Stagecoach store moves ahead

County commissioners also to discuss Heritage Park

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— Plans for a general store in Stagecoach may clear another hurdle this week.

On Tuesday, Routt County commissioners are again scheduled to consider development plans for the 4,900-square-foot, multi-use store that would be built on 2.2 acres of land at Routt County Road 212 and Schussmark Trail. Stagecoach Marketplace would be the first commercial development in Stagecoach, but it has been slowed by the planning process during the past couple of years.

On June 28, 2005, commissioners approved plans for the store, contingent on several conditions. At the time, construction of the store, which could include a 24-hour gas station, a liquor store, a grocery store and a coffee shop, was expected to begin in spring 2006. But developer Chris Wittemyer of Stagecoach Ski Corp. received approval on only one of the conditions -- amending the site's special-use permit to remove the Stagecoach Marketplace parcel from a potential ski area parcel -- earlier this month.

At that July 7 meeting of the Routt County Planning Commission, Wittemyer said he hoped to begin construction of the store within a year.

Amending the special-use permit clears the way for county commissioners to consider approval of the final development plan for Stagecoach Marketplace on Tuesday.

Also on the county commissioners' agenda this week is a preliminary discussion of a proposal by local property and business owner Ty Lockhart. Lockhart wants to build seven residential duplexes on two parcels of land near Christian Heritage School in the Heritage Park subdivision west of Steamboat Springs.

Planning commissioners were split on the proposal earlier this month, citing conflicting needs to provide affordable housing for the community and to preserve open spaces.

The two parcels originally were slated to be used for athletic fields, but Lockhart told planning commissioners that "adamant opposition" from Heritage Park homeowners has changed his mind.

"If the homeowners don't want fields there, we'll switch horses and put lots there," he said. Three subdivision residents spoke against putting homes on the parcels at the July 7 Planning Commission meeting.

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