Rural areas seeing growth

New Phippsburg store, lots in Milner among developments

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— Rural towns in Routt County are growing along with Steamboat Springs.

Routt County Commissioners gave final approval Tuesday to a new ranch supply store in Phippsburg and to the re-zoning of several lots in Milner, spurring growth in the two small communities. The growth is at a slower pace than Steamboat, where officials are planning new developments such as One Steamboat Place, Riverwalk, Wildhorse Meadows and three corner lots on Lincoln Avenue. But for Phippsburg and Milner, the changes are significant.

In Phippsburg, landowners Wendy and Jules Palyo said they plan to begin construction of the Flat Tops Ranch Supply store, to be located on Colo. Highway 131 and Pine Street, within the next three weeks.

"We hope to be indoors by Thanksgiving," Wendy Palyo said, explaining that she and her husband hope to build the structure this fall and open in the spring of 2007. The couple lives in Oak Creek.

"One of the things we believe in is supporting our community," Jules Palyo said. "We want to use as much South Routt labor as possible."

Jules Palyo will be the lead contractor for construction of the 4,000 square-foot store, which will sell farm and feed supplies and was designed by Jack Henry.

Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said the store will fill a valuable need for South Routt, and for commercial development in Phippsburg.

"There does not appear to be any other property on Highway 131 in Phippsburg that would allow for this kind of use," Stahoviak said.

Properties in Milner may see new uses as well. Commissioners approved the re-zoning of several lots owned by longtime county resident M.A. Compestine, from commercial and agricultural zoning to residential zoning. The family has owned the lots for decades, Compestine said. He has sold the currently vacant lots to developer David Combs, who has said he plans to build affordable housing units on the lots, adding as many as 13 homes to Milner.

"I think this is a good deal for Milner," Compestine said Tuesday. "I think Milner needs to grow."

To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203 or e-mail mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com.

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