Tuesday, October 24, 2000
Steamboat Springs Landowners and developers need to start taking precautions as they create new subdivisions or design new homes. The county commissioners hope to soon have in place a regulation that prohibits homes from being skylined.
The move was prompted by several prominent homes that were built on local ridges. One home in particular sits on Copper Ridge. The home is often referred to by county officials as "the skyline poster child."
"We got a lot of complaints asking when we were going to get something done because it's destroying our views," said county planner Chad Phillips.
On Tuesday, county commissioners got a look at a new map that outlines all the ridgelines in Routt County. The map also listed how many miles potential homes could be seen from county and state roads.
Commissioner Dan Ellison wants to see things for himself though.
Ellison, along with Commissioner Ben Beall and several county Planning Commission members, plan to take a driving tour of parts of the county to make sure the new map isn't too strict.
"We want to compare existing homes to the new map and see whether they would be affected by new skyline regulations," Ellison said.
When it comes to existing lots and subdivisions, the commissioners are leaning toward adopting regulations that allow some skylining, but only if home builders can mitigate the visual impact.
"There are some subdivisions that have lots on a steep hill," Ellison said. "We don't want to push homes off onto the steep hill below."
As for future subdivisions, Beall says developers and landowners should be put to a higher standard when they layout their lots. He wants a total prohibition of skylined homes.
But Commissioners Nancy Stahoviak and Ellison voiced concern about other factors like geology and wildfire issues.
Beall said those things are fine to consider on existing lots, but not on new lots.
"When they're developing new lots, they shouldn't put themselves in that position, Beall said. "There's no reason to design a new lot in a wildland fires area."
Beall joked he could put a lot in an avalanche area and then tell planners the only way to avoid avalanches is to build on top of the ridge.
Planning commissioners will hold public meetings on the skyline issue before handing the board of commissioners a draft of the new skyline regulations.
They hope to have something adopted by the end of the year.
To reach Frances Hohl call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org