School district selling North Routt land

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— The Steamboat Springs School District is offering two 21-acre parcels for sale in the North Routt County area.

The lots, which are just off of Routt County Road 129 and a mile north of Seedhouse Road, are priced at $189,500.

Rick Denney, the district's facilities director, said the sale of the lots came up almost by accident.

"Quite frankly, it was part of an effort to clean out files, evaluate what do we have as far as land parcels, getting rid of single room school houses : and this land parcel was on the list of things still in there," Denney said.

With the slow down in the real estate market since 2000 and a summer with wildfires in the nearby Zirkel Wilderness, Denney said it could be a difficult time to sell. The district listed the property in July.

Selling the land doesn't mean the school district has given up on the idea of putting a school in North Routt. But these 21-acres lots are just too hilly for a school site, Denney said. He said a school site requires flat land for a large building, parking area, play area and athletic fields.

"There could possibly be a school up in North Routt, currently there is a charter school," he said. "But this parcel, if we were going to go out and seek land, it wouldn't even make the list."

"You need more large area and flat grounds," he said.

The land requires its own water and sewer system, which would be a complicated and highly regulated process for a school building.

The school district acquired the land in 1972 as part of the development agreement that turned 7,000 acres into several thousand platted home sites. The 42 acres were deeded to the school district with the intention of using the land as a school site. Gerald Bylsma, one of the original partners in the development, signed the deeded transfer.

Both the school district and county received land as part of the development agreement.

The 7,000-acre development was proposed for second homes and recreational uses and was to have a ski area, golf course, clubhouse and full subdivision infrastructure including public water, sewer and streets.

But few of those features ever happened, including the extension of the water and sewer lines. The two parcels owned by the school district are among the many lots not served by the Steamboat Lake Water and Sanitation District.

If the water and sewer district serves the lots in the Steamboat Lake subdivision, the lots can average from a quarter to one and a half acres. If the lots are not served, the smaller pieces of property can be worth very little. But Routt County does allow people to buy up lots to form five-acre parcels, which would permit owners to drill for a well and install a septic system.

The school district believes the best use for the property is residential.

Up to four homes could be put on each of the 21-acre lots, but the district said the value of the land is essentially the same whether it is developed as a single lot or subdivided into four five-acre lots. Denney said the school district has decided to market it as the two 21-acre parcels and not subdivide the property.

Denney said there has been some interest in the land, but so far no one has signed a contract.

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