Monday, September 16, 2002
Steamboat Springs People planning to build homes on certain skylined ridges in the county can expect some future direction from Routt County.
County officials hope to define skyline regulations and guidelines in time for 2003.
"We want to get this finished by the end of the year, if at all possible," County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said.
The Routt County Board of Commissioners and Routt County Planning Commission recently held a joint work session to iron out final objections to proposed county skyline regulations and guidelines.
County planners will take their suggestions and present a final draft for their approval.
An earlier draft of skyline regulations prohibited new structures or additions to existing structures on land designated as skylined on the Skyline Areas Map unless one of two measures were taken.
People applying to build in skylined areas had to prove, through photographs and other documents, that natural surroundings would lessen the visual impacts of their proposed building from designated county roads within a 3-mile radius.
If the protrusive qualities of surrounding trees and vegetation could not be proved, the proposed houses could protrude no more than 10 feet above the skyline and three of five procedures were required to lessen the visual impact.
The procedures included 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.
County commissioners said those measures were too subjective and removed them. Regulations were simplified to read that houses could protrude no more than 15 feet above the skyline.
The 15-foot maximum pertains to what people might see from any county road.
The County Planning Commission asked that the color of houses along skylined areas blend with natural surroundings.
The completion of county skyline regulations and guidelines comes after several years of work.
"It's a good working document," County Planning Commissioner Fred Nichols said. "It's about time. Everybody worked hard at this."