Dry Creek developer explores last access option


A developer proposing a 62-home subdivision east of the Routt County Fairgrounds is working on his last option for accessing the development.

James Woods told the Hayden Town Board on Thursday that he is in discussions with a private landowner about a possible easement off Routt County Road 37 to access the proposed Dry Creek Park Subdivision, which would be built on 20 acres of land owned by Kevin and Ann Copeland.

"It's our last option, and it's what we're looking at," he said.

The Hayden Planning Commission approved Woods' sketch plans Aug. 12 on the condition he rework primary access to the subdivision before returning with preliminary plans.

During the Planning Commission meeting, Woods proposed sharing in the construction and costs of a planned county road through Dry Creek Park, in exchange for using the road as the main access to the subdivision.

On Thursday, however, Routt County Manager Thomas Sullivan told the Town Board that the county prefers the road, intended to provide access to the fairgrounds, only be an emergency entrance to the development.

The Town Board discussion took place during a required public hearing for Woods' request to annex the Copeland property to the town. Board members determined the property is still eligible for annexation.

Also on Thursday, the board agreed to Town Manager Russ Martin's suggestion that representatives of the town discuss with Peabody Coal Co. a possible road easement through the company's property east of The Haven.

The move is in response to traffic concerns associated with an expected proposal for an industrial lot development east of the cemetery. Shelton Street, which accesses the area, is not appropriate for more traffic, Martin said.

"I want to address the problem before it happens," he said.

If a company pays to bring infrastructure to its lot, it would be an opportunity for the town to encourage more commercial and industrial development by expanding roads and utilities in the specific area of proposed development, Martin said.

The board approved Martin's request to explore grants and low-interest loans that are available from the U.S. Economic Development Council for such projects.

Promoting the town for commercial and industrial development is consistent with Hayden's efforts to update its comprehensive plan to prepare for expected residential growth. Town leaders and consultants have determined that the town must increase its property tax and sales tax base in order to sustain larger populations.

In other business on Thursday, the board members approved a policy that will limit town donations to nonprofit causes to 4 percent of predicted sales tax revenue. The policy would allow a maximum of $30,000 in donations and would designate 1 percent of that for contingency requests.

-- To reach Tamera Manzanares, call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com.


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