The City of Steamboat Springs was one of 22 communities across the country to receive technical assistance from the United States Environmental Protection Agency through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program. According to the EPA, the program is designed to help communities “pursue development strategies that support smart growth and sustainability goals, and encourage local economic development.”
The EPA team, experts in community planning and sustainability, facilitated a two-day on-site workshop on July 13th and 14th of this year. The workshop brought together community members and local stakeholders to identify community issues surrounding sustainability. These workshops resulted in the identification of three primary challenges and opportunities: affordable housing, energy use, and community engagement.
A final report identifying strategies and recommendation for addressing these community issues is complete. The report can be viewed on the web here: www.steamboatsprings.net/EPASustainableCitiesFinalDocument. The following highlights the strategies outlined in the report:
o Foster partnerships to build affordable housing
o Use zoning tools to encourage affordable housing
o Provide incentives for energy-efficient construction
o Engage stakeholders to educate them on existing and new opportunities to increase energy efficiency
• Community Engagement
o Establish and publicize a dashboard of stainability measures
o Develop a community engagement plan
Senior Planner Bob Keenan of the City’s Green Team states, “This final report provides excellent direction and a pragmatic approach to address these important community issues”.