Thursday, October 17, 2002
Hayden The Hayden Town Board voted 5-to-1 to ask for an impact study from the developers of the proposed Sunburst Ranch.
The study would be paid for by 4S Development Limited but organized by the town. It would answer many questions about the impact of a 902-acre subdivision on the town's water supply, sewer and transportation system.
The only board member opposed to the idea of requiring an impact study was Ken Gibbons.
"I worry that once we ask (the developers) to invest money in a study, it will be harder for us to say no," Gibbons said.
4S partner Tom Fox said he felt the impact study would be beneficial to both sides and promised there would be no strings attached.
If the town eventually turns down the group's proposal, it will look at developing the property piecemeal, or sell it in 35-acre parcels.
"But I don't want to think about it that way," Fox said.
Gibbons also feared the large development would "monopolize building in Hayden for years to come."
Fox was visibly upset by the comment and asked that the word "monopoly" stay out of the conversation.
"This will not be a monopoly," Fox said. "It is free enterprise and if someone comes along with a development that offers a better value than ours, they will win out."
Thursday night's meeting was the second time 4S Development came before the board.
Trustee Jim Frentress said he thinks an impact study will be good for both sides.
"I am interested in seeing if there is another access road to and from U.S. 40 to the development," he said.
Trustee Richard Hagins commented Hayden will feel the effects of growth whether they choose it or not, because eventually the growth will happen in Craig.
"We will still end up with the traffic," he said. He was also hopeful new development would provide housing for workers if the nearby underground mine ever opens.
Before voting, the board opened the floor to comments from residents.
Local rancher Forrest Frentress announced his opposition to Sunburst Ranch.
"I'd like to see that land kept for wheat and cattle rather than houses," he said.
"This board has one of the biggest challenges of all the boards in the history of Hayden," Hayden Realtor Jack Geissinger said. "An impact study is paramount."
In other business, the Hayden High School Art and Spanish Club gave a presentation to justify its donation request from the town for $600 to fund a trip to Italy. The Community Agriculture Alliance came for the same reason. The Alliance cut its original request of $5,000 in half.
Steamboat Springs Transportation Director George Krawzoff and Steamboat City Manager Paul Hughes presented their need for a 2003 donation request of $5,389 to pay for a regional bus that runs from Craig to Steamboat with a stop in Hayden. Six seats are reserved on each bus for Hayden residents.
Paul Bialek, executive director of Partners of Routt County, asked for $1,000 to fund a mentoring program using AmeriCorps volunteers in the schools.
He also asked board members if there was a need for their partnering program in Hayden. Elsewhere in Routt County, adults are paired with youths in a one-on-one mentoring relationship.
So far, only four partnerships have been formed in Hayden, compared to 40 in Oak Creek and 100 in Steamboat.
"It could be that this community takes care of its youth better than others in Routt County," Bialek said. "But I've heard anecdotally otherwise."
In other towns, youths who could benefit from an adult mentor are referred to the program by teachers and school counselors.