Steamboat Springs Routt County commissioners want to avoid putting their stamp of approval on concepts open to interpretation as they develop proposed skyline regulations for the county.
In a work session Tuesday with the county planning staff, they cut out a few provisions they deemed too subjective.
In some cases, County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said, efforts to alleviate the visual impact of skylined homes might not agree with county planners' perceptions of how best to alleviate those impacts.
"That's your vision versus my vision," she said.
The current draft of skyline regulations states that no new structure or addition to an existing structure would be permitted on land designated as skylined on the Skyline Areas Map, unless one of two measures were taken.
People applying to build in skylined areas must prove, through photographs and other documents, that natural surroundings would lessen the visual impacts of their proposed building from designated county roads within a three-mile radius.
If the protrusive qualities of surrounding trees and vegetation could not be proved, the proposed house would be allowed to protrude no more than 10 feet above the skyline and three of five procedures would need to be utilized to lessen the visual impact.
The procedures include reductions in the size of the building, redesign of the roofline to blend with or imitate the surroundings, landscaping to lessen the building's impact and the use of earth tones on the building's exterior that resemble the environment.
Commissioners asked planning staff to remove those five procedures from the mix.
Eliminating the mitigation measures would reduce the amount of subjectivity and spare the planning staff so many inspections, commissioners said.
"The lighter we could make it, it might go over more easily," said Chad Phillips, assistant director of the Planning Department.
Removal of the mitigation measures did not mean the county could not suggest ways to reduce the visual impacts of homes on skylined areas, Stahoviak said.
"We're not saying you can't build there, but you obviously need to do something about where you are," County Commissioner Doug Monger said.
Commissioners also changed the footage requirements between the skyline and the top of the structure from 10 to 15 feet.
That distance would give builders at least enough leeway to expose the roof of the house, as well as some of the side of the house, they said.
Commissioners and planning staff will meet for another work session in July to wrap up discussion on the draft of skyline development regulations and guidelines before they meet again on the issue with the Routt County Planning Commission.