Commission to review project
Steamboat Springs — The Routt County Planning Commission tonight will review the largest land preservation subdivision ever proposed in Routt County.
The Elk Mountain Ranch land preservation subdivision exemption would be for 62 lots on 1,797 acres. The lots would be 5-plus acres. The remainder parcel, or open space, would total 1,325 acres. The ranch would be east of the Elk River and north of Routt County Road 42.
In Routt County, lots 35 acres or larger do not require special review. The land preservation subdivision program, however, allows developers to build more homes than what the state’s standard 35-acre lot size would allow. In return, the developer agrees to have smaller and more clustered lots and leave the remaining land as open space. In the case of Elk Mountain Ranch, the developer typically would be allowed 51, 35-acre lots. With the land preservation subdivision program, the developer could have 13 bonus lots. However, the developer is asking for only 11 extra lots.
Planning commissioners will review tonight two aspects of the ranch proposal. One is the land preservation subdivision exemption. The second agenda item is a conditional-use permit for a private recreational facility that would be on three sites totaling 14 acres of the 1,325 acres of open space. The recreational facilities would include a lodge, fishing cabins, an outfitters center, a pool, a fitness center, a spa and employee housing units.
The commission reviewed both elements of the project Jan. 5 and tabled both items. The applicants requested that the conditional-use permit review be tabled so they could make revisions. Commissioners discussed the land preservation subdivision exemption application but decided to table it to allow the applicants to provide more information about safety improvements to C.R. 42, issues related to the elk population, the proposed gate to the development, the cumulative effect of the development and concerns raised in public letters. The applicants have addressed those issues in tonight’s packet.
Public comment on the land preservation subdivision exemption will be limited to design standards. The permit discussion will be more general.
If the commissioners approve the land preservation subdivision exemption, it will have to go to the Routt County Board of Commissioners for final approval. Other elements of the project have yet to come before the county, including applications related to the water system and the proposed on-site gravel operation.
Some of the developers for the proposed project are the same ones who developed Storm Mountain Ranch near the base of Rabbit Ears Pass. The developers for Elk Mountain Ranch include Jeff Temple, Mark Hall and Jeff Jepson.
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