Sierra View one step closer to building

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The Oak Creek Town Board approved the conceptual plan, annexation agreement, final plans and an agreement with Yampa Valley Electric Association for the Sierra View subdivision on Thursday night, moving one step closer to breaking ground in Oak Creek.

All board approvals are pending final amendments and legal review by town attorney Bob Weiss. A final vote on the annexation ordinance that officially would incorporate Sierra View into the town of Oak Creek was tabled until the next regularly scheduled town board meeting June 24, when legal review is expected to be complete.

The Sierra View subdivision, being developed by Tim Geiger and Dave Tweedy of Sierra View Development Group on a meadow overlooking downtown Oak Creek, includes 51 lots with 46 single-family homes, two duplexes, one four-plex and two eight-plexes. At build out, Sierra View Subdivision is expected to add about 175 people to the 850-person town of Oak Creek.

Several Town Board members expressed their discontent about an advertisement for Sierra View lot reservations that began appearing in the Steamboat Today classifieds before project approval Thursday, but Colorado Group Realty real estate agent Ron Wendler assured the board that he and the developers continue to want to work agreeably with the town and local realtors.

"It is just for getting an interest out on the property," Wendler said. "I'm sorry if you guys think I'm jumping the gun." This kind of reservation system is consistent with new proposed developments throughout Routt County, he said.

Discrepancies over the steep Moffat Avenue access to the Sierra View subdivision again generated significant debate. The current plan indicates a 14.5 percent grade, but town officials and the developers agreed Thursday that such a steep road in and out of the subdivision needed safety improvements.

After consulting with Andrew Waddoups, Oak Creek's engineering consultant, on Wednesday, Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman said it became clear that the grade on Moffat Avenue could be lowered to 10 percent.

"If it prevents one wreck at that intersection, it's worth it," Rodeman said about reducing the steepness of the contentious entryway.

Making Moffat Avenue less steep would require re-engineering of the entire subdivision's grading and vacation of a short stretch of Moffat Avenue through the subdivision that initially was intended to maintain the town's grid pattern. Eliminating that proposed short section of road would not prohibit any access within the subdivision or future opportunities to expand beyond the subdivision. It would, however, release engineers from the constraints of having to keep Moffat Avenue at the 14.5 percent grade.

Sierra View's engineer, Doug Bradfield of Civil Design Consultants, was advised of the potential changes Thursday afternoon. He said his revised numbers were only "rough dirty" estimates, but he suggested that decreasing the grade to 10 percent on Moffat Avenue could increase the proposed 4-foot cut in the hillside to a 19-foot cut and would require about 35,000 yards of excess fill to be removed from the site.

It also would require a redesign of the water, sewer and drainage for such changes.

"The lots need to be affordable at some point," Geiger said. "The bottom line is everything that has to be done adds to the cost of the lots."

After a consultation break with Bradfield, Geiger compromised with an offer to reduce the grade on the Moffat Avenue to a maximum of 13 percent or less. The board agreed to this compromise, adding it as an amendment to the annexation agreement.

In other business:

n The Oak Creek Town Board unanimously approved in a straw pull the vacation of an alley for Dave Epstein's affordable housing development in Oak Creek.

n Code Enforcement Officer Linda Koile passed her post test and is ready to begin officer training with the Oak Creek Police Department, having been approved for 10 hours of training a week for 15 weeks. After 15 weeks, Koile will be a quarter-time officer with the department.

n After considerable debate, the board scheduled a work session for July 15 to review proposed amendments to the town's nuisance ordinance, including a proposal to introduce signed nuisance complaints.

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