Hayden evaluates development plan

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— The town of Hayden and its Planning Commission are making sure they get all the details before approving the biggest commercial development in town history.

At Thursday night's Planning Commission meeting, commissioners reviewed and tabled a preliminary plat for the X-West Commerce Center and site plans for two hotels and a home center to be located on the land.

The X-West commerce Cen--ter would encompass about 40 acres of land west of Wagner Equipment on U.S. Highway 40 west of downtown Hayden.

Planning commissioners were urged to table the items until more engineering details -- information about sewage and water lines -- are provided by the developer. The proposed development includes a home center with a lumberyard and two hotels with nearly 150 rooms.

About 20 people attended the meeting, and like staff members, many wanted more details about the development's appearance, water rights and drainage plans.

"We don't know exactly what the long-term solution is to serving this area," said Russ Martin, Hayden's town manager. "We can't predict the future, but I think it's important to realize that we're going to have water and sewers on this entire 36 acres."

Some commissioners also were curious about whether the developers thought Hayden could support two hotels.

Ron Sills, one of the proposed development's partners, said studies prove otherwise.

"The problem is there aren't any hotels around here," Sills said. "The biggest asset is the airport. The pilots and stewardesses right now go to Craig."

He also said hotels would attract tourists who fly into the Yampa Valley Regional Airport.

"There is no reason why we can't get a large amount of these people to come to our town. They just need somewhere to go," Sills said.

It could be April before the developers provide the commission and city staff with the engineering details, Martin said.

The Planning Commission unanimously recommended annexation of 36 acres of land into town limits for the development.

The commission also unanimously voted to reject a 35-acre annexation request directly west of the proposed X-West Commerce Center. Town staff and the commission thought the annexation was unnecessary because there are no proposed developments for the land.

"It will add to the town of Hayden if we do it right," Martin said. "Adding 35 acres right now doesn't mean we are doing it right."

-- To reach Matt Stensland, call 871-4204 or e-mail mstensland@steamboatpilot.com

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