Hearing to deannex land set for next week

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— Steamboat Springs Airport critic Walter Scott will go to court next week to ask that his 180-acre parcel next to the airport be deannexed from the city.

The city of Steamboat Springs opposes the request from The Patricia Ann Scott Family Limited Partnership.

On Wednesday, a hearing is set in the 14th Judicial District Court in front of Judge Michael O'Hara.

Scott, who is part of the partnership, filed a request with the court in May on the grounds that the land does not have access to utilities that are provided to the rest of the city.

The city argues that the property does have the same access and that the owners never asked to be served with water and sewer.

If Scott's land is deannexed from the city, the land could be sold in 35-acre plots. He also would not have to put in water and sewer infrastructure and follow more stringent city guidelines.

Scott would not be able to have as much housing density on the land if it is in the county. And to annex the land back into the city, Scott would run the risk of having to follow tougher city regulations.

In July, the city filed its second motion to dismiss the case, and Aug. 2, O'Hara ruled not to dismiss the case and set the hearing for Wednesday.

City staff and Scott's engineers will be called as witnesses in the hearing, which begins Wednesday afternoon.

In the city's motion to dismiss, it states that Scott never asked the City Council for water and sewer or went through the preliminary plat process. The council is the only city body with authority to approve a request for water and sewer services, the motion stated.

"The disconnection statute requires petitioner to demand service and be refused prior to petitioning for disconnection. There is no exception for petitioners who choose not to make a demand due to their belief that such a demand would be futile," the motion to dismiss reads.

In his response to the motion, Scott says the city is requiring a substantial expense to design a water system that must cross a private property. The city does not have easements in place to allow Scott to design the plan, which it claims is required before a demand can be made, the response states.

"The petitioner should not be placed in the position of having to incur substantial expenses in order to make a demand to the city for water and sewer service that the city is unable to provide," the response reads.

Scott has said he spent more than four years and has gone to more than 100 meetings, looking for ways to bring water, sewer, roads and other utilities to the land. The cost of infrastructure could be more than $12 million.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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