Kum & Go ponders next move in Hayden

Company official says they are looking at alternatives in Hayden

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— The Hayden Town Council’s denial last week of Kum & Go’s request to move within the historic downtown district has limited the company’s options to expand, its vice president of real estate said Monday.

Neil Broderick, reached by phone from Des Moines, Iowa, said it’s still too early to determine what the company will do in Hayden.

“We’re just looking at all the alternatives,” he said. “There aren’t many alternatives. We’re going to take our time. If we need to operate that store as is for a while, that’s what we’ll do.”

Kum & Go had requested an amendment to the list of permitted principal uses in the historic downtown district to allow the relocation of its existing gas station. The company wanted to move to a lot it owns at Walnut Street and Jefferson Avenue. The gas station and convenience store currently operates from Poplar Street and Jefferson Avenue.

The Town Council denied the request, 4-1, in front of about 60 people last Thursday at the Haven Community Center. Council member Lorraine Johnson cast the dissenting vote.

Broderick said Kum & Go would like to expand but that it’s not possible at the existing site.

There are other options, Town Manager David Torgler said.

“Right now, they would have to come up with a new language proposal or they could seek to move somewhere else in the community,” Torgler said. “Because there is a land-use classification where they are a principled, allowed use.”

Torgler ref­­­erred to the east and west sides of town that are zoned for auto-oriented commercial uses such as gas stations.

Mayor Jim Haskins said Kum & Go also owns the property where GG’s Coffee Shop used to be located on the east side of town.

Haskins said the Town Council’s decision to deny Kum & Go’s request complied with Hayden’s vision for the historic downtown district, part of the land-use code developed after public input helped create the comprehensive plan.

“We upset some people and that’s going to happen, but I think there was a lot of thought, a lot of work, a lot of people who dedicated time to the comprehensive plan and zoning plan,” he said. “I don’t think you should disregard something like that the first time someone comes around.”

Despite the disagreement among residents at the Town Council meeting about the proposed location of the new Kum & Go, Haskins said everyone agreed they want it somewhere in town.

It’s up to Kum & Go to decide what to do next. Broderick said leaving Hayden wasn’t an immediate consideration.

“If we can’t find a good place to build, we’ll continue to operate our store until it’s impossible to operate in that environment, then we’d leave,” he said. “But that’s not in the foreseeable future.”

To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com

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