Stagecoach A golf course and subdivision propsed for land near Stagecoach Reservoir could be the latest big step toward achieving a vision nearly 30 years old. The possibility of the development it happens, south Routt officials wonder what the affects of a resort-like community in their back yard will have.
In July, Brian Stahl purchased 402 acres of land that was originally planed to be a golf course before the Stagecoach developers went bankrupt in the '70s. At that time, Stagecoach was planned to be a community with 1,500 units, golf course, ski resort and lake.
On Sept. 8, Stahl and his associates submitted a conceptual plan to the county to construct the golf course and 500 units in a 20-year build out.
"Projects this size typically are built over long periods of time, which is based on a number of factors primarily the market," said Peter Patton, of Patton Associates who is working with Stahl.
Stahl could not be reached for comment.
"It is exciting, because it is kind of the beginning of the first major project in Stagecoach," Patton said.
Included in the deal would be 175 single-family homes, 160 duplex homes and 165 multi-family homes. The later includes at least one 60-unit, hotel-like condo structure. Also, at least 20-units of affordable housing are included in the plan, which is aimed at employees of the proposed golf and lake resort.
In addition to the 18-hole golf course is a 18,000 square foot clubhouse, a 7,000 square foot lake recreation center, 12,000 square feet of retail space and 18,000 square feet of office space for the community.
Also, half of the 402 acres would be committed to open space with public hiking trails.
County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said a development like this, which would essentially be creating a community the size of Oak Creek, brings up many things to think about.
"I think initially are issues about emergency services, transportation and the school system," she said.
Since Stagecoach is in the Oak Creek Fire Protection District, officials would have to build at least one new fire house in Stagecoach, Oak Creek Fire Chief Chuck Wisecup said.
The district already has a piece of land it can use, but it's yet to be seen if it is the right place for a station or if one station would be enough.
"For the growth their talking about it, we're looking at more than one station," Wisecup said.
Plus, it means finding more volunteers and buying equipment for multi-story condo units.
"It's a whole new ball game," he said.
However, along with the added fire responsibility will be a larger tax base for the district to draw from. Inevitably, the district will have to change to respond to the growth, Wisecup said.
David Bonfiglio's interest in the development is business. As the owner of Bonfiglio Drug in Oak Creek and member for the Upper Yampa Valley Economic Development council, he wonders if a large population in Stagecoach will help or hurt business in South Routt.
"That's impossible to gauge, but traditionally we've had difficulties getting people in Stagecoach to shop in south Routt," he said. "I think it potentially could be good. But most of us are worried that (Stagecoach) could grow too fast."
He's worried that a fast build up in Stagecoach will raise south Routt's affordable housing market past a level local residents could afford. Plus, any commercial business developments in Stagecoach could pull customers away from Oak Creek, Phippsburg and Yampa.
"I would encourage better communication with all the players," Bonfiglio said.
That's what Patton has in mind. In the coming months there will be community meetings in south Routt to talk about the development.
"We're looking for some valuable feedback. It's a huge proponent to talk to the folks and hopefully we can develop some support," Patton said.
The developers also are addressing the school issue, by setting aside a six-acre parcel of land for an elementary school.
South Routt School District Superintendent Steve Jones said his arms are open for a new school and the possibility of new students in the district, but he wonders if 500 new units in Stagecoach would have a significant affect his student count.
"The population growth in Steamboat Springs hasn't been seen in the schools," he said. "If they are high end units, I don't think it would mean much to the school district."
He suspected that most people buying the units would be second home owners and retired couples both group not commonly having with school-aged children.
Though student counts may not be affected, the district's tax base would.
"If there truly is a build up, it might mean that we would be able to lower the mill levy and pay off the (proposed) bond issue early," he said.
Stahoviak agreed the additional taxes collected would benefit south Routt, but she won't know if the project will be positive for area until further into the planning process.
"I don't have any clue right now," she said. "I haven't even seen what the development will be like."
Routt County Planning Director Caryn Fox estimated that Stahl won't go in front of the planning commission until after the first of the year. In addition to getting the development approved, Stahl will have to be approved to changed the plating of the area and vacating some utilities easements.
"They'll review it all at the same time," she said.