steamboat, housing authority director says

May 4, 2022

Building the necessary infrastructure for the Brown Ranch housing development could require as much as $10 million a year from the Steamboat Springs community over the next 20 years.

In a presentation to Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday, May 3, Jason Peasley, executive director of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, emphasized that while the estimated $400 million price tag for infrastructure is crucial for developing Brown Ranch, the city won’t have to come up with that money all at once and […]

Brown Ranch will need significant community support to make vision a reality

May 1, 2022

The first phase of construction at the Brown Ranch would build more than 1,100 units, with about a third of that new stock of apartments and single-family options available for purchase, according to a presentation to the project’s steering committee last week.

That first phase could be further split into multiple phases, but initial construction would likely start at the southeast portion of the property and make a connection with the currently under construction Overlook Subdivision […]

Jason Peasley, executive director of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, talks with U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, D-Colorado, prior to a round table discussion about affordable housing issues on Wednesday, April 20, at the Brown Ranch west of Steamboat Springs
Sens. Bennet, Hickenlooper tout community projects during Routt County visit

April 20, 2022

Colorado’s senators were in Routt County on Wednesday, April 20, to learn about two of the Yampa Valley’s most important community projects — one that has gotten significant federal funding and another that would benefit from it.

Sen. Michael Bennet paid a visit to the Hayden Center to see the space, which $2.9 million in congressionally directed spending will help finish in the next year and a half, while Sen. John Hickenlooper toured the Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s Brown Ranch property […]

Brown Ranch Steering Committee considers number of units while hearing about demand for housing

March 18, 2022

The Brown Ranch Steering Committee met Friday, March 18, as the group waded through information about housing demand, as well as some updates from the focus teams and the consulting team, Mithun, that are guiding the affordable housing project.

According to the steering committee, its members are in line with building about 800 units in the first phase of construction, though there are still questions about the density, types of housing and percentages of rental properties in relationship to units to purchase[…]

Brown Ranch proposes 800 units in first phase; 2500 by 2040

March 18, 2022

Housing demand for Brown Ranch is 2,500 units by the year 2040.

That’s the most recent update from the Brown Ranch Steering Committee, after meeting with focus groups and consultants.

The committee is aligned with building 800 units in the first phase of construction. One question being discussed is density which will be 15-18 units per acre.[…]

Focus group ponders how to power Brown Ranch

March 6, 2022

Without any upgrades at the undeveloped Brown Ranch property, Yampa Valley Electric Association estimates it could serve about 15 homes — but even that is more of a guess.

“We can serve thousands with infrastructure upgrades … just like any other utility,” said Virginia Harman, vice president of operations for YVEA, during the Brown Ranch project’s infrastructure focus group meeting on Thursday, March 3. […]

A month in, Brown Ranch focus teams have several key meetings ahead

March 1, 2022

Five focus teams for the Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s Brown Ranch project have been wading into key issues about the development for about a month now with some interesting revelations.

One of those is that getting water to the 536-acre property doesn’t seem to be as big of an issue as once believed it would be. Instead, figuring out electricity for the development may be trickier, said Shelia Henderson, community engagement lead on the Brown Ranch project.[…]

Steamboat schools interested in partnership to develop property adjacent to Brown Ranch

February 10, 2022

If 536 acres weren’t enough, the Steamboat Springs Board of Education signaled Monday, Feb. 7, it is interested in working with the Yampa Valley Housing Authority to plan out a 22-acre parcel the district owns that is adjacent to Brown Ranch. […]

Housing authority to staff up with Brown Ranch, more on horizon

February 7, 2022

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority is looking to roughly triple the size of its staff over the next two years, as planning for Brown Ranch isn’t the only project on the entity’s plate.

A year ago, beefing up the housing authority’s property management capabilities was the main priority, and in a special meeting for strategic planning last week, Executive Director Jason Peasley said he wants to ensure efforts to develop the Brown Ranch don’t get in the way of that. […]

Yampa Valley continues seeking details on Brown Ranch

February 2, 2022

The Brown Ranch Steering Committee has been meeting weekly since October, and in one of those meetings, they were struggling to combine two draft vision statements for the project. […]

Commissioners generally support extension of Yampa River Core Trail west through Brown Ranch

January 31, 2022

In the 1990s, a group known as the Yampa Valley Trail Alliance envisioned a trail that would extend along the Yampa River from its headwaters in the Flat Tops Mountains to near the Utah border in Dinosaur. […]

Housing authority holding Brown Ranch ‘kick-off’ presentations Thursday

January 26, 2022

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority is holding multiple community presentations about the Brown Ranch on Thursday, Jan. 27, including options to ask questions.

Members of the Brown Ranch Steering Committee will be available to chat in person in between presentations at Strings Music Pavilion […]

Building Community: How can you participate in planning Brown Ranch?

January 6, 2022

Ever since the Yampa Valley Housing Authority received the anonymous gift of 536 acres on the west end of town, you can’t go anywhere without overhearing conversations about the Brown Ranch.

For most it brings hope. Business owners, day cares, nonprofits and teachers hope it will provide housing for valued employees who may be forced to leave town […]

Brown Ranch: A Vision by the Community for the Community

December, 2021

The Brown Ranch is a special place just west of the current Steamboat Springs city limits. It’s a beautiful 536-acre property with meadows, bluffs, creeks and rolling hills that include stunning views of the ski area, the Continental Divide, the Sleeping Giant, and Emerald Mountain […]

All hands on deck: Steamboat talks Brown Ranch future with Yampa Valley Housing Authority

December 15, 2021

Steamboat Springs City Council and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority held their first conversation Tuesday since the Housing Authority purchased the Brown Ranch, a 536-acre property just west of town that will one day serve as affordable housing. […]

Rumors rampant about Brown Ranch housing development as committee continues lengthy community outreach

November 11, 2021

One of the first obstacles facing the Brown Ranch development west of Steamboat Springs is misinformation, according to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority Board of Directors. Rumors surrounding the project […]

Community remembers Stephen Brown who embraced the Steamboat Springs spirit

November 11, 2021

Cars packed into a large open space that had been turned into a makeshift parking lot near the entrance of the Brown Ranch in west Steamboat Springs on Oct. 30, as those who knew Stephen Brown came out to pay their respects […]

Building Community: What is the Brown Ranch, and can I afford to call it home?

November 1, 2021

The Brown Ranch is a special place just west of the current Steamboat Springs city limits. It’s a beautiful 536-acre property […]

Anonymous donor returns with $6M donation for Housing Authority to purchase 11 acres on Steamboat’s east side

October 29, 2021

The same anonymous donor responsible for funding the Yampa Valley Housing Authority’s purchase of the Brown Ranch this summer has returned with another contribution. With a $6 million donation […]

Letter: County, city are strong examples of cooperative land use

October 13, 2021

Thank you to the anonymous donor who provided the donation to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority to enable them to purchase the land in our designated growth area in West Steamboat Springs. This has the potential […]

Housing Authority Names 20 locals to steering committee for Brown Ranch development

September 16, 2021

Vanessa Avitia is just 13 years old, and she loves living in Steamboat Springs. But her parents […]

Letter: Opportunity of a lifetime to build locals housing

August 16, 2021

Thanks to the generosity and foresight of an anonymous donor, our community has an opportunity of a lifetime; an opportunity to build […]

Building a new community: Housing Authority holds first discussions on next steps for West Steamboat property

August 12, 2021

Having closed Wednesday on the purchase of the Brown Ranch property, 536 acres west of Steamboat Springs formerly owned by Steamboat 700, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority is placing great emphasis on […]

Housing Authority closes on Steamboat 700 land; Polis says project is good candidate for state support

August 11, 2021

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority closed on 536 acres of property to the west of Steamboat Springs on Wednesday, officially taking ownership of the former Steamboat 700 property that has long been talked about as an answer to local housing woes. During a stop at the property as he toured Northwest Colorado on Wednesday, Gov. Jared Polis […]

Housing Authority makes offer to purchase Steamboat 700 land with $23M anonymous donation

July 15, 2021

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority is eagerly awaiting a response from Steamboat 700 LLC after it made an offer Thursday to purchase its 536-acre property west of Steamboat Springs, […]

Land called ‘golden key’ to easing local housing crisis now for sale on Steamboat’s west side

July 14, 2021

A 346-acre parcel of land currently for sale on the west side of Steamboat Springs could hold the key to the community’s future housing needs if it can attract the right buyer. The property has been in the spotlight several times since 2007 […]