Leaders mull impacts of growth legislation

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— Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak will be among 200 housing, banking and community leaders from across Colorado meeting at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort today to talk about the potential impact of new growth legislation.

Stahoviak will join a half-dozen panelists who will take part in the final presentation of the day. They will talk about what growth legislation will really mean to communities all over the state. Among those joining Stahoviak on the panel are former Hayden and current Lakewood City Manager Mike Rock.

Today's conference is likely to be exploratory the state Legislature is still wrapping up its second special session of the year and just late last week sent a package of growth bills to Gov. Bill Owens for signature.

Stahoviak said she is among those who haven't fully had time to digest the implications of the new growth bills.

"I expect to talk about things that communities in Routt County are already doing to manage growth," Stahoviak said. "For example, all of the incorporated towns in Routt County have officially designated growth areas. I'll look at the way Routt County handles new proposals by including them within urban growth boundaries and existing urban centers."

Stahoviak said she will talk about specific tools Routt County has put in place to mitigate growth planning tools like land preservation subdivision regulations.

One of the keys to the growth package is a bill that would allow cities and counties to impose impact fees to offset increasing demands for services brought about by growth in their communities. But even as the Legislature finally passed growth-control measures after more than two years of trying, there were detractors. Some legislators and representatives of local governments are contending the new bill hurts small governments because it limits the purposes the proceeds of impact fees could be applied to.

Today's conference begins at 1:05 p.m. with a panel discussion examining what the members of the public want when it comes to growth control no growth? controlled growth? or pay as you go growth? Participants will include Bob Brooks, executive director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, and Larry Kallenberger, executive director of Colorado Counties Inc.

The second panel discussion begins at 2:30 p.m. Joe Harris, a senior policy analyst in the governor's office, and Joe Blake, president of the Denver Metro Chamber, will be among the participants.

The panel Stahoviak will take part in begins at 4 p.m.

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