Steamboat Springs The Routt County Board of County Commissioners approved the Hidden Springs Ranch Land Preservation Subdivision in Hayden on Tuesday, but not without first imposing a few conditions.
Developers Peter Patten and Ron Sills have been working through the planning process since March when several concerns were raised about the feasibility of the project.
The main setbacks were threefold. First, Hayden felt that the development encroached on 49 acres of area the town had set aside for future growth. The developers immediately solved the problem by eliminating the land in question from their plans and acquired acreage to the west and south as a substitute. The development encompasses 770 acres southwest of Hayden. The land will be divided into 28 lots with a common open space area.
The second and most formidable concern was the availability of water.
The approval of the development was tabled last March when the Board of County Commissioners requested that a report be supplied to confirm the availability of water.
The report was supplied, but a letter dated July 10 from the Office of State Engineer to the Routt County Planning Department questioned the adequacy of the water supply.
At Tuesday's meeting, Patten showed a map with two wells and two springs.
Sills admitted that the four water sources had not been developed because, "we didn't want to spend the money until we got approval."
Pending approval, he said, developing those springs would be a top priority.
Commissioners Dan Ellison and Doug Monger had visited the sites and felt they would approve the development on the condition that there be a central water system. That system, they said, could be internal or come from the Town of Hayden.
The subdivision will need an average of 11,000 gallons of water per day, said Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak.
"I want to make it clear," Stahoviak said, "we are not having wells on all these units."
Despite the approval, Hayden Town Manager Rob Straebel was still concerned about the availability of water to Hidden Springs.
"The Town of Hayden does not plan to annex the subdivision and we have no plans to extend water lines to that area," he said.
Hidden Springs developers will not only be on their own to find water, but they will also be responsible for making sure roads are maintained and a fence is built around the periphery of the property.
"Owners of these properties will be allowed to have horses," Ellison said.
"For safety sake, we need to make sure there is a fence between them and the county road."
Patten and Sills will also be required to build roads and utilities or at least have a bond for such, before they can sell the lots.