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Steamboat Magazine

A Neighborhood is Born

06/13/2023 07:00AM ● By Suzi Mitchell
(Charis and Andrew Petty, with their sons Macgray and Marshall, were among the first residents to move into their 1,920 square-foot, two-level home in the new Sunlight neighborhood. Photo by Trey Mullen.) 

From Steamboat Magazine Home Edition 2023

Until 2017, an elevated parcel of land on the western periphery of downtown Steamboat Springs went undetected. Shielded from view off  U.S. 40, the empty site morphed into Sunlight neighborhood, a sought-after locale with 92 allocated lots. Among the established residents are Andrew and Charis Petty and their two sons, Macgray and Marshall. 

“Everyone who lives at Sunlight is new to the neighborhood, so we are all creating it together,” says Charis, who lives in one of the first houses that was built. 

“Each property is part of a holistic approach to building a neighborhood from scratch,” says Sarah Tiedeken O’Brien, a partner at Vertical Arts Architecture.

The Petty’s home was built by JSM Builders, Inc., the primary developers currently building in Sunlight. Charis knew what she was getting more than most prospective buyers do; her brother Jeremy owns JSM.  

(White shiplap and dark stained beams give a cottage feel to the primary bedroom. Photo by Andrew Petty.)

Their 1,920 square-foot, two-level home has three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, an open-plan kitchen, living and dining space and small mudroom. “It’s all we need and we love it,” Charis says.  The couple had been living in Williamsburg, Virginia, but Charis wanted to move to Colorado, where her parents and brother had lived for over two decades. 

In 2014, they made the move to Steamboat Springs and lived in various condos on the mountain until the opportunity at Sunlight came up in 2019. “I remember our first Halloween here, and there were only five houses for trick-or-treating,” Charis says. “Last year it was so different and great to have all ages involved and taking part in our own little community event.” 

(Double sinks with chrome hardware complement the modern gray and white  tones in the primary bathroom. Photo by Andrew Petty.)

The development appeals to mixed generations, and the Pettys enjoy seeing their neighbors interacting on the trails and at the park. The overall streetscape is designed to connect neighbors with the incorporation of front porches. An alley for garage access reduces parking in the center of the development. “That part is very similar to downtown,” Sarah says. 

Vertical Arts ensured windows maximize view corridors and afford privacy as much as possible. Homes on the periphery of the neighborhood benefit from views of Emerald Mountain and Howelsen Hill. 

“Sunlight turned out to be an amazing spot, perched above town, and without any through-traffic, it’s a little world unto itself,” Andrew says. 

The couple both work locally, Charis in real estate with her mom, Cindy MacGray, and Andrew in life coaching.  Their boys attend Soda Creek Elementary and the Steamboat Springs Middle School. “We are so fortunate to live somewhere where the boys can have a lot of freedom with their friends and your neighbors know who belongs to who,” Charis says.