Residents trying to form local improvement districts will have an easier time understanding what steps are necessary, thanks to a policy approved by the Routt County Board of Commissioners on Monday.
The policy came as a result of discussions with property owners in Stagecoach who have been trying to form a local improvement district, Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said.
The property owners, who represent the Meadowgreen subdivision at Stagecoach, have petitioned the county for a local improvement district to improve roads and sewer and water systems in the subdivision, said Dan Lynch, a Denver attorney representing the property owners.
Because those basic improvements are expensive, having a local improvement district would be helpful. Under such a district, the county would fund the improvements and then be paid back by each property owner according to the benefit they receive from the improvements.
Property owners will have the choice of paying for their share of the improvements in installments or all at once. The maximum that Meadowgreen property owners would pay for the project ranges from about $21,000 to $41,500.
A public hearing for the petition was set for 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 9, but that hearing could be changed if the group does not meet required guidelines, Stahoviak said.
"In order to meet all these timelines, we went ahead and approved this," Stahoviak said.
Lynch said that the improvements the residents are requesting are for "just the basic public infrastructure."
"This is a very simple, kind of grass-roots thing," Lynch said.
The policy that commissioners approved lays out the information and actions necessary for a group to apply for a local improvement district.
First, groups must file petitions signed by the property owners that would be taxed in the special district. The petition must be signed by enough property owners to account for more than half of the estimated cost of the projects.
Petitions must describe at least 10 different features, including the improvements and their estimated cots, the allocation of costs for each property, and the time the project will require.
When petitions are submitted, the group must pay a $1,000 deposit to help with the county's cost of reviewing the petition.
The policy outlines additional steps, and should make the process of applying for a local improvement district easier for property owners.