Skyline regs meeting tonight

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— Routt County commissioners and the Planning Commission will host a joint meeting tonight to gather public input on proposed skyline regulations.

Commissioners from both boards are seeking county residents' reaction to adopting either skyline regulations or guidelines. No final decision will be made, but county officials hope to weigh the public's mood at the meeting.

In February, the county mailed about 3,000 letters to property owners who might be affected by the proposed guidelines. Negative reaction to the proposal was initially strong, but recent written responses have been mostly supportive, said Skyline Development Project Manager Chad Phillips.

About 125 people filled Centennial Hall at the last meeting in late June, and Phillips would like to see another crowd tonight.

"It's important that the people who will be impacted by this show up," Phillips said. "Public comment will be crucial to where we go with this issue."

During the previous joint meeting, the Planning Commission showed early support for county-wide skyline regulations. County commissioners are still looking for more public guidance.

"We're still trying to decipher how people feel about this," County Commissioner Doug Monger said. "I'm not talking about the vocal people who show up for every meeting. I'm talking about John Q. Citizen who doesn't know that much about the issue."

Skylined areas are those with structures built along a mountain ridge that create silhouettes against the sky. Skyline regulations are intended to protect scenic views that can be seen from state highways and county roads.

These views are protected by barring proposed development along skylined ridgelines or by lessening its impact through height restrictions.

County commissioners will consider three different maps of skylined areas. The Planning Commission can only make recommendations.

The maps depict landscape features in Routt County which are likely to be skylined if seen from public road corridors. Commissioners have the option of combining the maps into a new map.

"I expect a lot of compromise," Phillips said. "But we all decided that public input will play a big factor in this. We're not taking it lightly."

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