North Routt plan examined


Tonight, the Routt County Planning Commission will review recreational plans for North Routt County.

After about a year of work, an update to the recreation and tourism chapter of the Upper Elk River Valley Community Plan is coming before the Planning Commission.

Public comments were collected last year, and a draft update was distributed in July. Since then, there has been little feedback, according to a memo from county planner Chad Phillips.

A new goal of the draft update is to maintain residents' quality of life while providing recreational opportunities. The draft update has several new policies, emphasizing that recreation should minimize negative effects on residential areas. Also, new recreation uses should be considered in terms of cumulative effects.

The update indicates the county will work with Colorado State Parks, the U.S. Forest Service and recreational users to develop plans for organizing signs and parking in the study area.

The update also highlights the increase in recreational users in the area, particularly snowmobilers.

Problems caused by increased recreation include illegal parking, trespass complaints, conflicts between snowmobilers and vehicles, conflicts between motorized and nonmotorized users, overcrowding and sanitary issues at trailheads, according to the update.

The update does not discuss separating motorized and nonmotorized uses, a topic that has sparked controversy in the past.

Originally, the update paralleled the Forest Service's efforts to update to its own winter recreation management plan for North Routt County. The Forest Service had to postpone that project because it didn't have enough funding.

The Forest Service has not told the county when it might complete its update, according to the memo from Phillips. The county, Forest Service and Colorado State Parks have applied for a Great Outdoors Colorado grant to complete the plan.

A meeting for residents of North Routt County will be held before the updated plan is adopted.

Also tonight, the Planning Commission will consider a request to vacate Routt County Road 32Z and a request to replat three lots and two outlooks near Steamboat Lake into two five-acre parcels and one outlot.

The Routt County Planning Commission meets at 6 p.m. in the Commissioners Hearing Room of the Routt County Courthouse Annex.

-- To reach Susan Cunningham call 871-4203 or e-mail


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