More land may be annexed

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The Hayden Skate Park and 12 residences are being considered for annexation along with the Routt County Fairgrounds and the planned Dry Creek Park.

Some residents like the idea and some do not.

The Planning Commission and Town Planner Tim Katers will further review the proposed annexation at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Town Hall.

At its Jan. 8 meeting, the Hayden Planning Commission looked at squaring its boundaries by annexing the properties in question, which largely would be surrounded by town land when the fairgrounds, skate park and Dry Creek Park are annexed.

The Planning Commission also decided that a section of Poplar Street from Jackson Avenue to the former intersection of Breeze Basin Boulevard should be included in the annexation because it is maintained by the town of Hayden even though it remains part of Routt County.

Annexing the fairgrounds, skate park and section of Poplar Street would create an enclave of county land largely surrounded by town property. That enclave would include several of the 12 properties in question. The other properties to the east of Poplar Street are being considered to square town boundaries.

Katers said Jan. 8 that creating the enclave of county land would not be a problem. The properties could be annexed after three years without consent of the property owners.

The properties in question that would not be in the enclave would have to give consent to be annexed, however.

At the Jan. 8 meeting, Planning Commissioner Tom Rogalski said the town should call the residents who live in the proposed annexation area to determine their stance on the matter. He recommended the Town Board annex the section of Poplar Street, the skate park and property to the east of Poplar Street owned by people who want to become part of the town.

The Planning Commission approved Rogalski's motion, and agreed that if an enclave were created, it would be prudent in three years to annex all properties involved -- including those belonging to residents who were opposed -- to square boundaries.

Town staff attempted to contact the 12 property owners in question. Three said they wanted to be included in the annexation. One was undecided. Five said no, and three have not responded.

Edgar McSweeny was one of the five who opposed having their property annexed.

"I can't stand the taxes I'm going to end up with," McSweeny said. "If my acreage was in city evaluation, that's really going to hurt. (The town) was talking land valuation for that park at $40,000 an acre, and now my property is at $8,000. That's a big increase in property tax."

Bobby Robinson Jr. is undecided because he said he realizes the pros and cons the annexation would have on his 8.5 acres.

"At this time, unless I decide to subdivide a portion of my land and build houses on it, it would be crazy for me to annex it," Robinson said. "It would just double my taxes for nothing."

Land can be developed at a higher density in town than in the county, which would allow property owners such as Robinson to profit from subdivision development.

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