Planning Commission looks at annexation

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— The Hayden Planning Commission addressed some of the town's desired uses for the Routt County Fairgrounds at its June 26 meeting, a preliminary step in the town's plan to annex the fairgrounds in the fall.

The Planning Commission reviewed a list of about 20 to 25 activities that could take place at the fairgrounds, and it discussed how certain events would require case-by-case approval.

Some of the more traditional actitivies will be allowed as uses by right, while other activities, such as concerts or anything that could impact residents with sound, light or dust, will be permitted as conditional uses. Conditional-use activity organizers would have to get permission from the Hayden Town Board to hold their events.

The town does not regulate events at the county fairgrounds, but if it annexes the property, it wants to have control over what happens there, Town Manager Rob Straebel said.

"We don't want to get in the habit of over-regulating, but ultimately we want to be in control of what goes on there," Straebel said.

The Planning Commission also discussed plans for new roads and paved parking lots inside the fairgrounds. Town and county officials are in the process of reviewing plans in hopes of reaching an agreement on the road and parking locations, number of spaces, and who will pay for what, Straebel said.

"I think it will be a partnership," he said.

Plans include upgrading the fairgrounds parking area by adding hundreds of paved parking spaces.

The Planning Commission will discuss annexation matters further at its next meeting, scheduled for July 24.

The Planning Commission also reviewed the overall conceptual plan for the 900-acre Sunburst Ranch and informally approved for the plan to be submitted for an impact study.

Still, the Planning Commission proposed some revisions to the plan, including more open space dedication and interconnecting trails, and asked the developers to add more of those elements and resubmit elements to the plan later.

The town will be compiling economic and infrastructure statistics over the next week for consultants Winston and Associates, the firm conducting the impact study, Straebel said. Meetings with the consultants should begin next week.

The Planning Commission also reviewed the first draft of a new water ordinance that calls for water demands in future developments to be submitted to the Planning Commission before final plat documents are submitted.

The Planning Commission discussed several details of the ordinance that need amending.

The ordinance will receive at least two more readings before final approval, Straebel said.

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