STEAMBOAT CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBLE GROWTH, INC.
“PROTECT PINE GROVE” LEGAL FUND
Thank you everyone for your donations for the legal fund and lawsuit. I have been asked by the GoFundMe site to make sure donors are aware of where their money is going and how I am affiliated with the organization, Steamboat Citizens for Responsible Growth, who is the plaintiff in the lawsuit. My name is Molly Waters and I have lived in Steamboat since 2006. I created a change.org petition to encourage City Council Members to reconsider their vote for the Marriott development. The petition received over 3,200 signatures.
A group of concerned Steamboat residents, who also wanted to stop the development of the Marriott, asked me to create a GoFundMe page after my petition received such a huge response. I will not personally receive any of the money raised from GoFundMe.
This money that we are raising on GoFundMe is going toward the legal fees required for the lawsuit. Our next meeting with the lawyer, Rich Tremainn is on May 20th. Even though the developers have continued to proceed with development, we are hoping there's a chance to stop the hotel from being built. After we have this meeting with the lawyer, I will update everyone to let you know what direction we are going and action we are taking. We plan to withdraw the funds to pay attorney and court fees and any other fees related to this legal action.
We have initiated legal action against the Steamboat City Council over their decision to allow a Marriott to be built on a 2+ acre land parcel in a stand of tall pines with abundant wildlife, and Fish Creek which is a key tributary to the Yampa River. The developers literally want to “pave paradise and put up a parking lot” by building a 4 story, 110 suite hotel with over 80 parking lot spaces. When the community learned about this at this eleventh hour, there was an outcry from a large and broad group of Steamboat residents. We believe that the City’s process for evaluating and approving the Marriott Residence Inn hotel on the Pine Grove property was sneaky and wrong.
The Marriott/Pine Grove development is incompatible with the Community Plan. In the City of Steamboat Springs, hotels are only allowed “by right” within one zone district. The Pine Grove/Marriott project is not that zone district. A hotel in this zone can only be allowed as “conditional use", which permits the City to deny the request or impose additional standards to avoid or minimize specific impacts. In the opinion of many, this project does not meet important criteria for conditional use. It is not compatible with the direction and policies in the Community Plan, and it exacerbates, not mitigates, negative impacts. We are not opposed to the project being built at a more suitable location within the approved zone district for hotels. Our goal is to raise at least $50,000 to support the estimated legal costs, including attorney and expert/consultant costs, organization and court costs, and other expenses associated with this and future initiatives to try to compel the City Council to reconsider the Marriott/Pine Grove Development.
We are a committed group of Steamboat residents who are passionately opposed to how this project was approved. As soon as we became aware of the Council’s action, we started a petition that was signed by more than 3,000+ community members. We believe the Council’s approval timeline, notification process, and approval of the development was wrong. We are challenging this egregious process and decision by filing a lawsuit against the City for failing to afford the community adequate notice and due process to evaluate and provide feedback on the project.
Many of you signed the petition and appeared before the Planning Commission and City Council earlier this year (Thank You!), and now we need your support in helping to fund this legal defense to protect Pine Grove. This is our last chance. NOW IS THE TIME. PLEASE DONATE GENEROUSLY!
Steamboat Citizens for Responsible Growth, Inc. is a non-profit organization. However, contributions are NOT tax deductible. Any contributions received in excess of expenses associated with the “Protect Pine Grove” Fund will be retained by Steamboat Citizens for Responsible Growth to be used to fund similar initiatives in the future, including efforts to modify the Steamboat Springs Community Development Code, the Steamboat Springs Community Plan, and the community notice and approval process.