Hayden vetoes houses near airport
City's Planning Commission updates Comprehensive Plan
Steamboat Springs — The Hayden Planning Commission on Tuesday struck down the idea of building residential housing near Yampa Valley Regional Airport, amid fears that doing so would create “two separate Haydens.”
The commission is updating the town’s Comprehensive Plan, which was developed by local residents along with the Planning Commission and the Town Board of Trustees in 2005. However, the plan was not exhaustive, and the town is looking to expand about one mile beyond Hayden’s current borders.
The plan describes locations for varying types of residential, industrial and business development, as well as future locations of schools, parks and other open spaces. While the Comprehensive Plan does not dictate future zoning, the town will use the plan to direct future development decisions as Hayden continues to grow.
The commission grounded plans for future residential development near the airport, choosing instead to promote development to the west and south of the current town limits.
The north-facing slope of a mesa near the airport is desirable to future residential developers, in part because it offers prime views of the valley, said Planning Commission chairman Karl Koehler. Building homes in that area also would provide nearby homes for workers at future commercial and light industrial development near the airport.
The commission and members of the public shared concern that residential development near the airport would be too detached from the town, effectively creating “two separate Haydens,” Planning Commission member Donna Hellyer said.
The commission also was worried about straining infrastructure and public services, and creating additional traffic.
“I’m thinking of the kids that need to come down for practice. They need to come down for their mail, for groceries. I’m talking car trips on the highway,” commission member Chuck VeDepo said.
The town’s contract planner, Tim Katers, expressed concern that the updated Comprehensive Plan is too residentially oriented, and stressed that Hayden needs to allow more opportunity for commercial and industrial development now, not 30 years down the road.
“You’re running out of places to earn money,” he said.
The updates seem aimed at creating a bedroom community, rather than a self-sustaining town, according to Katers.
“You have plenty of places for people to live in Hayden and drive to Steamboat or Craig,” Katers said.
The Planning Commission also responded to a request from Peabody Energy to limit residential development near its processing facility south of Hayden. The updated Comprehensive Plan aims to put business and light industrial development as a buffer between the two.
At Thursday’s meeting, the Planning Commission also approved a re-plat of two lots at the Valley View Business Park. Now that the live/work condominiums have been completed, the commission approved dividing them into separate deeded units so the developer can proceed with sales.
The commission is expected to approve the final version of the updated Comprehensive Plan at a public hearing Nov. 29.
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