Commission will hear inn request

Woman wants to host weddings, seminars on property

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The Routt County Planning Commission will consider tonight granting a woman's request to share her back yard with brides, professionals and leisure-seekers.
Lynn Atkinson is asking for permission to host weddings and seminars on her property, about two and a half miles southwest of Lake Catamount on Routt County Road 14B.
Atkinson would like to operate a country inn out of her home and plans to hold mini-retreats and workshops at the house.
She envisions hosting photography, painting and botanic workshops as well as wellness and relaxation retreats. The getaways could last a weekend or a week.
The seminars are intended to market a country inn experience to potential guests, county planner Jim Goossens said.
Atkinson is proposing to hold six outdoor weddings a year with no more than 150 people per wedding. Two gazebos recently were built east of the house and would be used in the ceremonies if the county allows it.
The county has received half a dozen letters and calls from neighbors who do not want commercial activity on the 19-acre ranch.
They fear allowing events such as weddings and retreats could detract from the agricultural character of the area.
Nearby residents are concerned wedding guests and seminar participants will bring increased traffic and noise along CR 14B and CR 18.
Atkinson plans to cut down on vehicle congestion by using Alpine Taxi to shuttle wedding guests to the ranch.
The Planning Commission could approve or deny Atkinson's request or recommend only one or two of the proposed uses, Goossens said.
Also on tonight's Planning Commission agenda, Seneca Coal Co. is asking to expand its coal mining operations into a western section of land within the Colorado Division of Minerals and Geology permit boundary.
The expansion would occur on 62 acres about seven and a half miles south of the Hayden Power Station along CR 37.
The mining company planned to mine the land after 2005, but increased demand for coal from the Hayden Power Station is driving the need to mine the area now.
The meeting begins at 5 p.m. in the commissioners' hearing room. The first hour is slated for a presentation on the key choices of the Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan.

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