Hayden Planning puts Sunburst on hold


Members of 4S Development were disappointed after the Hayden Planning Commission told them they would have to wait until August before getting approval of their sketch plans of the first phase of their planned 900-acre Sunburst Ranch development.

Developers Tom Heuer and Ron Sills said they wanted to get approval of the sketch plans as quickly as possible so they could get preliminary plat plans drawn and begin construction of the 49-acre phase before winter. But Planning Commission members said they had some concerns, particularly with roads and infrastructure, that they wanted addressed by an additional planner.

Planning Commission member Steve Morrison said when "looking at the grand scheme," driveways should not back into the major roads, or arteries, of the development. He said people backing out of their driveways onto a main road could create a hazard or cause traffic-flow problems.

Town Manager Rob Straebel said he has been looking to get a planner to evaluate the phase to make sure all the right steps are taken. The Planning Commission approved for Straebel to hire a planner for the project. Straebel said by next week he would have a planner, which the developers from 4S will pay for.

"I don't understand why you want another planner when we have professional planners working for us," Heuer said. "All this will do is cost us more time and more money."

"We've already spent a ton of money on engineers and planners," Sills said.

Planning Commission Chair-woman Donna Hellyer said bringing in a planner would be the fastest way for the developers to get their sketch plans approved because otherwise they would have to wait until an impact study was completed of the entire 900 acres.

But 4S developer Gordon Dowling insisted 4S had made all the revisions to the plans the Planning Commission had instructed at other meetings and could not understand why they wanted to "drag this out."

"I want this approved quickly," Dowling said. "I have lived in Hayden for 53 years, and I want to stay here. I won't be able to if we don't build more housing."

Straebel said bringing in a planner would be beneficial for the town and the developers in the long-run.

In other business:

n The Planning Commission approved the final plat for a 60-by-100-foot facility for Avis Rent a Car at Yampa Valley Regional Airport. The building would serve mainly as storage and office space and would connect to the town water supply.

With approval from the Town Board, the annexation process of the property can begin.

n The Planning Commission reviewed a preliminary plat of a 32-home subdivision proposed by Paul Flood. After previous meetings in which open space dedication was a concern, Flood reported that he increased open space to 27.5 percent, exceeding the 25 percent required by the town. The Planning Commission also discussed plans with Flood for its desires for utility easements, streetlights and water and drainage issues.

n YVRA Manager Jim Parker presented plans for the first phase of the expansion of the terminal at the airport, which he said would cost about $940,000.

This first phase is to eliminate the "$70,000 money pit" of tents that served as waiting areas last winter.

Also, he said he hopes of complete the project before the ski season with a 130-day construction schedule. He said bids were due July 28, and construction would begin shortly after approval.

-- To reach Nick Foster call 871-4204

or e-mail nfoster@steamboatpilot.com


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