County OKs land-use tool

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Routt County has adopted a pilot program intended to preserve open space.

The Routt County Board of Commissioners approved the pilot program earlier this week. It is an amendment to the county's land preservation subdivision program.

The land preservation subdivision program allows developers to build more homes than what the state's standard 35-acre lot size would allow. In return, developers agree to have smaller and more clustered lots and leave the remaining land -- called the remainder parcel -- as open space.

The pilot program is a variation of the existing land preservation subdivision program, which applies only to continuous parcels of land. The pilot program will allow developers to apply the same concept to separate parcels.

The program will apply to the area south of Steamboat Springs. County planning staff has said that if the program is successful, it could apply to other areas in the future.

The commissioners' approval of the program came after the county planning commission's review of the program last month. Planning commissioners said they liked the concept and recommended that the Routt County commissioners approve it.

The board made some changes to the program that were not part of the planning commission's recommendations, said John Eastman, county planner.

Planning commissioners had said that the remainder parcels should permanently remain as open space. The board, however, said the parcels should remain open for 40 years and then be up for review. Developers who want to build on the parcels would have to go through a review process.

--o reach Dana Strongin, call 871-4229

or e-mail dstrongin@steamboatpilot.com.

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