Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Steamboat Springs Routt County officials now have a seat at the table.
At a hearing Monday night, the Routt County Board of Commissioners enacted 1041 regulations, which are designed to give the county more control over projects of state interest - such as highways, oil and gas development or pipelines - that are brought to the county by other entities.
County planner Mitch Harvey said commissioners passed the regulations as amended and recommended by the Routt County Planning Commission on Sept. 20. While significant, the regulations have generated little public interest or concern. County officials say that is probably because the regulations are not designed to entangle local projects.
County officials have acknowledged that the regulations are more in response to massive projects such as proposed trans-basin diversions of Yampa River water. The Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, for example, has financed a study exploring routes to pump Yampa water to the Front Range, beginning near the Moffat County town of Maybell. The $4 billion, 16-year project would pump Yampa River water for more than 200 miles - and across the Continental Divide - likely to Barr Lake near Denver International Airport. All three proposed pipeline routes pass through Routt County.
While the regulations are not powerful enough to quash such a project altogether, they would give the county increased influence over the design and layout of the pipeline and allow the county to stipulate mitigation measures.
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