New plans for Sunburst on agenda

Developers will show a new concept for a 900-acre subdivision to the Hayden Planning Commission at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Plans for the subdivision formerly called Sunburst Ranch were first proposed more than a year ago and the first phase received preliminary plat approval at the end of 2003. However, multiple changes in the project's design over the year brought some of the developers to disagree on the project's new direction, and some decided to drop out of the project altogether.

The new plan calls for annexing almost 680 acres before any construction begins. On Thursday, the Hayden Town Board scheduled a public hearing to discuss the request for April 15. The Planning Commission's Thursday meeting will be the first public meeting in which the new plan is discussed.

Based on Planning Commission recommendations, the Town Board could decide after April 15 public hearing to approve or deny the annexation, or approve it with conditions.

The new plan, being proposed by a smaller subset of the original development group, is to rename the project The Villages at Hayden and avoids placing a trailer park near the development's north entrance, as planned in Sunburst.

Ron Sills, a partner in 4S Development, the Sunburst development group, formed West Routt Properties LLC with fellow 4S partner Tom Heuer to build The Villages at Hayden. He said members of 4S were discouraged by the amount of time and money spent on the lengthy planning process, and did not agree with changes being made to the plans.

"Some of the partners wanted a trailer park, but some said this is really not what we want to do," Sills said. "We decided to totally change our tactics, bite the bullet and spend some money on having some new drawings made up, and the majority of us liked the new plan."

Under the new plans, mobile homes are not out of the picture, but "we want them in the right place," Sills said.

Though the layout of The Villages is different from Sunburst Ranch, the subdivision's contents are essentially the same -- about 2,000 homes, most in the $100,000 to $200,000 range; an 18-hole golf course; lakes; trails and common areas. The eight-member 4S Development partnership is intact and is managing Hidden Springs Ranch, a 770-acre land preservation subdivision adjacent to The Villages.

The 4S partnership consists of Tom Heuer, Jack Sills, Mark Sills, Mark Caldwell, Don Patterson, Tom Fox, Rick Broadhurst and NCPH Trust, for the family of Ron Sills.

Sills and Heuer will attend the Hayden Town Board meeting tonight to submit an annexation petition for 676.3 acres. More than 220 acres of the subdivision, located on the south side of Hayden and west of Routt County Road 53, is inside the town boundary.

West Routt Properties wants to annex the land to build the golf course, irrigation lakes and 250 homes planned for the first phase, which would extend beyond the town boundary. The subdivision surrounds the golf course and lakes, so they must be built first.

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