Hayden When your house is on the agenda of a town meeting, you go.
All seats were full at Thursday night's Hayden Planning Commission meeting after several homeowners received invitations from Town Hall to discuss the possible annexation of their homes into town boundaries.
"It was a very lively discussion," Town Manager Rob Straebel said. "The lion's share of those who attended were opposed to annexing their land into town."
Residents were concerned about what would happen to their tax burden if they were suddenly subject to town property taxes. Many of the homeowners in question receive municipal services but do not pay property taxes to Hayden.
"People also had zoning questions," Straebel said. Many of the homeowners around the Routt County Fairgrounds own livestock, which is not allowed within town limits.
"Quite frankly, it is difficult to tell those people what would happen," Straebel said. "Each home will have to be considered on a case-by-case basis.
"The town does not want to change uses of the land near the fairgrounds that is agricultural," Straebel said. "Our goal by doing this is to shore up the boundaries of Hayden."
The Planning Commission and the Town Board will cooperate with landowners, he said. "No one will be involuntarily annexed into town."
In fact, it is illegal under Colorado law to annex any property without the permission of the landowner unless it is an enclave -- a property surrounded on all sides by the town but still considered part of the county.
"My recommendation to the Town Board will be to begin by annexing Dry Creek Park and continue conversations with other landowners," Straebel said.
He suggested Hayden might also consider entering into an intergovernmental agreement with the county.
Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger attended Thursday night's meeting. The county commissioners have scheduled a meeting with the Town Board immediately before the next board meeting, scheduled for Thursday, to discuss the annexation possibilities.
In other business, the Planning Commission discussed the wording of an ordinance that would require developers to dedicate ownership of the water rights that come with their land to Hayden.
Hayden attorney Mike Holloran will work to clarify the language, Straebel said.
Finally, the commission discussed the impact study planned for the Sunburst Ranch development, proposed for 902 acres in and around Hayden.
Representatives from 4S Development did not attend the meeting.
The Planning Commission reviewed a proposal for the impact study that would evaluate the effect of the development on Hayden's infrastructure.
"We sent a copy of the proposal to Peter Patten (a consultant to 4S Development) and they suggested some revisions," Straebel said.
The Planning Commission reviewed the changes. The Town Board will look at the proposal next week, Straebel said.
Three consultants have bid on doing the impact study, he said. As it stands, the consultants will work for the town, but the impact study will be completed at the expense of the developers.