Hayden Town Council will allow high density residential zone on east side of town
February 24, 2019
HAYDEN — Town staff pulled extra chairs into the room for a full audience in council chambers, as the Hayden Town Council approved upzoning an area of open space on the east side of town, amending the zoning from open space to high-density residential.
Developers Ted Hoffman, of Hayden, and Stephan Zittel, of Steamboat Springs, hope to build single-family homes and duplexes on the lot, which was annexed into the town in 2007, according to documents presented to the Town Council. No formal plans for these developments have been filed.
"I envision a phased development with smaller, attainable, single-family homes and/or farmhouse type duplex- cabins on the high-density portion, or something similar to the Redstone project," Hoffman wrote in a document presented to the council. "We do not anticipate any type of high-rise apartment building or something of that nature."
The property is just fewer than 10 acres and is adjacent to the Cannon property, generally located between Washington Avenue and Vista Verde Drive. The zoning amendment changes about 6 acres of the property from open space to high-density residential. The remainder of the property would remain in the existing open space zone.
According to Hoffman, the development would be served by an extension of Oak and Ash streets and extensions to other sewer and water infrastructure from adjacent neighborhoods.
Two agricultural irrigation ditches, the Shelton and Walker ditch, run through the property. Water rights holders in both ditches protested the zoning change. The developer had expressed a desire to bridge the Shelton Ditch with a private road and pedestrian bridge.
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"We are afraid that, if you put that development in there, we're going to get a lot more trash," Ilda Booco, vice president, secretary and treasurer of the Shelton Ditch Company, told the council in public comment. "We're not going to allow any culverts, any roads or bridges, or any covers of the ditch. According to state statutes, you cannot touch that ditch without our permission."
Town Manager Mathew Mendisco said Booco was correct in that the developer would have to negotiate with the ditch companies to create any development within the ditch easements.
Hoffman, in a letter responding to the Shelton Ditch Company's concerns, said the developers "understand the importance of communication" with the ditch members and development that would impact the ditch.
Booco also read a letter from ditch company member Sam Barnes, who noted the property frequently floods in the spring.
"I don't know if that piece of land is truly developable or not, but the man who bought it, I think, has a right to investigate that and to move forward," Mayor Tim Redmond said.
Some members of the public expressed interest in seeing the specifics of the development before rezoning the land.
"I feel as though there are too many variables and uncertainties to make me comfortable with moving forward on something like this," said Council Member Trevor Gann. "I also think that, whatever the intent of the owner to develop it, there's a lot of uncertainty about who would be attracted to the area and stress an already stressed waterway and ecosystem."
Gann was ultimately the only council member to oppose the zoning amendment.
Mendisco said the town's Development Code requires planning staff consider the community character when approving development plans.
"There are some duplexes; there are some single-family homes in front of it," he said. "There are no — to my knowledge, at least — there are no three-story apartments that I can see. That would have to be taken into consideration when we did our evaluation."
The Town Council approved the change with a 6 to 1 vote.
An intention to one day change the zoning of the property from open space to another zoning district was noted in the original agreement annexing the land, which, at the time, was an island of unincorporated land surrounded by properties included in the town. The property is bordered by areas zoned for high-density residential, low-density residential and open space.
The Town Council added two conditions to the approval. When a final subdivision is platted, the developer must dedicate water rights owned by the property to the town "for future service to the property." The developer must also work with the ditch companies for access across or modifications to the ditch easement.
"I will tell you, any concerns, worries — you all know where I live. You know my number," Redmond told the members of the ditch and neighboring property owners in the audience. "I will fight and protect and see that you guys are taken care of. If you see anything, if you have concerns, call me."