Sketch plan of Stagecoach store OK’d | SteamboatToday.com
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Sketch plan of Stagecoach store OK’d

Susan Cunningham

What could be the first commercial development at Stagecoach got an initial nod Thursday night from the Routt County Planning Commission, but developers were cautioned that plans should fit with the area’s small-town, rural character.

Stagecoach Ski Corp. presented a sketch plan for a general store that would be about 6,500 square feet. The store could offer gasoline pumps, a restaurant, a liquor store and space for other commercial uses.

Two additional phases of the project could add two commercial buildings for a total of almost 17,000 square feet of commercial space, all joined by a common parking area.

Planning Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush urged the Stagecoach Ski Corp. to keep plans in line with the area’s rural feel.

“I guess what I, as a planning commissioner, don’t want to see is a suburban development here with a 7-Eleven,” Mitsch Bush said.

Other planning commissioners said that when more complete plans for the general store are submitted, lighting and design of the development would be important.

The buildings would be on a 2.2-acre site at the intersection of Routt County Road 212 and Schussmark Trail, an area that was zoned for agriculture and forestry uses. The Planning Commission rezoned the property Thursday night to allow for commercial uses.

Chris Wittemyer, an owner of the Stagecoach Ski Corp., said the vision for the store was something akin to the Clark Store in North Routt County, which has a rural look but provides much-needed services.

The store would be “a place where you can get a jug of milk, a gallon of gas — some of the needs that currently are unmet,” Wittemyer said.

Wittemyer said that feedback he had received about the proposal was good. County planner Mary Alice Page-Allen said she received only two comments about the project, both from people saying they were concerned about any commercial development in the area.

Architect Michael Olsen, speaking on behalf of the developers of SunCove Village in Stagecoach, said the proposed store would be just outside of the area platted for the town center, and so should not be approved.

The developers of SunCove Village recently proposed a similar convenience store as part of its 25-home development, but that was taken off the table, at least temporarily, to address concerns about a dangerous curve on Routt County Road 16.

In other business, the Planning Commission approved a request from Three Quarter Circles to add a golf driving range and an archery range to the existing sporting clay shooting range and raised-bird hunting it offers on the Hogue Ranch, which is about six miles west of Steamboat Springs.

The Planning Commission also discussed the update and changes to the Upper Elk River Valley Plan’s Recreation and Tourism chapter, and instructing planners to set a timeline for discussing the plan further and approving an update.

— To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com


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