Hayden on edge of boom

Planned developments could triple town's size

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— Hayden has the potential to become the fastest growing community in the Yampa Valley, planners say.

A 900-acre commercial/residential development that could triple the size of the town, Sunburst Ranch, is only one of several developments in the works. The town has developed a master plan and implemented new high-tech software to help it deal with future developments.

Through the use of this "Community Viz" software, the town can get a 3-D glimpse of the town, the plans for the 900-acre Sunburst Ranch and vacant lots all over town.

With plans for parks, open spaces, trails included in its master plan, along with many new home sites and a small-town atmosphere within a 25-mile drive from Steamboat Springs, Hayden is becoming a more and more desirable town in which to invest.

Sunburst Ranch will be built in phases and could take 20 years to complete. The first phase will hold more than 100 mobile home sites and several single-family homes.

"Here's the key," said Jack Giessinger of Bear River Realty. "This will be controlled growth as the market is ready for it. If there is no demand, the growth will slow down."

Several homes already are available in Sunburst Ranch. Starter homes, typically two-bedroom, one bath, begin at $125,000 to $165,000.

Several higher priced, new starter homes are in the new Yampa View Estates subdivision. Developer Mike Bell said he wanted to build the homes specifically to cater to young professionals who can't afford housing in Steamboat Springs.

"I'm doing this because I want young people to contribute socially and politically (to the Hayden community)," Bell said. "I want them to put their roots down. And it seems like it's working out. Hayden is a great place with all the amenities and none of the hassles of the city."

The homes in Yampa View Estates range from $220,000 to $240,000. Several lots also are available from $39,500 to $48,000.

More high-end homes, typically with three or four bedrooms, multiple bathrooms and garages, range from $185,000 to $265,000 are available throughout town and vary in age from 30 years old to new.

Several new high-end homes have been planned in the new subdivisions Sagewood and Hidden Springs subdivisions. Sagewood is in the Golden Meadows area and Hidden Springs is one mile west of town.

Hidden Springs will be the home of the largest lots in the immediate vicinity, with 28 5-acre tracts. The upscale subdivision also will have more than 400 acres dedicated to open space, a private water system, underground electricity and connections to natural gas.

Though utility work and road work is still under way, lots should be available by fall, Giessinger said.

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