Thursday, September 2, 2004
Some Stagecoach residents are worried that a proposal for a 147-unit development would mean roads in their back yards, less of the wildlife they love, and roofs in their views.
But developer Brian Stahl says the proposed Neighborhoods at Young's Peak is a positive change for the area and represents one step in a series of many to put Stagecoach "back together so it thrives."
The Routt County Regional Planning Commission listened to those comments at a Thursday night hearing about the proposal, then recommended approval of sketch plans for the development as well as approval of a zoning change from high-density to low-density residential for the area.
That is just one step in the approval process, planning commissioners stressed. Topics that likely will be important along the way include how traffic will affect area roads, whether a site for a new South Routt elementary school can be found, and how the development will affect riparian areas.
The proposed development is one of the largest that the county and Stagecoach have seen and will have significant effects on the area, county planners have said.
There are 115 lots proposed, most of which are single-family with some duplex lots. The new homes would sit on an area bordered by Routt County roads 16 and 212, and near the existing Coyote Run, Eagle's Nest and Wagon Wheel developments.
More than 27 percent of the development will be open space, including a neighborhood park.
Stahl, who said he has developed various residential areas across the state, said he has been looking forward to this project for a long time and thinks it could build a sense of community in Stagecoach.
One of the chief concerns voiced was that the development would mean more traffic in Stagecoach, for which Routt County Road 16 is the only access road.
Another was that the development would mean a high density of homes in a large area, disrupting wildlife and views.
Danelle Rivera recently moved to Stagecoach from the Denver area. She and her husband wanted to get away from a suburban lifestyle, she told the Planning Commission.
Although they knew growth would happen, they did not think they would have "roofs in our back yards in such massive quantities."
Jacque and Scott Niedringhaus shared a similar story. They split their time between their Stagecoach home and one in the city. Stagecoach was a mountain escape to them, a place to relax, Jacque Niedringhaus said.
If they had known that a development such as the Neighborhoods at Young's Peak was a possibility, they would have picked another site, they said.
Peter Patten, a land-use consultant for the project, said that more than 1,350 homes could be built in the area, based on its original zoning. The 147 proposed represent a fraction of that.
Members of the Planning Commission emphasized that many of the concerns voiced Thursday night would be considered in more depth once more detailed plans come to the table.
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