Thursday, January 30, 2003
Steamboat Springs Restrictions on the height and appearance of homes built on ridges should not apply to selective areas of Routt County, county planning commissioners said Thursday night.
A skyline area map proposed by the Board of County Commissioners would require the Steamboat Springs, Stagecoach and Upper Elk River areas of the county to follow skyline regulations.
The County Planning Commission recommended the board include all unincorporated areas of the county in the map.
"Whatever we do ... we should do it countywide," County Planning Commissioner Terry Hunter said.
The County Planning Commission originally proposed skyline regulations apply to all skylined areas in the county.
The board shrunk the scope of skylined areas that would be affected by the restrictions because it was concerned support for skyline regulations was weak in some areas of the county.
The board also changed an earlier draft of skyline regulations that prohibited new structures or additions to existing structures on land designated as skyline on the skyline area map unless measures were taken to alleviate the visual impact.
The county commissioners were concerned the measures were too subjective and removed them last summer. They simplified the regulations to require that houses protrude no more than 15 feet above the skyline.
Although the County Planning Commission said it would have preferred to keep the mitigation requirements intact, it recommended the board's earlier changes to the regulations.
County Planning Commissioner Fred Nichols was disappointed with the modifications.
"It's a watered-down document," he said.
But Nichols said he supported putting regulations, however weakened, in place because no restrictions currently exist.
The Board of County Commissioners will consider the County Planning Commission's recommendations and make a final decision on the skyline regulations and map at 6 p.m. Feb. 25.
In other business, the County Planning Commission considered the board's recommended changes to the Routt County Master Plan. Planning commissioners approved many of the board's recommendations and added some of their own changes to the plan, which outlines policies that guide future development and land-use decisions in the county.
The County Planning Commission will hold off adopting the plan until county planners draw up a final draft with all of Thursday night's changes included.