As Routt County’s specialties grow, the process to allow them may need updates. | Whuff News


Black Course riders cruise down Fly Gulch in just 10 miles in the SBT GRVL race on Sunday, August 14, 2022.
Tom Skulski/Steamboat Pilot & Date

While Routt County’s gravel roads are recognized as some of the best outdoor roads, some in the county are not happy with the many special materials used.

The SBT GRVL summer bike race has grown to around 3,000 participants, as many as 22 different sports are allowed to use the roads of the province each year. County Public Works Director Mike Mordi said the race and other events have prompted complaints from residents, who are reviewing the county’s permitting process.

“Some of the complaints from citizens range from ‘they drive the road in the past’ to ‘one of my workers almost jumped into the box that was outside,'” the said Mordi to the county commissioners on Monday, October 31.



In response to these complaints – which in many cases scare the person who complains about not knowing what happened – Mordi has reviewed how other provinces allow special things to be evaluated whether the district’s system needs updates.

Mordi said that normally, an event like the SBT GRVL or the Steamboat Marathon, will submit a proposal and what roads they will take, what traffic control methods they need and what another informational statement. Depending on the incident, they may also need to consult with other county departments such as the Police or Health Department.



As in other provinces, the public does not have the opportunity to express what happened during the approval, although Mordi said that they try to solve complaints if possible. For example, garbage was a problem in the first year of the SBT GRVL and it was announced in the permits later, said Mordi.

In response to Commissioner Tim Redmond’s question, Mordi said that there may be better communication with the landowners involved in some of the events by the organizations, but that is only the majority. what is possible.

“I have found that even with the public works department, if we have a road closure for a project, I have Steamboat radio, I put it in the paper, put it on our social media ,” said Mordi. “But I still have complaints because we didn’t put out the exchange message board.”

Redmond said it’s a “high point” for him when people complain about not seeing different messages about an event or road closure.

“Should I come knocking on your door?” Redmond asked.

“Yes, that’s the request I got,” said Mordi. “I’ve also received requests that any resident within half a mile of a particular road should be required to have a letter.”

District Attorney Erick Knaus said in an event like the SBT GRVL, which uses 150 miles of gravel roads, it’s not worth sending to everyone.

“I think we can all expect that these types of uses will probably grow,” said Commissioner Beth Melton.

Melton also said that the current system does not seem to be consistent with the way to get the approval of other things.

If a farmer wants to hold 10 weddings a year on their private property, a special use permit is required, which requires implementation of all plans including the approval of the Planning Commission and the Board of Directors, but the obstacles that use public roads have little process and no participation of the public, he said.

“I think how different our process is for a one-time event and maybe a 10-time event,” Melton said. “It seems strange to me to think.”

County Manager Jay Harrington said they hope to continue to review the permitting process, and that Monday’s discussion was just the beginning. One thing they may need to decide is how much will be too big to allow something to happen on county roads.

According to Melton, the district should also dig how much money they spend to allow and help with these incidents, because there is no fee at the moment to get a special permit. Mordi’s review showed many other districts charge anywhere from $50 to more than $600 for special items.

“Generally speaking, someone is making money from this event,” Melton said. “If we’re spending taxpayers’ money to make this happen otherwise, I think we should pay for that.”



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