Commission gives first OK to annexation
Hayden panel agrees to approval for 185 acres near YVRA
By Blythe Terrell (Contact)
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Hayden — The Hayden Planning Commission pushed forward a proposal Thursday to annex nearly 185 acres near Yampa Valley Regional Airport.
The commission gave a conditional but unanimous recommendation for approval of the annexation being proposed by Stef and Louis Nijsten and Bob Zibell, as Grandmothers Inc. and BZ&W Inc. About 45 acres of the land, which is north of YVRA, would be reserved for airport use. Airport Manager Dave Ruppel said the county probably would consider purchasing that parcel from the developers.
Another 40 acres probably would be devoted to a gravel pit, Stef Nijsten told the commissioners.
“If we open it up to the public, we will be able to provide something that’s very hard to come by,” he said, referring to gravel. “From that point of view, for someone to be able to call us and say, ‘I need a half load of gravel to finish my yard,’ we’d be able to do that.”
Development of the Hayden Regional Commerce Park would proceed in three phases spanning at least 15 years, starting with light industrial and going to a hotel and eventually retail, Nijsten said. The project also would include realignment of Routt County Road 51A.
“The vision is wonderful,” Commissioner Donna Hellyer said. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with vision. We need a gravel pit; we need a hotel. I’m just wondering, ‘What’s the hurry? Why do we have to do it now?’ It seems like there should be more thought put into it — more professional thought.”
The Nijstens need to consult with professionals who know more about large-tract development, Town Planner Tim Katers said. That is a process the developers confirmed they intend to undertake.
Stef Nijsten said the developers had aimed for a plan that matched the long-term visions of the town and of YVRA. Airport Manager Dave Ruppel told the commission that the proposal did jibe with his plans.
Ruppel expressed concerns about domestic water and traffic issues. The developers plan to do a traffic analysis.
“That study is going to be critical,” Ruppel said. “This is already a busy road, and it’s going to get busier.”
The commission initially was hesitant to recommend approval of the annexation because of unresolved questions about utilities and water. However, the commissioners became more comfortable with the proposal after they learned that land would go to YVRA and a gravel pit.
The Planning Commission approved zoning for the property reflecting a combination of open, light industrial and automobile-oriented commercial land.
“You’re talking about a much more manageable chunk that’s in play here for future development,” Commissioner Amy Williams said.
Officials also noted that the plan complemented their growth ideas.
“This is a proposal that’s very consistent with what we’ve said,” Chairman Karl Koehler said. “We have a recommendation from staff that allows us to protect our interests.”
The Hayden Town Board will discuss the proposal at its meeting Thursday.
In other business, the commission gave conditional approval to a site plan for live-work units at Valley View Business Park. The developer is Tony McKendrick, who runs a fencing company. McKendrick plans to put a workshop and two three-bedroom units in the building.
McKendrick’s designers must polish the project and resolve issues such as road width before moving ahead, the commissioners told him.
The commission also discussed the new Hayden Police Station and encouraged Town Manager Russ Martin to look at alternative energy sources for the building.
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