By this time next year, Hayden may have another option for gas, coffee, quickie meals and other convenience store items.
The Chieftain Corporation, which owns Kum & Go gas stations and convenience stores, purchased 11 commercial lots on the east end of Jefferson Avenue, between Shelton Lane and Maple Street, in September.
The Des Moines, Iowa-based company purchased the lots with the "expectation" of building another Kum & Go store in Hayden, said Neil Broderick, Chieftain's vice president of real estate.
Although the company does not have an exact time frame for the store, the company probably will begin the planning process this winter and possibly start construction next spring, he said.
On the south side of Jefferson Avenue, the site was purchased in three transactions from former owners Ron and Keri Romine, Aaron and Katharine Wiltfong and Phil and Kathy Matt.
The company paid $473,500 for the site, according to Routt County records.
"It was a chance to be further east, which we like, and it gives us a little more property to deal with," Broderick said.
Traffic from Yampa Valley Regional Airport and commuters traveling to and from Steamboat Springs are among reasons the company was attracted to the site, he said.
The new 24-hours store would be bigger than the existing Hayden store, about eight blocks away on Jefferson and Chestnut streets
Typically, when Chieftain opens a new store in a town, it keeps existing stores open for a while to judge business activity. That probably would be the case in Hayden, Broderick said, adding that in Des Moines the stores sit on various nearby corners and do well.
All of Kum & Go's 17 Colorado stores are on the Western Slope, according to the company's Web site. The stores include one in Steamboat, three in Craig, one in Meeker and four in Rifle.
"We like Colorado and the Western Slope and are continuing on," Broderick said.
Existing structures on the Hayden site include the old windmill, which houses Timberline Candy Bouquet, and two homes, one on Shelton Lane and Jefferson Avenue and another farther down the block.
The Matts, who own Timberline Candy Bouquet, are leasing the building from Chieftain. The two homes are rentals, said real estate broker Jack Giessinger, who was involved in the transactions.
Chieftain's plans to build a new store likely won't proceed without some protests from neighbors, who came out in force earlier this year to oppose the Romines' request to rezone their lots from residential to commercial.
When neighbors heard a gas station and convenience store were a possible use for the lots, they expressed concerns about possible light pollution, noise and traffic issues that might accompany the operation.
Several Hayden Town Board members heeded residents' concerns and voted against the rezoning, but the majority of the board determined commercial zoning was in line with the town's efforts to encourage commercial development, particularly along Jefferson Avenue.
Town Manager Russ Martin said the town has not received any applications or plans for the store.
He emphasized that any proposed gas station on the site would undergo two extensive public processes: one for a conditional use permit and another for design review.
The town would notify residents within a certain distance of the proposed project when it receives Chieftain's application for a conditional use permit, Martin said.
"There would be a lot of public involvement before anything happened there," he said.
Broderick was aware of the controversy generated during the rezoning process and said the company has taken steps to reduce the effects of lighting and store aspects on neighbors.
"It's a situation we face almost everywhere," he said.
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