Thursday, October 17, 2002
Steamboat Springs A local rancher's quest to place a campground on his property fell short Thursday evening.
The Routt County Planning Commission denied Ray Selbe's request to construct his proposed Eagle Soaring RV Resort seven miles west of Steamboat Springs on U.S. 40.
Selbe asked the county for permission to operate 29 electric RV spaces on 23 acres between Memorial Day and Thanksgiving.
County planning commissioners did not lend their approval because they were concerned about plans for the park's water supply and wastewater disposal facilities. They questioned how campers would dispose of their water used in food preparation and dishwashing.
Solid and liquid wastes thrown on the ground surface could eventually wash into nearby wetlands, County Planning Commissioner Gary Miller said.
Several nearby landowners have argued a commercial operation so far from the city limits would promote strip development along U.S. 40.
Bob Schneider, who spoke on behalf of several homeowners at the meeting, suggested Selbe could pursue other options to add more value to his property.
"We really don't want campers running around that neighborhood," Schneider said.
The County Planning Commission acknowledged the lack of adequate RV parks to keep up with the demand.
"My eyes were open to the need for this," said Don Alperti, chairman of the County Planning Commission.
But planning commissioners could not approve plans that would intensify land use in such an agricultural area.
Neighbors in the audience spoke to the niche Selbe's proposed project would fill.
Tourists who come with their RVs have no place around Steamboat to park them, they said, because the few parks that do operate fill up quickly.
If agriculture is going to survive around Steamboat, then efforts like Selbe's to increase the economic value of agricultural land are significant, one landowner said.