Hayden Council to decide fate of 109-unit downtown development this week | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden Council to decide fate of 109-unit downtown development this week

The special meeting was triggered by an appeal of the development's denial by the town's planning commission

As proposed, the building that will front U.S. Highway 40 as part of a 109-unit development in Hayden will be two stories and have commercial space on the ground floor.
Town of Hayden/Courtesy photo

The Hayden Town Council is holding a special meeting this week to decide the fate of a controversial 109-unit development proposal in the town’s core.

The Main Street Apartments project was denied by the Hayden Planning Commission last month after a vote to approve the mixed-use development failed 2 to 2. The unanimous denial was intended to give the developer a chance to appeal the decision to Town Council.

That appeal came as expected, which led to the special meeting being scheduled for 7 p.m., Thursday, April 13, at Hayden Town Hall.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Hayden Mayor Ryan Banks after the planning commission’s denial on March 25.

The development includes 109 units across five buildings, with one that fronts U.S. Highway 40 including some commercial space. Increased traffic from residents of the development has been a top concern among Hayden residents, which led to an initial tabling at a raucous planning commission meeting in February.

When the planning commission considered the development again in March, the developer — Main Street Apartments LLC — and town staff had worked out an agreement to add an exit-only outlet from the parking lot directly onto U.S. 40, which is also called West Jefferson Avenue in Hayden. This additional access does have approval from the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Another option would be another access from the development’s parking lot to South Poplar Street, though that would require an easement through private property. The staff report for the meeting says the landowner has previously showed little interest in granting that easement, though the developer is asking again.

Hayden residents requested during public comment that the proposed development in the center of town have its own access to U.S. Highway 40, something state officials have already shot down.
Town of Hayden/Screenshot

Town staff recommended council approve the development with the alternative U.S. 40 access. If the easement to Poplar did become available, staff reports that they would prefer that option.

The development is considered a use-by-right due to the central business district zoning of the parcel, which used to be the Hayden Middle School. Town Council rezoned the parcel in 2020 while it was still owned by the Hayden School District. The 3.2-acre parcel was sold to Main Street Apartments in December for $1.25 million.

During public comment of the March Planning Commission meeting, Town Council member Trevor Gann said he was considering whether the development could make Hayden not feel like the town he grew up in anymore.

“This development might just do that,” Gann said.

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