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  • Dylan Anderson

Steamboat Springs Chamber Board supports ‘yes’ vote on Brown Ranch annexation

Survey of members and their employees showed 62% in favor of annexation and just 25% opposed.

The Steamboat Springs Chamber Board of Directors has endorsed annexing Brown Ranch into the city after a survey of business owners and their employees in the Yampa Valley showed 55% of them support annexation.

That same survey showed roughly 34% of respondents were opposed to Brown Ranch, and another 11.5% were ‘unsure.’ When responses were narrowed down to just Chamber members and their employees, 62% of them were in favor of annexation.

“There are multiple factors for the affordable housing crisis our community is facing, and we recognize there is no perfect solution to remedy it,” the Chamber wrote in a post about the board’s endorsement of annexation. “We support the ballot initiative as we think the pros of annexation outweigh the consequences that delaying annexation would have on attainable and affordable housing.”

Steamboat voters will decide the ultimate fate of the Brown Ranch on March 26 when they vote yes or no on keeping City Council’s existing annexation ordinance in place. The election was spurred by a successful referendum petition campaign that obtained enough signatures to put the question to a vote.

A ‘yes’ vote in March would annex the land into the city according to the Brown Ranch annexation agreement struck between the city and Yampa Valley Housing Authority. A ‘no’ vote would throw out that annexation agreement.

The Chamber has been reviewing the annexation question for the past month, including receiving presentations from both the for and against camps — House Our Community in support and Citizens for a Better Plan against. After those presentations the survey was sent to members, non-members and employees of each with an effort of hitting a broad swath of Yampa Valley industries.

Both the owners and executives group and the employees group favored a ‘yes’ vote on the March 26 annexation vote. Employees responded yes by a near two to one margin, while the owners and executives group was more closely divided.

Of the 15 different industry groups surveyed included in the Chamber’s membership, only two were opposed to the project — lodging and real estate. All 13 others saw more of their respondents support annexation then oppose it. The healthcare sector didn’t see anyone say they opposed annexation.

This chart shows how survey respondents from various industries said they would vote about Brown Ranch Annexation. (Steamboat Springs Chamber/Courtesy)

A report of the survey includes individual comments from those who support and oppose the project.

“While our Board of Directors acknowledges there are concerns with the Brown Ranch project, we believe annexing this property is the best way forward to support our member businesses’ needs,” the Chamber wrote. “We support the goals of the annexation agreement between The Yampa Valley Housing Authority and the City of Steamboat Springs, and we are confident the provisions of the agreement protect the City and hold YVHA accountable through the stages of development.”

Top Photo Caption: This chart shows the makeup of responses to a survey conducted by the Steamboat Springs Chamber. (Steamboat Springs Chamber/Courtesy)


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