Neighbors who appealed a permit for snowmobile tours on a ranch southeast of Milner have reached a compromise with the tour operator.
On Tuesday, Routt County commissioners voted unanimously to uphold the permit for Wayne and Luanne Iacovetto and their son, Jerad Iacovetto, of Saddleback Ranch. The Routt County Planning Commission granted the permit request on Dec. 4.
The request to repeal the original permit was sent by Sandra Kebodeaux on Dec. 6. "I felt like we were backed into a corner and had to do something in five days," Kebodeaux told Routt County commissioners Tuesday.
The letter from Kebodeaux, as well as subsequent letters from other neighbors, said that snowmobile tours could cause noise and air pollution and affect wildlife.
On Dec. 19, Jerad Iacovetto and concerned neighbors met to discuss the tours and at that point came to a compromise on the trails the snowmobile tours would use.
That compromise was presented to county commissioners on Tuesday, and Kebodeaux said she approved of that agreement.
"We're not opposed to (the Iacovettos) having the snowmobile tours, we just felt like we didn't have any say in where it went or how it impacted our neighborhood," Kebodeaux said. "It hasn't impacted me, and if nobody else has any objection, I'm all for it."
Jerad Iacovetto said the compromise tour trail is north of the original trail and farther from nearby neighbors.
Several other neighbors expressed support for the Iacovettos and their efforts to diversify the income they get from their ranch.
They also said that Jerad Iacovetto had done everything he could to decrease impacts and work with neighbors.
"I am pleased that Jerad was able to meet with the concerned neighbors and create a plan that seems like it's going to work," Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said.
As approved, the operation allows three tours of last two hours each throughout the day, with operations starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m. The snowmobile tours would take place on part of the Iacovettos' 800 acres of land, as well as on the approximately 3,700 acres of land they lease from the State Land Board.
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