Steamboat Springs At their annual meeting, Stagecoach property owners voted not to recognize Routt County's rezoning option for five-acre consolidations, and efforts to overthrow the board Saturday were unsuccessful.
In a nearly unanimous decision from 1,200 votes collected, property owners decided not to recognize the five-acre consolidation that Routt County planners offered in the Stagecoach Community Plan, released last year.
Though only approximately 150 people were at the meeting, some property owners held proxy votes. Also, the number of votes each person had was the same as the number of lots they own in Stagecoach.
Voters were in favor of the consolidation if it meant keeping the original easements.
"We don't have a problem with grouping five acres of lots together," property owners association President Steve Watwood said.
Many lots in the 30-year-old subdivision are without utilities because the developer and the water district in Stagecoach went bankrupt in the '70s.
Routt County planners said in the community plan that property owners can build a septic system in the 1,500-lot development area if they accumulate enough parcels to make five acres.
Most of the lots are one to two acres.
If they are able to consolidate smaller lots into a five-acre or larger parcel, and apply for approval from county planners, property owners could get the lots rezoned into one parcel and all the utility easements that run through the properties would be erased.
"There are some members here that have isolated lots who would be left in the dark," said property owner Bill Hendrick during discussion of the issue at the meeting.
Someone with a property less than five acres who is holding out for infrastructure extensions could be depending on those easements.
"Our board is not allowed to take that away from the property owners," Watwood said.
Board member Greg Hermann supported that comment.
"The first priority is not to screw up the economic viability of the property," he said.
By ballot vote, property owners also asked the board to approach Routt County officials to discuss the issue, including asking for an amendment of the amount of acres needed to build a septic system.
Also at the meeting, a 16-motion agenda that asked for removal of Al Saterdal, Norman Dunn, Steve Watwood and Chris Zuschlag from the nine-person board was voted down.
The motions were written by Greg Hermann and property owner Brown Thompson in hopes of replacing the board.
To hear the motions, they needed to collect 25 percent of the votes. Thompson and Hermann had collected proxy votes, but not enough to make up 25 percent, Watwood said at the meeting.
A motion was put on the ballot to ask voters if they wanted the board to spend the money to mail out information and try to collect the 25 percent of the voters needed to hear the motions, Watwood said.
The motion was not passed, but it did not fail by much.
On Sunday, the board of directors met and a controversy arose, Watwood said.
Thompson reportedly believes that since 25 percent of the vote was for the motion, his 16-item agenda should be heard.
The motion read: "Does the membership (i.e. 25 percent of the entire membership's votes required) desire to send a notice of a special meeting of the members, in accordance with the bylaws and proper statutes, to consider the 16 motions proposed by Brown Thompson?"
The vote split 580 for to 514 against. However, 25 percent were in favor.
"There's definitely some issues that need to be cleared up," Watwood said.
For more than a year, Thompson has used e-mail and newsletters to create a following of property owners who question the ethics of the board.
Wayne Robson, a Steamboat native and now Westminster resident, has owned property in Stagecoach since 1972.
"Some of the things Brown says are true and some might not be," he said.
However, since Thompson has started asking questions, property owners have been more informed by the board, Robson said.
"I think the people are entitled to all the information out there," Thompson said. "I may have been wrong in some of may opinions and I stand corrected."
Chris Wittemeyer, Art Fine and Mark Denay also were up for re-election. Fine did not run.
Thompson, Tom Endre and Norm Sothan were nominated to run against them. Wittemeyer, Denay and Sothan were elected to the position, leaving Thompson and Endre out of the ring.
Thompson could not be reached for comment about the election results.
In other results, voters decided not to have overhead power lines in the area. All existing power overhead lines will stay but new lines will be under ground.
Also, board members now will be held to two consecutive three-year terms. The rule is not retroactive, so each member now has two terms left.
To reach Doug Crowl call 871-4206 or e-mail email@example.com