Board to consider rezoning

The Hayden Town Board tonight will consider rezoning a parcel of land on the east end of town from residential to commercial.

The request drew criticism last week from neighbors who told the Hayden Planning Commission that the five lots, in the 600 block of West Jefferson Avenue next to the old windmill, should remain residential to prevent noise and traffic problems.

They were concerned about the possibility that a Hayden gas station may move to the parcel, though Jack Giessinger, representing applicants Ron and Keri Romine, told commission members the proposal was not set in stone.

Town Manager Russ Martin said the Town Board only will consider the rezoning request at this time and emphasized that any proposed use -- including conditional uses or uses by right -- would undergo a separate site plan review.

"There's enough chatter about it that I anticipate a good number of people at the meeting," he said.

Also tonight, the board will consider creating plans for downtown business development as well as parks, trails and open space.

Martin is proposing the town use money available through a Gates Foundation grant to devise a downtown revitalization plan that would include potential projects for Hayden's business corridor.

"It's not that we're not doing OK now, but I think businesses would agree that we could do better," Martin said about attracting business downtown.

The plan would be a future component of the town's comprehensive plan, which is being updated to accommodate residents' visions for growth in Hayden. The Gates Foundation grant is funding that project.

Martin also wants to use funds available from the grant to create a plan prioritizing parks and open space projects that include building a trail from Dry Creek Park to the Yampa River and restoring Dry Creek.

Martin's proposal includes the option to apply for a Great Outdoors Colorado grant to help with plan costs.

In other business, the board will discuss a final version of the agreement with Routt County to annex the Routt County Fairgrounds and Dry Creek Park to the town. The agreement will have a provision ensuring the zoning classification includes fairground activities. The agreement also will stipulate that the town and county work together to construct the planned Dry Creek Park Road and parking lots.

Board members also will consider whether to write a letter of support for the Nature Conservancy's efforts to purchase a conservation easement on Wolf Mountain, which sits behind the Carpenter Ranch and Nature Conservancy.

Also at the meeting, Town Clerk Lisa Johnston will present the first draft of a donation policy specifying how much the town's budget should be put toward donations to nonprofit organizations and causes.

Last year, the board set aside $30,000 of its budget for donations. At their last meeting, board members agreed a clear policy would help them determine which causes are the best uses of tax dollars.

-- To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204

or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com

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