Commissioners table plans

Mountain West Environments will have more time to prepare

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Christine Metz
PILOT & TODAY STAFF
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS
Routt County Commissioners agreed to table conceptual plans for a landscaping business that wants to expand just south of town.
The delay will give applicant Mountain West Environments more time to gather information. The plan was tabled to Nov. 16.
Mountain West is requesting a zoning change and conceptual plan for the 9.53-acre site, upon which the business wants to expand. The site is 200 feet upstream from a public water storage area.
On Aug. 19, the Routt County Planning Commission recommended denying Mountain West's request. Planning commission members said they wanted to see the landscaping business and the property cleaned up before it approved conceptual plans. The planning commission expressed concerns about pesticides and herbicides stored on the site and piles of debris, all of which are within the Yampa River's 100-year flood way.
The applicant, L.A. "Butch" Dougherty, sent a letter to the county Tuesday morning requesting more time so he could "obtain professional counsel and guidance so that his final request to the commissioners will be beneficial to himself, the county, the state of Colorado and the federal agencies."
Dougherty's attorney, Ralph Cantafio, noted in the letter that Dougherty has contacted Paul Currier of Water Resource Consultants, LLC to work with water, erosion and wetland issues.
Commissioners approved the tabling, but Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said that if any changes are made to the plan, it should go back to the planning commission before going to the county commissioners.
The county has been working on the plan since 1992, and Commissioner Doug Monger questioned the time it has taken to go through the county's process and whether the applicant has shown due diligence.
Commissioner Dan Ellison urged the developer to work with the city in annexing the land into its boundaries.
Dougherty has asked that the county change the property's zoning for one of two parcels from agriculture/forestry to a planned unit development. He also sought a conceptual plan that would expand the landscaping business and add miscellaneous businesses, storage uses and two additional building sites.
Mountain West Environments is south of the city on U.S. Highway 40. The business has been operating for more than a decade. Concerns about its effort on the water supply and the Yampa River surfaced in July, after city and county staff toured the site.
Outside agencies are investigating the site. The Army Corps of Engineers is investigating whether more than an acre of wetlands has been disturbed without a permit, which is not allowed. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is contemplating enforcing the requirement of a storm water management plan.

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