Plans for a walking path and open space along Dry Creek seemed to ease the concerns some Hayden officials had with a proposed multi-use development on the west side of town.
At Thursday's Hayden Planning Commission meeting, planning commissioners said they thought the developer of the proposed project adequately addressed issues about the amount and location of open space by adding upgrades and amenities. The proposed development is called Creek View Townhomes and Plaza.
The commissioners approved a preliminary plat with minor conditions for the development. The Town Board is expected to vote on the plat at its meeting Thursday. Developer Stefanus Nijsten said he could begin work on the development next month.
The Creek View Town Homes and Plaza proposal calls for 21 townhomes and a multi-use commercial building. The commercial building finishes would be customized for each tenant, and there would be an opportunity to construct residential space on the second level.
The development would be on a 3.21-acre parcel south of U.S. Highway 40, east of Dry Creek and west of an alley between Fifth and Sixth streets. A barn, shed and house would be torn down to build the development. An former restaurant at the site would be reopened.
Because of the number of residential units, the town code also requires a "pocket park" with playground equipment. Commissioners thought the trail, which would connect to a planned sidewalk along Jefferson Avenue and could connect to the Hayden Town Park, would be more valuable than playground equipment.
Commissioners carefully examined the proposal, and commissioners and residents unanimously supported the project. Neighboring property owners stated in writing they were concerned about the density of the project and obstruction of their views to the west.
Commissioners said the impact of the proposed development was not as intrusive as what could be built on the commercially-zoned property.
"Unless you want to buy the property, you can't control what goes in your backyard," Com--missioner Amy Williams said.
Nijsten also told commissioners he had a verbal agreement with someone to reopen the restaurant that sits at the site.
"All I want to say is we need a place to eat," Hayden resident Gordon Dowling said.