Hayden commission tables motel

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After a lengthy discussion, the Hayden Planning Commission on Thursday postponed its decision about a 60-unit motel proposed for the west end of Hayden.

Accompanied by developer Ron Sills, architect Roger Burton, who is coordinating the project, presented a site plan for the West Minster Motel, which would be west of the Wagner building on the south side of U.S. Highway 40.

The three-story building is based on the standard prototype for national motel chains. Although elevation drawings indicate the building would be associated with Comfort Inn and Suites, the development team has not settled on a motel chain, Burton said.

The size of the motel was based on market research, said Burton, who expects that clientele mostly will be hunters, airport traffic, Triple Crown baseball players and possibly some ski traffic, Burton said.

"We think it will be pretty good year-round," he said about projected business.

One of the main points of concern for commissioners was parking and traffic circulation.

West Minster Drive, a proposed road off U.S. 40, would provide the main access to the motel but is dependent upon an access permit from the Colorado Department of Transportation.

From West Minster Drive, customers would turn onto Starla Court, a proposed road ending in a cul de sac separating the motel lot and the two lots to the north, which sit directly next to U.S. 40.

Sill's daughter, Starla Sills, owns the motel lot, an industrial lot to the south and the northernmost lots. Zoned commercial, a restaurant "would be perfect" on one of the north lots, though no proposals are in the works, Burton said.

In written comments about the plan, town planning consultant Tim Katers suggested Starla Court should be a through street or frontage road to accommodate more traffic and possible growth in the area.

Burton responded that the development team was open to that option, but he said that a through street might be too close to U.S. 40.

During public comment, Gordon Dowling questioned why the developer should have to accommodate growth that may or may not happen.

"Don't force them to do something you're guessing at," he said.

Town Manager Russ Martin suggested that the developer consider making the cul de sac a roundabout with an easement allowing it to possibly be a through street in the future.

The commission also suggested that another motel access off West Minster Drive might ease traffic congestion.

According to the site plan, the motel would sit at the west end of the lot, allowing for parking and ample landscaping to the east.

The Planning Commission discussed variations of the plan that would move the building or change its orientation to allow for parking all around the building. Burton stressed that moving the building would limit landscaping, which commission members had emphasized was important in minimizing the visual effect of the motel from U.S. 40.

After almost two hours of discussion, Sills stressed that his team needed more guidance from the commission.

"Seems like we're sort of divided," he said. "We would like some direction of one or the other."

Overall, commission members determined they liked the orientation and placement of the motel in the site plan but wanted the development team to address parking and traffic circulation issues including the cul de sac.

The commission's approval of the site plan would have allowed the development team to proceed with the building permit process, but rather than approve the plan with multiple conditions, the commission decided to table the item until its Nov. 11 meeting.

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