Sweetwood proposal tabled
County Planning Commission moves guest ranch, special events discussions to April for North Routt ranch
Steamboat Springs — The Routt County Planning Commission voted unanimously Thursday night to table Ryan Wood’s request for a permit to operate a guest ranch at his North Routt County cattle operation on the lower Elk River, about five miles northwest of Steamboat Springs.
More than 60 people packed into the hearing room at the Routt County Courthouse to discuss the proposal. Roughly equivalent numbers of people spoke for and against Wood’s plans Thursday, during a meeting that lasted more than three hours. Wood’s proposal was the meeting’s only topic.
Commission Chairman Jay Gallagher said he viewed Wood’s plans to operate a small guest ranch hosting single parties, along with special events hosting as many as 200 people, as distinctly different operations with different levels of impacts for neighbors who live in a rural subdivision that brackets the ranch on adjacent hillsides.
The rest of the commissioners voiced similar sentiments and discussed the possibility of breaking Wood’s application in two. Commissioners expressed apparent willingness to recommend approval for the guest ranch to the Board of Routt County Commissioners, while tabling the special events request only.
When Woods said he hadn’t contemplated that possibility before the meeting, veteran Planning Commissioner John Ayer moved to table the entire discussion until April 7, to give Woods time to add more detail to his special events plans.
The tabling means a planned hearing this month before the county commissioners will be postponed until later in April.
To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or e-mail tross@SteamboatToday.com.
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