County OKs Stagecoach plans

Developers want to build commercial store, single-family homes

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Sketch plans for a residential area that includes one of the first commercial developments in Stagecoach were approved by Routt County commissioners Tuesday.

Whether the development -- the first since a real estate office and convenience store failed after the area went bankrupt in the mid-1970s -- will happen is another story.

County commissioners warned that part of the property could be taken by the county to accommodate an expansion of Routt County Road 16. Also, project architect Michael Olsen acknowledged that if the Stagecoach Property Owners Association does not change its covenants to allow for commercial development on the lot, the proposed commercial building could be turned into duplex homes.

Olsen said the hope for the development was that it would be successful and therefore show that some commercial uses are viable in the area, encouraging other businesses to establish themselves in Stagecoach.

SunCove Village proposes 25 single-family homes and additional caretaker units and duplexes, as well as a commercial building that likely will be a convenience store. The development is proposed for a 9.5-acre lot at Meadowgreen in Stagecoach. The homes would sit along a looped one-way road.

The Routt County Planning Commission tabled sketch plans at their December meeting, but then in early February recommended the plans be approved.

While discussing the development, county commissioners brought up some of their larger concerns, such as the property owners association's requirement that all lots have a trail easement, and the need for the master plan to be updated.

In regards to SunCove Village, Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger said he did not think homes in such high density should be built on a small parcel when existing infrastructure to support those residents does not yet exist. Residents will have to drive in to towns for jobs or to get groceries, he said.

Monger also said he feared that without a traffic study of bordering C.R. 16, the county could be "tying our hands in the future of that road, and that becomes our arterial road."

The road may not be large enough to accommodate growth in the area, Routt County Commissioner Dan Ellison said.

When asked whether it's likely that the property owners association would change its covenants about commercial developments, Olsen said he has had conversations with the association but did not know when those changes might be made.

Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak, who participated through a conference call while she awaits a second knee surgery, said that overall she was pleased with the plans. She recommended that Gerald Rea and Bonnie Lyn Carrol, owners of SunCove Inc., work closely with Brian Stahl, who owns about 90 percent of the property bordering their proposed subdivision. However, she said, their work should not be delayed if Stahl does not have clear plans for his properties.

-- To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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