Hayden rezoning request draws criticism | SteamboatToday.com
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Hayden rezoning request draws criticism

Tamera Manzanares

Despite residents’ objections, the Hayden Planning Commission on Thursday recommended that the Town Board approve a request to rezone to commercial a residential parcel on the east end of Hayden.

Ron and Keri Romine want the town to rezone five lots in the 600 block of Jefferson Avenue and adjacent to the old windmill. Aside from the windmill parcel, the other surrounding lots are zoned residential.

Jack Giessinger, representing the Romines, said there was a possibility an existing gas station in Hayden may relocate to the parcel.

“I’m just opposed to turning more of that property into commercial. … I just see the potential for more noise and more light pollution,” said Bill Mitchell, who was among five neighboring homeowners who criticized the rezoning request.

Others emphasized a gas station would increase nighttime noise and traffic in an already congested area and that commercial zoning may decrease property values.

Commission members stressed they only were considering the rezoning request and issues regarding a gas station or any other proposed use would be addressed as they arose.

While sympathetic to residents’ concerns, commission members agreed with those arguing that downtown commercial space is limited and additional commercial zoning is in line with the town’s goals of attracting more businesses.

“I hear the homeowners and I’m sympathetic, but we have to look down the road and see what’s important for the future,” commission member Chuck VeDepo said.

Also on Thursday, the Planning Commission, after considerable discussion, approved sketch plans for the Dry Creek subdivision with the condition the developer address several key issues in his preliminary plans.

James Woods is proposing a 62-home development on 20 acres of land owned by Kevin and Ann Copeland directly east of the Routt County Fairgrounds.

Jorge Gonzalez of Landmark Consultants Inc. presented the subdivision sketch plan to the Planning Commission, proposing the development be built in three phases and include multiple open space areas as well as a trail surrounding the subdivision.

Among commission members’ concerns was the proximity of the development to irrigation ditches and whether proposed trails might better connect with the town’s existing and planned trail system.

The rationale of the development’s proposed open space areas, located close to Dry Creek Park, was another issue commission members discussed.

The commission requested that Woods and Gonzalez redesign the development in their preliminary plans to address those concerns.

The commission and developer agreed access was going to be the biggest obstacle to the project. Gonzales’ suggestion that the developer might share in the building of a proposed road through Dry Creek Park was met with skepticism.

The Planning Commission questioned whether Routt County officials, who are considering the road to provide more access to the fairgrounds, would be receptive to the idea. Traffic conflicts among the fairgrounds, park and subdivision were a concern, but commission members also questioned whether it was wise to set that kind of precedent, considering additional development that likely will occur in the area.

They directed Woods and Gonzalez to come up with alternate access routes.

Finally on Thursday, the commission recommended the Town Board approve an amendment ensuring zoning classification includes fairground activities in the process by which Dry Creek Park and the fairgrounds are annexed into the town.

— To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com


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