Proposal would add 187 acres to Hayden

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— Developers are petitioning Hayden to add nearly 200 acres to town limits.

Stef and Louis Nijsten and Bob Zibell have submitted plans to annex 187.5 acres to the town. The parcel adjoins Yampa Valley Regional Airport land and the partners have a development concept that stretches across two decades.

The annexation requires approval from the town and the county. Developers, who also are building the Creek View project in western Hayden, are meeting with Routt County and Hayden planners this month. A public hearing is set for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 4, at a meeting of the Hayden Town Board.

The developers want to start by bringing in light industrial development before moving to hotel and eventually retail space. Phase 1, scheduled for about the first one to five years, would include 35 acres of light industrial space, 20 acres for airport general aviation, a partial realignment of Routt County Road 51A and a gravel pit.

Light industrial space is scarce, Stef Nijsten said. Zibell owns the land, and Nijsten is leading the planning.

"There's a pretty clear demand for larger lots, and that's been made clear by people buying lots in the current business park and then putting them together," he said.

The developers, who are operating under the names Grandmother's Inc. and BZ&W Inc., said they aim to keep their plans on track with the town of Hayden's.

"We're right next to the airport, so everything we do we want to streamline it : for what they have there," Nijsten said. "So the roads and infrastructure we're proposing match the comprehensive plans of Hayden as well as the airport."

The land sits between YVRA and U.S. Highway 40. Zibell said he bought it about a year ago from Twentymile Coal Co., which is owned by Peabody Energy.

The developers are not planning to put any residential buildings on the tract.

"We feel that that airport is a good location for the business park because it's close to Highway 40, and it's far enough away from town that it's not an eyesore or a noise issue," Nijsten said. "As far as commercial and retail is concerned, it's pretty much the same - there's already a lot of traffic from the airport and stuff."

The second phase of the project, scheduled to come on line in six to 15 years, includes a hotel or motel, commercial space, and airport industrial and terminal expansion. Phase three, which is expected to be at least 15 years down the road, includes retail, expansion of the light industrial area, complete realignment of C.R. 51A and new road construction.

Stef Nijsten said that third phase eventually could include some sort of large retail store, if a chain were interested.

"The reason we think it could be good is you're right between Craig and Steamboat," Nijsten said. "It seems to me like Steamboat's not that positive toward larger store development."

Nijsten stressed that any large store on that 187.5 acres is years away.

"It's a lot of land, but it's all phased over about 20 years, so we're going to start with what we have a real demand for right now, which is light industrial," he said.

Zibell agreed, adding that the people of Hayden and the surrounding area wouldn't see enormous buildings popping up overnight. The developers need to get annexation and zoning approval first.

"I hate to scare anybody away," he said. "We don't want to make people think there's going to be a giant project, because I don't think it will be. I think it's something that's going to take a period of years to develop."

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