Monday, December 16, 2002
Steamboat Springs The South Side Station at Walton Creek will return to the City Council tonight, six months after they first denied the plan.
On June 4, the council voted 4-3 to deny the development, which proposed a 4,460 square-foot commercial center with a gas station, convenience store, liquor store and car wash.
The council's main concern was the development's proximity to a public water supply.
The proposed development would stand 1,000 feet away from the Mount Werner Water District's infiltration gallery and 1,500 feet from the city's infiltration gallery, which is a kind of horizontal well.
At the request of the applicants, Steve and Denise Peterson, the city agreed to reconsider the plan when a Wellhead Protection Ordinance would be put in place.
Six months have passed, which is the maximum time a plan can be tabled, and an ordinance has yet to be passed.
What the city does have, Interim Planning Director Tim McHarg said, is a report that shows the proposed development is not in a zone of influence to those public water supplies.
The city worked with Mount Werner Water and hired consultants McLaughlin Water from Lakewood to do an analysis to determine the area that ground water sinks into the infiltration galleries.
McHarg said the studies show the proposed gas station development and car wash are more than 500 feet away from what is termed as influence zones.
But that information, which the city received Dec. 10, is still in draft form and McHarg said it is too early for the planning staff to give its recommendation.
"I feel uncomfortable recommending approval," McHarg said.
The report has not been presented to either the council or the Mount Werner Water Board of Directors.
The study was also done during one of the worst droughts in the last 100 years.
The consultants estimated the water table elevation was three to five feet lower than normal and recommended that a new water table map be constructed in the spring.
"The timing is unfortunate. The city received the draft report and just hasn't had time to get it finalized, and the time is up," McHarg said.
McHarg said the city could move in four directions: approve the development based on the report, table the development for three months until the finalization of the report and the presentation to the city and Mount Werner Water Board, table the development until a Wellhead Protection Ordinance is in place, or deny the development and ask the applicants to resubmit their application for when a ordinance is approved.