A widely anticipated Hayden growth has not hit yet, but building officials say it is coming soon.
In the past 12 years, 226 buildings permits in Hayden were issued by the Routt County Building Department, an average of 19 per year. The number also is consistently higher than the number of permits issued in Yampa and Oak Creek. This year, however, could push Hayden's average upward because developers are preparing to begin several subdivision projects as soon as the snow melts.
"The reason Hayden has grown little in recent years is partially because there were not a lot of lots available to build on," Routt County Chief Building Officer Mark Marchus said. "Now, more lots are becoming available in Hayden, so we should see a lot more building there this year. My guess is we'll see even more as long as interest rates stay down on mortgages."
Marchus also predicted more building permits will be sought in coming years because of the lack of affordable lots in Steamboat Springs.
"The only place that lots are available is down in Hayden," Marchus said.
About 3,000 acres in the Hayden area have been proposed for future subdivision and development in the past year, including small in-town projects, such as Paul Flood's The Meadow, and large projects, such as the 900-acre Sunburst Ranch and the 2,000-acre Grassy Creek Ranch.
Planning firms working in conjunction with the town of Hayden expect developments to triple the size of town over the next 20 years, excluding the out-of-town developments such as Grassy Creek and Hidden Springs Ranch.
With the exception of the lots that have been planned for construction during the first phase of Sunburst Ranch, not many lots are available within the municipal boundaries of Hayden, said Hayden Realtor Mark Fischer of Yampa Valley Realty.
"That's why Paul Flood's subdivision should do pretty well," Fischer said.
The lots in the first phase of Sunburst Ranch are within town limits, and pending final plat approval, those lots will be open for construction this summer.
"I think people are curious (about lots in Hayden), but it's kind of a wait and see as far as the big developments," said Karen Hughes at the Hayden office of Prudential Steamboat Realty. Hughes said most people inquire about the entire development rather than individual lots.
"I think we have a real bright future over here," Hughes said. "A lot of people looking here knowing there are housing opportunities."
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