Wednesday, January 29, 2003
Steamboat Springs People planning to build homes on certain ridges in the county can expect some future direction from Routt County.
The Routt County Planning Commission meets tonight to make final recommendations on the proposed skyline regulations and skyline area map.
Planning commissioners and the Routt County Board of Commissioners held a work session last fall to iron out their differences on the proposal.
County planners took their suggestions and worked out tonight's final draft, which requires the color of houses along skylined areas to blend with natural surroundings.
An earlier draft of skyline regulations prohibited new structures or additions to existing structures to be built on skylined land, as designated on the skyline area map, unless one of two measures was 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 three-mile radius.
If a property owner could not prove that, then the proposed house 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.
The Routt County Board of Commissioners said those measures were too subjective and removed them last summer. Regulations were simplified to read that houses protrude no more than 15 feet above the skyline.
The 15-foot maximum pertains to what people might see from any county road.
The skyline regulations are not intended for countywide use. The skyline area map includes the Steamboat Springs, Stagecoach and Upper Elk River areas of Routt County.
The towns of Hayden, Oak Creek and Yampa were asked if they wanted to participate, and only the Yampa Town Board responded with support for the draft skyline regulations.
The areas identified in the skyline map have demonstrated strong support for skyline regulations, County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said. But the county wants to educate potential builders in skylined areas outside the map about ways they can lessen the impacts of their homes, she said.
The final draft of skyline regulations comes after several years of work.
The County Planning Commission meets at 6 p.m. in the commissioners' hearing room. The Board of County Commissioners considers approval of skyline regulations and map at 6 p.m. Feb. 25.