Board formalizes plan review

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Developers and the Hayden Planning Commission will know what to expect from plan reviews, now that the town has formalized its process.

The Hayden Town Board approved an ordinance Thursday night defining the review process the town conducts before issuing building permits for subdivision, commercial and industrial development.

In addition to town staff, the Planning Commission would be the main entity involved in the process and would give ultimate approval.

"That's why we have a planning board," mayor pro-tempore Chencho Salazar said in response to some board members' concerns that the Town Board was relinquishing control over development.

Town Manager Russ Martin said the process was typical for most towns with planning commissions, pointing out that any disagreements between the Planning Commission and applicants would be appealed to the Town Board.

Also Thursday, there was considerable discussion on whether to purchase a vehicle-based device that would read all the town's utility meters from one spot in town.

The manufacturer is offering the unit for $23,000 -- less than half its typical price -- because the town is purchasing about 600 new meters as part of a meter-replacement project.

The hand-held units the town now uses require public works employees to drive by every household. Ultimately, the vehicle-based device would save the town about $6,000 a year in personnel and vehicle costs, Martin said.

But Mayor Charles Grobe said Craig has the unit and is willing to loan it to Hayden, which only would have to pay about $4,000 in software upgrades to use it.

"We're looking at a unit we're only going to use two hours a month. ... Twenty-three thousand dollars is 1 1/2 pickups, if you want to talk about equipment the town can use," he said.

But board members, concerned that a loan-borrow situation could get complicated, agreed Hayden should purchase the new device as long as the funds were in the meter-replacement budget.

Martin said he would verify budget funds would cover the new meter reader.

In other business:

n The board agreed to a revised plan for the Dry Creek Park that would allow the town to build two soccer fields and two softball fields. Construction of the first soccer field will begin this fall. The board also discussed the need for an enclosed area for dogs in Dry Creek Park.

Board members unanimously approved an ordinance requiring developers to pay a deposit to cover possible external services sought during the development review process. Funds remaining after attorneys,' engineers' or planners' fees would be returned to the developer or put toward the next phase of external review.

The board approved a minor subdivision proposal from Andrea and Bill Hayden who want to split their lot on the northwest corner of Sixth Street and U.S. Highway 40. The purpose is to separate the Hayden Mercantile from the planned Mountain Valley Bank.

Board members agreed to give the Economic Development Council an additional $100 to $200 to advertise the Hunter Information Center in the Colorado Hunter magazine. Board member Lorraine Johnson, who advertises her business, Rainbow Sporting Goods, in the publication, said that it reaches about 37,000 hunters.

Hayden residents Richard "Festus" Hagins and Vicki Morgan were appointed as alternate planning commissioners.

Grobe suggested the town contribute funds to help the Hayden School District upgrade lights on the football field. The district needs about $4,000 to complete the project. Board members were receptive to the idea, and Grobe said he would return with the exact amount needed.

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