Steamboat Springs Before county officials approve of a land preservation subdivision south of Hayden, officials want to make sure enough water is available to serve the development.
On Tuesday afternoon, representatives of the Hidden Springs Ranch LPS met with the Routt County Board hoping commissioners would approve of the development.
But before the three-member board will act, the group must prove to commissioners enough water is available to serve 28 houses that will be constructed on five-acre lots.
"We can't do anything until we have a report that tells us there is an adequate supply of water for that area," Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said.
For every land preservation subdivision, the county demands that a water evaluation be done by an engineer or hydrologist.
The county instituted the policy because similar subdivisions in the past were approved by the county where a development lacked an adequate supply of water.
"We have had problems in the past with this," Stahoviak said. "This is one of the changes we made to ensure we are approving developments that have an adequate water supply."
Ron Sills, who is involved in the development proposal, attempted to sway the commissioners to approve of the development without the report.
Sills said the water report could be included in the development agreement that still needs to be approved by commissioners.
Sills said the development group wants to move forward, but the water issue has delayed the project.
"This has been very costly for us," Sills said. "This is a good project for the town of Hayden and the county."
During his presentation, Sills handed commissioners pictures of a culvert full of water that will serve the development, which is two miles southwest of Hayden off County Road 65.
"I see you have water," Commissioner Doug Monger said after viewing the pictures. "But I'm not sure it is enough to serve 28 houses.
"This is a good project, but we have to make sure we don't create a bad development."
Because the water report has not been done, the commissioners decided to table the issue until May 28.
Sills said the water report should be available by that time.
In the meantime, the group will also continue to negotiate with Hayden officials about 48 acres of land that falls within the town's growth boundary.
Sills said the group is negotiating a deal with the town to trade for the land.
County officials also want the group to have plans available for weeds and fences.
Along with developing 28 homes, Hidden Springs Ranch is intending to preserve 630 acres of the property.
A land preservation subdivision is designed to achieve several objectives, which include protecting the county's rural character and wildlife habitat.
The subdivision is also designed so buildings, roads and utilities are in areas with the least visual impact.