Stagecoach subdivision, school site nears approval

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County officials next week could take the last public step needed before a developer breaks ground on a 136-home subdivision that includes a 10-acre elementary school site.

The final plat for The Neighborhoods at Young's Peak is on the agenda for the Routt County Board of Commissioner's Tuesday meeting.

"This is the last step of public process that goes along with a development plan," County Planner Mary Alice Page-Allen said. "The next step would be actually doing the development."

If the final plat were approved, county officials and developer Brian Stahl would aim to complete paperwork for the development by the end of the year, Page-Allen said.

Stahl said he would break ground in the spring on such infrastructure as water lines, sewers and paved roads for the first 29 housing lots. Pre-sales would begin in the next few weeks, he added.

South Routt School Board President Hank deGanahl said construction plans might include homes but do not include a school.

"There are no immediate plans to build a school there, but we foresee the need of having one," he said. "Probably long after I'm off the board (in two years). We went ahead with the dedicated school site, so when we have the need, the land is there."

The school district would wait until the elementary school in Yampa reached capacity before building in Stagecoach, deGanahl said.

"The numbers show that in the future there may well be a need for two elementary schools in our district," he said.

Plans for the 93-acre subdivision include 86 single-family homes and 25 units with 60 additional dwellings. The lots border Routt County Roads 16 and 212 near the existing Coyote Run subdivision, Eagle's Nest townhomes and Wagon Wheel condominiums. A fire station, not affiliated with the subdivision, is under construction in the area.

The school site is across the gravel C.R. 16 from Eagle's Nest on the same side of that road as Stagecoach Reservoir, Page-Allen said.

In a deed attached to the development agreement, contingent on final plat approval, Stahl granted the school site to the South Routt School District.

In doing so, he achieved compliance with county subdivision laws that require a minimum of 5 percent of the land be used for open space, public parks and trails. Another minimum of 5 percent must be used for such public purposes as fire stations, police stations or schools.

Although subdivision plans designate about 25 percent of the land for open space, none was initially set aside for public purposes, Page-Allen said.

Had Stahl not donated land for the school, the county could have fined him $190,400, or $1,400 for each of the 136 housing units.

By donating the school site, which was appraised at $821,000 last June, Stahl did more than gain compliance. He also earned future "Public Purpose Credits," according to the development agreement, which could be used in the development of as many as 450 more housing units.

Stahl owns about 400 acres next to the subdivision between Eagle's Nest and the reservoir, but he said he is "100 percent concentrating" on The Neigh--borhoods at Young's Peak subdivision.

Page-Allen said development in Stagecoach had to be viewed with caution.

"It's not going to be 500 new houses out there next year," she said, referring to the 450 credits and noting that building in Stagecoach began in 1972. "It's a very long-range projection."

Commissioners Nancy Stah----oviak and Dan Ellison approved the development agreement for The Neighbo--rhoods at Young's Peak at their meeting Sept. 27, and authorized approval and signing of the final plat. Commissioner Doug Monger was absent. At that meeting, Stah----oviak praised Stahl for "accomplishing something extraordinary" by providing a school site for Stagecoach.

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