Road-access issues arise

County commissioners take a look at subdivision proposal

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Members of the Routt County Board of Commissioners liked a subdivision plan they saw Tuesday, but they also mentioned possible improvements.

Commissioners held a pre-application conference for Alpine Mountain Ranch, a proposed project east of the intersection of Routt County Road 24 and U.S. Highway 40 and across from Haymaker Golf Course.

During the conference, petitioner Steamboat Alpine Development, LLC heard commissioners' thoughts about the plan, a 1,217-acre land preservation subdivision. Developers who receive the exemption can build one extra home for each 100-acre cluster of land they set aside as open space. The proposal includes 43 home sites and about 950 acres of open space.

Motorists would drive to the development on existing access on C.R. 24 and new access off of U.S. 40.

Through letters and at Tuesday's conference, residents expressed concern about C.R. 24. The road becomes private about one mile east of its intersection with U.S. 40, then it continues southeast to several lots in the Pine Springs area.

John Clough, whose fiancee owns a lot in Pine Springs, showed a map and photographs of the road to commissioners. He said developers would have to deal with a right-of-way issue if they intend to use the road.

Commissioner Doug Monger said that the petitioner needed to take care of road access before making a formal application.

"It seems to me that we have a property-rights issue here," he said. "I'm not about to get into the middle of it."

Commissioners Nancy Stah--oviak and Dan Ellison said they did not want owners of the Pine Springs lots to lose access from C.R. 24.

"We do need to ensure that Pine Springs access remains," Ellison said.

Monger and Stahoviak said they also wanted the petitioner to move forward with plans to realign C.R. 24 so it would intersect with Colorado Highway 131 at U.S. 40.

Commissioners also said they were concerned about the southernmost proposed cluster of houses and how it would look to drivers.

"People will see it right as they are coming into town," Monger said.

Andy Daly, one of the principals in Steamboat Alpine Development, said that the group would be able to provide digital images showing what the houses would look like.

Daly was president of Vail Resorts from 1982 to 2002. The other principal is Bill Butler, a Cincinnati-based developer who has owned a home in the Steamboat area for about nine years. They purchased the land in April for $19 million.

The land is adjacent to the existing Priest Creek Ranch subdivision. Both parcels were once part of a higher-density residential proposal that also would have acted as a second ski base area.

Stahoviak said she preferred the Alpine Mountain Ranch proposal.

"This is significant improvement over what I know has been proposed in the past," she said.

-- To reach Dana Strongin, call 871-4229

or e-mail dstrongin@steamboatpilot.com

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