Appeal of approved zip line permit goes to Routt County commissioners |

Appeal of approved zip line permit goes to Routt County commissioners

If you go

What: Citizen appeal of a Sept. 4 Routt County Planning Commission approval of a permit to allow a zip line operation descending from the west shoulder of Rabbit Ears Pass into the south valley

When: 1:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Commissioners Hearing Room, Routt County Courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave.

— Routt County commissioners are set Tuesday to hear south valley resident Jace Romick’s appeal of a previous Planning Commission approval of a new eight-segment zip line operation planned by longtime Steamboat Snowmobile Tours operator Jason Cobb.

The zip line, approved by Planning Commission on Sept. 4, would begin on the upper portion of a 71-acre parcel of land off U.S. Highway 40 where it ascends the lower portion of Rabbit Ears Pass. The location of the zip line is about 5 to 6 miles south of Haymaker Golf Course.

County Planner Chris Brookshire wrote in the meeting agenda that although it would not be visible from U.S. Highway 40, elements of the zip line course may be visible from Colorado Highway 131.

There are a number of rural homes in the area off Routt County Road 20 just north of Colo. 131.

Planning Commission voted, 7-2, to approve the permit for the zip line. Since Sept. 4, Romick, an adjacent property owner, has submitted an application for appeal of the approval, citing sections of the Routt County Zoning and Subdivision Regulations.

Planning Commission member Brian Arel made the original motion to approve the zip line permit with 31 conditions of approval that he said the operation meets based on the guidelines of the county master plan and zoning regulations. The rules range from requirements that clients must be transported to the site by employees of the operator to requiring that the operators post a bond for future reclamation of the site.

Brookshire wrote in the agenda packet that Cobb has said all structures will be “sited and designed to blend into the environment.” She added that Romick “feels that the rural character will not be maintained if the operation proceeds.” She wrote that he has concerns with visual and noise impacts, as well as intensity of use.

In a Sept. 26 letter to county officials, Romick wrote that he does not think noise impacts were considered fully by the Planning Commission.

The minutes of the Sept. 4 meeting reflect that Cobb told the Planning Commission, “The proposed course would be as ecologically friendly as possible. The platforms would be painted to blend in with the surrounding vegetation and the decks would have the smallest footprint possible.”

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

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