Facility may force out trailers

Commissioners will hear request today

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— Several people could lose their homes if a pending plan to build a mini-storage facility gets the county's approval.

D-Bar-K Enterprises is asking the county for permission to construct self-storage buildings in place of several mobile homes and an old motel a half-mile south of Steamboat Springs on U.S. 40.

The Routt County Planning Commission was divided last month on giving D-Bar-K the go-ahead to clear existing structures on the 5-acre parcel.

The county planning commissioners recognized that tearing down the four mobile homes, an 11-unit hotel and single residence would take away some affordable housing options.

"This just happens too much in the Yampa Valley," said Timmy Meagher, who owns one of the mobile homes subject to removal.

The South Steamboat Area Plan recommends that new development not create housing shortages.

The Planning Commission recommended in a 4-4 decision that the county not award the special use permit to construct the mini storage units.

Its recommendation included an appeal to D-Bar-K Enterprises to seek some sort of compromise with the people who currently live on the property.

Meagher is concerned about losing all the equity he has built up in his mobile home should he have to move his property elsewhere.

He recently bought a house and hoped to offset some of the cost by selling his trailer.

But Meagher has been trying to sell the mobile home for months. No one wants to buy a trailer whose future is up in the air.

Meagher is disappointed with the lack of communication between D-Bar-K Enterprises and the people who live on the property.

"They have made no effort to contact me," he said.

D-Bar-K representatives could not be reached for comment.

Meagher would like D-Bar-K to consider some sort of compensation for the financial blow to him and his neighbors.

Doyle Capra thinks his mobile home will have to go even if the county denies D-Bar-K's special use permit request.

"I believe we're getting kicked out regardless of whether the county approves it or not," he said.

"The only obstacle that they have are the people living there."

Neither man would be homeless if their trailer home must go. But both men are discouraged that people who are struggling to make a living in Steamboat could lose yet another chance for affordable housing.

Meagher had hoped to pass on his trailer to someone looking for an opportunity to feasibly live and work in Steamboat.

Now he wonders if it will be a missed opportunity.

The County Board of Commissioners hears D-Bar-K's request at 3:45 p.m. in the commissioners' hearing room.

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