Routt County Board of Commissioners interviews candidates for planning commission |

Routt County Board of Commissioners interviews candidates for planning commission

The Routt County Board of Commissioners will consider applicants for Planning Commission during March 22 interviews.

— The Routt County Board of Commissioners is expected to select at least one new member of the Planning Commission March 22 when it will interview six candidates including three incumbents, as four seats are up for renewal.

Even if it elects to retain the incumbents, the board will need to choose one new member to represent the town of Yampa; longtime commissioner Richard Klumker has decided not to seek a new term.

Planning Director Chad Phillips reported that two Yampa area men, Peter Flint and Thorne Clark, who interviewed on March 1, have applied for the post.

"I view this commission as an important determinant of how we guide our future as a community, balancing the diverse interests of longer-term ranchers and residents, new residents and businesses to the community," Flint wrote in a letter to the county commissioners.

Phillips recommended in a memo that the commissioners re-appoint incumbents Andrew Benjamin representing Oak Creek, Planning Commission Vice-Chairman Brian Arel, who holds the at-large seat, and alternate Doug Baker for new terms that would last through March 31, 2019. However, the county commissioners are free to replace any of the three.

"Reappointment is not guaranteed," Phillips told Steamboat Today in February. Asked if he could recall an instance when the Board of Commissioners replaced a sitting planning commissioner, he added, "It's happened once, when the Board of County Commissioners has said, 'We want to move on.'"

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Arel, a construction project manager, pointed out in a letter confirming his interest in a new term that he is among the longest-tenured members of the Planning Commission.

"I feel my experience with our planning documents would continue to aid the commission with decisions in the future," he wrote.

Other candidates include former county planning commissioner and Steamboat Springs City Council President Ken Brenner, who currently represents Routt County on the Colorado Mountain College Board and as a director of the Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District.

While serving on Planning Commission from 2002 to 2003, Brenner said he participated in an update to the county master plan, worked on refining the Land Preservation Subdivision rules and developed the gravel pit database.

Another candidate is John St. Pierre, of Hayden, who has a long history as a building contractor and project manager in the mountain counties having taken projects to completion in Summit, Grand and Eagle counties as well as the Mountain Village Apartments in Steamboat Springs for Corum Real Estate Group. He currently serves on the Yampa Valley Housing Authority.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

If you go

What: The Routt County Board of Commissioners considers applicants for Planning Commission

When: 2:15-4:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 22

Where: Commissioners’ Hearing Room, Routt County Courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs.