Kum & Go asks Hayden to change zoning | SteamboatToday.com

Kum & Go asks Hayden to change zoning

Zoning amendment would let gas station move downtown

Jack Weinstein

The Hayden Planning Commission will consider an amendment tonight to the town’s historic downtown district, which doesn’t permit gas stations. When the district was established, it allowed existing businesses to stay downtown.





The Hayden Planning Commission will consider an amendment tonight to the town's historic downtown district, which doesn't permit gas stations. When the district was established, it allowed existing businesses to stay downtown.
John F. Russell

— Kum & Go was scheduled to request that the town of Hayden's historic downtown zoning district be amended to permit gas stations at tonight's Planning Commission meeting.

However, Kum & Go representatives called the town Wednesday and asked that the request be tabled to a later meeting, Town Manager Russ Martin said. He said Kum & Go didn't provide a reason.

Martin said it will be up to planning commissioners whether to table Kum & Go's zoning change request. It will be voted on at the meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. at Hayden Town Hall, 178 W. Jefferson Ave.

A representative of Kum & Go couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.

Amending the comprehensive plan would pave the way for Kum & Go to relocate to and expand on a lot at the northwest corner of Walnut Street and Jefferson Avenue.

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An application for the relocation of Kum & Go wouldn't come before the Planning Co­m­mission unless the zoning amendment was approved.

Town Planner Tim Katers has recommended that the Planning Co­m­m­ission deny Kum & Go's zoning amendment request because it doesn't comply with the town's comprehensive plan.

The comprehensive plan was adopted in 2005 and updated in 2007 to include a future land-use map. It precluded the location of gas stations in the historic downtown district because they create traffic congestion. The intention was to create a pedestrian-friendly area that promoted retail, residential and office uses.

Existing businesses that didn't conform with the zoning were allowed to stay until there's a change in land-use category.

Hayden residents Patrick and Tammie Delaney, who own Yampa Valley Feeds, started a "widely distributed" e-mail campaign to oppose Kum & Go's zoning amendment request.

Tammie Delaney, who served as a coordinator for the comprehensive plan, said approving the amendment would conflict with the input of the more than 450 residents who participated in meetings and workshops to create the comprehensive plan.

And she said that if the amendment was approved and Kum & Go relocated to Walnut and Jefferson, not only would it conflict with residents' desire to keep downtown a pedestrian district, but it would strip the potential of an area that thrived and could be vibrant again.

"Really, once we lose the authenticity of what Walnut Street once was, it's hard to get back," she said. "When we lose that character, we become Anytown USA."

Delaney, a member of the town's Economic Development Council, supports Kum & Go's plan to expand to a different location, but one that's allowed by town zoning restrictions.

The town's auto-oriented commercial district, on the east and west sides of town and in an area from Fifth Street to Dry Creek, permits gas stations.

Martin said Hayden doesn't want to turn down any business opportunities but that it's up to planning commissioners whether to approve the zoning amendment request. He said they will have to decide if what's best for Hayden is additional revenue in the short-term or the town's long-term vision.

If you go

What: Hayden Planning Commission meeting

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Hayden Town Hall, 178 W. Jefferson Ave.