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Brown Ranch Annexation Petitioner’s Committee Formed

October 24, 2023

The “Let Steamboat Vote-Brown Ranch Annexation Committee” has been formed to allow the Steamboat community to weigh into Brown Ranch annexation through a public vote. The proper paperwork has been filed with the City Clerk, and petitions are now circulated in our community. {The Let Steamboat Vote Brown Ranch Annexation Committee} is seeking a minimum of 1200 valid signatures from registered City Voters by November 17. After successful collection of requisite signatures, the community gains an opportunity to consider whether the initial annexation plan, crafted by YVHA and their private New Jersey based development partners, Michaels Organization, is a fit for our community.

The Committee has identified three primary reasons for pursuing a public vote on the Brown Ranch:

1. Let Steamboat Vote. The residents of Steamboat deserve a voice in voting on                     the largest publicly funded development in the community’s history. The                             currently proposed Brown Ranch plan generates a 45% surge in Steamboat’s                       population. “It is only fair to allow voters to have a voice,” said Jim Engelken.

2. Capital Gap. The current plan carries a $52M City budget shortfall that will                          impose a multi-decade drag on community finances. This gap will inevitably need to be covered through higher taxes or lower services. This considerable shortfall also does not include unknown cost overruns or inflation over the 20 year development timeline of the proposed project. “Neither the City nor the Yampa Valley Housing Authority have generated an acceptable plan to close the funding gap except to acknowledge it will take additional funding sources. The City has said grant funding is currently not available. Likely this means                    additional taxes and possibly cuts in services to existing residents,” said                                Engelken. “Taxes could amount to more than $9,000.00 per existing Steamboat                    Springs household. We should have a say through a vote in the current plan                        before hundreds of millions of public funds are allocated to these developers.”

3. The proposed development is too big. The Brown Ranch proposed                                  development adds upwards of 6,000 residents, and the Yampa Valley Housing                      Authority’s insular focus on just the real estate development has not offered                        adequate plans and funding solutions to deal with growth strains in Highway 40                  traffic congestion, strained school capacity, regional park overuse or other                          impacts generated from the astonishing 45% population growth. “It’s just too big, and there are too many problems in the current plan,” said Engelken. “We need affordable housing, but this proposal needs to be scaled back.”

Committee members will be collecting signatures over the next two weeks. 


Jim Engelken: 720-346-5297

Michael McLarney: 917-399-0058

Heather Sloop: 970-846-4545

Cedar Beauregard: 970-879-0953


Together, we support candidates and issues that aim to restore the American dream through economic growth, protecting constitutional freedoms, and ensuring election integrity. As a group, we strive to actively educate and empower the voters of Routt County through community engagement and conversation.

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