Planners weigh rezoning

Request allowing hotel, garden center sent to Town Board

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The Hayden Planning Commission recommended the Town Board approve a rezoning request allowing for the construction of a hotel chain and industrial business on the west end of Hayden.

At a Planning Commission meeting Thursday night, commissioners considered a rezoning application submitted by Starla Sills, who owns 7 acres of land near 1300 W. Jefferson Ave.

The Hayden Planning Commission recommended the Town Board approve a rezoning request allowing for the construction of a hotel chain and industrial business on the west end of Hayden.

The land is zoned open, but Sills, represented by her father, Ron Sills, of Steamboat Springs on Thursday night, wants the land -- located on the south side of the street -- rezoned to accommodate the Westminster Center project.

The Sills are asking that the front half of the property be developed commercial for a 60-unit hotel and the back half zoned industrial for another business, possibly a garden center.

Although the development is planned for the edge of town, commissioners agreed it would contribute to the town's goals of attracting more tourist traffic -- and sales tax dollars -- through commercial development in the downtown core.

"I kind of like the idea of the hotel being on that side of town," Vice-Chairman Tom Rogalski said, adding that airport traffic on the east end of Hayden would drive through downtown, passing businesses on their way to the hotel.

Some commissioners questioned plans for parking, access roads and water and sewer lines. They also wanted to make sure the industrial business on the property would be compatible with the hotel.

"We're just not far enough along to present that to you," Ron Sills said in regards to the parking and infrastructure. He assured commissioners the businesses would have to be compatible for a national hotel chain to be involved in the project.

Also at the meeting, Chairwoman Donna Hellyer suggested the town take advantage of its historic charm and tourist traffic by making Walnut Street a historic district.

"It's going to take cooperation and everyone being involved," she said, explaining that Historic Routt County is excited about the idea and willing to help with evaluation costs involved in attaining national designation.

She emphasized the process would involve community education -- especially for businesses that may not understand the benefits or processes.

In other business:

The Planning Commission recommended the Town Board proceed with a minor subdivision proposal submitted by Joe and Mary Schminkey, who want to subdivide a lot for storage and warehouse purposes. The six lots would not require city services.

Commissioners also recommended the Town Board approve revised Planning Commission Bylaws and Rules of Procedure that include the addition of two alternate Planning Commission members. The members would attend all meetings and sit on the commission when a quorum, or four commissioners, are needed to convene a meeting and take action on a motion.

Anyone interested in being an alternate commissioner should submit a letter of interest to Town Manager Russ Martin at the Town Hall. The deadline is June 24.

-- To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com

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