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  • Dylan Anderson

Steamboat Council to consider deal to buy Slate Creek land for regional park, open space

City parks staff also plan to share an update on a ‘unique’ potential partnership with Trust for Public Lands to acquire more parkland in Copper Ridge.

After delaying a decision to buy 187 acres of parkland on the west side of town last fall, Steamboat Springs City Council will consider a deal to buy the land in the Slate Creek area for $5.25 million on Tuesday.


If Council decides to go through with the purchase, the deal includes a two-year diligence period. This would allow time for the city to raise the funding to buy the land with grants and allow for them to back out of the purchase if they are unsuccessful. In exchange for the extended diligence period, the city would pay $200,000 in nonrefundable earnest money.


Council met behind closed doors in May to discuss the potential park purchase and has another executive session on the agenda Tuesday. Talk of buying the park originally came up last fall, but council members didn’t decide either way in May.


“[The parkland] has some high ground on the north side of the property that is really flat and would really lend itself well to a regional park,” said Matt Barnard, the city’s parks development manager, at the May meeting.


The city’s current concept for use of the parcel includes 46 acres for a regional park, 10 acres for secondary access the nearby Brown Ranch and trailhead space and then another 131 acres of open space. City parks staff recently developed a new parkland acquisition process, which ranked the Slate Creek area second highest out of 14 reviewed.


The $5.25 million purchase prices is the same as it was when council considered buying the land in October. Finding that funding was a reservation at the time, but a staff report prepared for Tuesday’s meeting saying the city intends to fund the purchase with grant funding. The staff report indicates the city could back out of the purchase if grant funding isn’t found, or the city could opt to reach in to its own coffers at that time.


The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting also includes an item regarding another parkland parcel referred to as the “Copper Ridge Parcel.” The staff report says the parcel, which is not identified, was brought to the attention of the city’s Parkland Acquisition Committee by Trust for Public Land and The Nature Conservancy.


“This large parcel of land is currently for sale within the identified Copper Ridge area,” the staff report reads. “Staff currently doesn’t have [capital improvement] funds or direction regarding the copper ridge area, but a unique partnership in acquisition with Trust for Public Lands has been offered to the city for consideration.”

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