Town Board to look at revitalization plan

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— The Hayden Town Board on Thursday will consider creating plans for downtown business development as well as parks, trails and open space.

Town Manager Russ Martin is proposing the town use money available through a Gates Foundation grant to devise a downtown revitalization plan that would include potential projects for Hayden's business corridor.

"It's not that we're not doing OK now, but I think businesses would agree that we could do better," Martin said about attracting business downtown.

The plan would be a component of the town's comprehensive plan, which is being updated to accommodate residents' visions for growth in Hayden. The Gates Foundation grant is funding that project.

Martin also wants to use funds available from the grant to create a plan prioritizing parks and open space projects that include building a trail from Dry Creek Park to the Yampa River and restoring Dry Creek.

Martin's proposal includes the option to apply for a Great Outdoors Colorado grant to help with plan costs.

Also on Thursday, the Hayden Town Board will consider rezoning a parcel of land on the east end of town from residential to commercial.

The request drew criticism last week from neighbors who told the Hayden Planning Commission that the five lots, located in the 600 block of West Jefferson Avenue next to the old windmill, should remain residential to prevent noise and traffic problems.

They were specifically concerned about the possibility that a Hayden gas station may move to the parcel, though Jack Giessinger, representing applicants Ron and Keri Romine, told commission members the proposal was not set in stone.

The Town Board only will consider the rezoning request, and Martin emphasized that any proposed use -- including conditional uses or uses by right -- would undergo a separate site plan review process.

"There's enough chatter about it that I anticipate a good number of people at the meeting," Martin said.

In other business, the board will discuss a final version of the agreement with Routt County to annex the Routt County Fairgrounds and Dry Creek Park to the town. The agreement will have a provision ensuring the zoning classification includes fairground activities. Board members also will consider whether or not to write a letter of support for the Nature Conservancy's efforts to purchase a conservation easement on Wolf Mountain, which sits behind the Carpenter Ranch.

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