Town fine-tunes land-use plan |
Tamera Manzanares

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Town fine-tunes land-use plan

Changes address gravel-pit rules, airport-zoning district

Prohibiting gravel pits and creating a new airport-zoning district will be among changes in Hayden’s proposed land-use code.

The Hayden Planning Commission fine-tuned parts of the plan during a work session Thursday. Members have been working with planning consultant Tim Katers since October to revise the town’s outdated plan, which is hard to reference and unclear about certain aspects of development.

The latest draft of the new code, more than three times the size of the existing code, has challenged members with many decisions, particularly with Community Design Standards, one of the meatiest chapters of the code.

The chapter guides the commission and developers in nearly every aspect of development, including pathways, streets, arch–itecture, easement and setbacks.

Among changes to the existing land-use code is the requirement that 20 percent, instead of 25 percent, of residential subdivisions be open space. Twelve percent should be functional open space, such as parks and trails.

Another important change dictates that residential developers dedicate a certain amount of land or funds to future schools. The amount of land or cash-in-lieu of land is based on the number and types of units.

Among additions to the code that already have been tested is the requirement for developers to have a block diversity plan or conceptual plan of the types of homes and/or buildings on a typical block in the development.

Developers of the Lake Village project planned for south of downtown presented such a plan to the commission during the preliminary plat process. Commissioners said Thursday that the plan helped them better visualize and evaluate the project.

On Thursday, commissioners also discussed conditional-use permits in the zoning chapter of the code.

They decided not to allow asphalt mixing plants and gravel pits, and Town Manager Russ Martin recommended that the town create an airport-zoning district for Yampa Valley Regional Airport.

The district would allow the airport, currently zoned open, to build hangars and other airport-related projects without a conditional-use permit. The planning process would require only site plans and building permits.

Katers will be implementing the district into the latest draft of the code.

Although the commission made progress reviewing the code Thursday, some uncertainty among members emphasized that the code still will be ripe for change after adoption.

Commission member Karl Koehler, for example, questioned the requirement for sidewalks on both sides of the street in nearly all zoning districts. Instead of being on the “Cadillac end of the spectrum,” he suggested the town in certain cases allow developers to provide a fee-in-lieu of sidewalks for other, more critical projects, such as completing the town’s core trail.

However, Martin advised that the commission wait to change or back off from the requirement until there is a clear situation backing up that decision.

“All this stuff is a variance waiting to happen,” he said.

Martin and Katers hope to have a final list of recommendations for the proposed code ready for the commission later this month so that a final draft is ready for adoption by October, Katers said.

— To reach Tamera Manzanares, call 871-4204

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