Hayden Town Council to consider Kum & Go tonight
Approval of gas station move would require land-use code to be amended
An informal survey of Hayden businesses and residents indicated overwhelming support for the relocation of the Kum & Go gas station on Hayden’s main street.
But for that to happen, the Hayden Town Council will have to approve a request from Kum & Go to amend the list of permitted principal uses in the historic downtown district to allow the relocation of existing gas stations.
If the Town Council approves the request when it meets at 7:30 tonight at the Haven Community Center, it will allow Kum & Go to move to Walnut Street and Jefferson Avenue from Poplar Street and Jefferson Avenue.
Council members will have plenty of information to consider, including more than 40 letters from residents — a majority supporting amending the historic downtown district to allow the move — and the survey results compiled by residents Rondi Bowlin and Annette Hall.
Bowlin said the pair called all Hayden businesses. Of the businesses reached, she said 73 supported the move, 12 opposed it, 10 had no opinion and five had a mixed opinion. She said 231 residents signed a petition that was circulated door-to-door supporting the move and another 159 people, mostly Yampa Valley residents, signed the same petition at Kum & Go.
The results led Bowlin to conclude that Hayden wants a new Kum & Go and doesn’t care where it’s located.
“I don’t know,” she said. “If it went up on the ballot next year, who’s to say more people wouldn’t come out against it, but the majority (of) door-to-door (respondents), everybody we hit said, ‘yes.’ Well, I can’t say everybody, there was a handful” that said no.
The Planning Commission in January voted, 4-1, against the request, which complied with Town Planner Tim Katers’ recommendation based on Hayden’s land-use code. The code was drafted after public input helped create the town’s comprehensive plan.
Resident Tammie Delaney has cited the comprehensive plan for her opposition to Kum & Go’s desire to move within the historic downtown district. She said it’s all about location.
“It’s not ‘no’ to Kum & Go,” Delaney said. “Kum & Go is a great asset to rural communities across Colorado, but not on Walnut Street. That’s always been the traditional commercial center for town.”
Delaney said she supports Kum & Go’s desire to expand, just on the east and west sides of town that have been zoned for auto-oriented commercial uses, or in its current location.
Reached by phone Wednesday, Neil Broderick, vice president of real estate for Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go, said the company would spend about $3 million to build the new station, with the potential for about two-thirds to be spent locally.
Broderick said the new Kum & Go would generate an estimated $91,600 annually in property and sales taxes, as well as wages for three full-time-equivalent staff positions. He said those figures are conservative, but Broderick was confident that the new store would generate nearly $1 million in the next decade.
“From our side of the table, we think this is exactly what’s needed in the town of Hayden to create traffic for merchants,” he said.
Broderick said the canopy and tanks at the existing Kum & Go would be removed and the site would be prepared for sale or lease.
Hayden Mayor Jim Haskins said he’s pleased that residents provided their opinions through public meetings and in letters. He said it’s important for the Town Council to hear what members of the community think about issues.
Haskins said he hasn’t thought about how he’ll cast his vote tonight.
“This has been very interesting to me to hear talk around town, not necessarily directed at me, but people talking at restaurants and different places,” Haskins said. “This is an interesting issue. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or e-mail jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com
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