By Shannon Lukens.
The Yampa Valley Housing Authority hosted the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in Steamboat Springs this week. It’s a panel of national experts and practitioners in development, affordable housing, public policy, and finance. They met at STARS for a panel presentation Friday morning. It was to kickstart the implementation of the Brown Ranch Community Development Plan. PDF of Steamboat Springs Presentation
Molly McCabe is a CEO of a real estate development and investment firm from Montana.
“I think YVHA is doing an extraordinary job. They have their vision, they have brought in a great team together to look at this community development plan and their next steps are how do you implement this. We were so impressed with what they’re doing.”
Jason Peasley is the executive director of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority in Steamboat Springs. He is overseeing the vision of the neighborhood development of Brown Ranch on the 534-acre site, that will be built over 17 years.
“The most valuable thing about this whole process for us is hearing that we’re on the right track, which is reassuring because we’re in a lot of unchartered territory for us as a community and for the housing authority. We’re leading the state or the nation in this sort of endeavor. And also, just as a sort of reaffirmation of the volume of work that we have to do to execute on this vision but it is still achievable. That’s what gives me a hope that the work continues but there is going to be a great outcome at the end of the day.”
- Molly McCabe, CEO, Hayden Tanner, Bigfork, MT
- Jay Bullock, VP of Planning & Entitlement, Rancho Mission Viejo, Seal Beach, CA
- Sandra Moberly. Community & Economic Development Director, Mammoth Lakes, CA
- Stephen Norman, Former Executive Director, King County Housing Authority, Seattle, WA
- Lorenzo Perez, Co-founder and Directing Principal, Venue Projects, Phoenix, AZ
- Mike Pitchford, former president and CEP of the Community Preservation and Development Corporation (CPDC)
- Callahan Seltzer, Principal, HR&A Advisors, Washington, D.C.
- Emily Thaden, VP of National Strategy, Grounded Solutions Network, Nashville, TN
- Rosemarie Hepner, Senior Director, ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing, Washington, D.C.
- Barbara Gustis, Director, Advisory Services and Key Leaders, ULI, Philadelphia, PA
- David Zehr, Senior Associate, Advisory Services, ULI, Washington, D.C.
Other comments from the panelists:
Molly McCabe says “This is a town that happens to have a resort. It is not a ‘resort town.’” She added that Steamboat Springs is authentic with a strong sense of community. The pandemic brought more people to live here permanently. Brown Ranch is an ambitious, multi-year project and YVHA and the community are doing an exceptional job here.
Mike Pitchford said Brown Ranch is a very impressive plan with impressive research. Public-private partnerships are important. The premier role of YVHA is as the vision keeper, to manage and oversee the process.
Jay Bullock added that the role of YVHA is as the leader and steward of the vision of Brown Ranch. It will require collaboration, coordination, and communication. He said, “The new community is going to look like the existing community.”
Lorenzo Perez said the project should include offsite modular construction. Home modular units should be used. Begin with the end in mind.
Stephen Norman said to make sure to keep it affordable for future generations and that Brown Ranch could be a national model.
The panel found that there needs to be more outreach to those 25 to 40 years old as it could affect them the most.