Hayden Hayden town officials Thursday night acknowledged the impasse between those who would like to see skyline regulations in place throughout Routt County and those who would oppose any sort of new county regulations.
"It's a tough issue," Trustee Richard "Festus" Hagins said. "You could go either way."
County commissioners want to know where the towns of Hayden, Oak Creek and Yampa stand on the skyline regulations before they endorse any recommendations put forward by the Routt County Planning Commission.
The Hayden Town Board decided to table its decision on skyline regulations until the next board meeting in two weeks.
Chad Phillips, assistant director of the Routt County Planning Department, shared the current status of Routt County's Skyline Development Regulations.
While the Routt County Planning Commission would like to see skyline regulations in place, county commissioners have the more difficult task of making a decision that reconciles staunch support for property rights and the belief that property owners should respect skylined ridges, he said.
Supporters on neither side of the argument want to compromise, he said.
"There's not a whole lot of middle ground," Phillips said.
County residents who live along skylined areas questioned the need to draw the town of Hayden into the discussion.
Phillips reminded the Town Board and the audience that the push for skyline regulations did not begin with county officials.
People who want to preserve skylined ridges approached the county about taking some steps to curb the visual impacts of development on those ridges, he said.
Trustee Ken Gibbon echoed the sentiment of many trustees when he offered his distaste for houses that jut into the skyline as well as his hesitation about the county limiting where people could build.
"People have a right to build there if it's their property," he said.
Phillips said the proposed skyline regulations would not tell people where to build, but instead soften the effects of development on skylined areas.
Trustee Tim Frentress said he didn't understand why some people might want to build their houses high above their neighbors, but he supported their property rights.
More education was needed to inform new buyers of ways to alleviate the visual impact of structures built along the skyline, he added.
The Cog has been identified as one of the areas near Hayden that would benefit from skyline regulations.
Jim Hayes, a rancher who lives near the Cog, said skyline regulations, while appropriate for the Steamboat Springs area, might not suit West Routt County.
"One size does not fit all," he said.
County commissioners will revisit skyline regulations in June.
If the Hayden Town Board wishes to endorse the county's efforts to curb development on skyline ridges, they can make a motion that would support limited development on skylined ridges in the unincorporated area that surround the town.