Sunburst plans scrapped |

Sunburst plans scrapped

Hayden subdivision plans change, will annex almost 680 acres

Nick Foster

More than a year’s worth of planning for a 900-acre subdivision in Hayden has been scrapped, but new plans have been made in its place.

Several changes to the plans, internally and by recommendation from the Hayden Planning Commission, changed the project’s concept enough that some of the developers disagreed with the new direction, and some decided to drop out of the project.

The Sunburst Ranch residential and commercial subdivision is no more. The new plan, being proposed by a smaller subset of the original development group, is to rename the project The Villages at Hayden, annex almost 680 acres before any construction begins and avoid placing a mobile-home park near the north entrance, as planned in Sunburst.

Ron Sills, a partner in 4S Development, the Sunburst development group, formed West Routt Properties LLC with fellow 4S partner Tom Heuer to build The Villages at Hayden. He said members of 4S were discouraged by the amount of time and money spent on the lengthy planning process and did not agree with changes being made to the plans.

“Some of the partners wanted a trailer park, but some said this is really not what we want to do,” Sills said. “We decided to totally change our tactics, bite the bullet and spend some money on having some new drawings made up, and the majority of us liked the new plan.”

Under the new plans, mobile homes are not out of the picture, but “we want them in the right place,” Sills said.

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Though the layout of The Villages is different from Sunburst Ranch, the subdivision’s contents are essentially the same — about 2,000 homes, most in the $100,000 to $200,000 range; an 18-hole golf course; lakes; trails and common areas.

The eight-member 4S Development partnership is still intact and is managing Hidden Springs Ranch, a 770-acre land preservation subdivision adjacent to The Villages.

The 4S partnership consists of Tom Heuer, Jack Sills, Mark Sills, Mark Caldwell, Don Patterson, Tom Fox, Rick Broadhurst and NCPH Trust, for the family of Ron Sills.

Sills and Heuer will attend the Hayden Town Board meeting tonight to submit an annexation petition for 676.3 acres. More than 220 acres of the subdivision, located on the south side of Hayden and west of Routt County Road 53, is inside the town boundary.

West Routt Properties wants to annex the land to build the golf course, irrigation lakes and 250 homes planned for the first phase, which would extend beyond the town boundary. The subdivision surrounds the golf course and lakes, so they must be built first, Sills said.

When 4S Development showed the initial plans for Sunburst Ranch to the Hayden Planning Commission, the commission instructed the developers to begin the first phase within town limits before requesting an annexation.

The developers’ original plan to build single-family and mobile-home lots in the first phase was suitable for the Planning Commission’s request, but the new plans will not work the same way.

Tonight, the Town Board will consider passing a resolution stating that annexation proceedings can continue. Passing the resolution will include setting a public hearing for April 15 to hear public comments regarding the annexation.

Before the public hearing, the annexation petition would go before the Hayden Planning Commission for review March 11 or April 8. Based on Planning Commission recommendations, the Town Board could decide at the end of the April 15 public hearing to approve or deny the annexation, or approve it with conditions.

Sills said he expects The Villages at Hayden to be a 15-year project, in which West Routt Properties will build exclusively. “I hope it will be quicker than that, but it depends on the market.”

Like Sunburst Ranch, The Villages at Hayden include plans to donate land to the Hayden School District and set up a fee schedule so that a portion of each lot and home sale would also go to the district for construction of a new school.