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One step closer for Entrada

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By Katy Korkos

Wednesday’s quasi-judicial hearing regarding a sketch “plat,” or plan, for the Entrada development by the Planning and Zoning Commission resulted in that development coming another step closer to realization.Commissioner Ann Wadstrom, who made the motion to approve the sketch plat, said, “I’m glad it’s moving forward. It looks like it’s going to add a very nice entrance to our town.”“We have three years invested in this program,” said agent/owner Rick Reiss  as he chronicled the history of his company’s involvement with the 18.14 acre parcel. He said the project began after the county posted flyers calling for interested developers, and his company, Main Gate, was one of four developers who submitted a proposal.The proposal includes a hotel, a restaurant and light industrial uses. The hotel portion of the development is the furthest along in the process. The development might also include relocating some of the fraternal organizations currently located downtown.Reiss said that there had been three traffic studies to show that access to the property, located on East Road to the southeast of the airport and to the west of DeColores and Hytec/Imtec, will be sufficient. One access drive will service the Entrada development, the county’s extensive warehouse and facilities planned for Airport Basin, and Hytec/Imtec’s new building.Reiss once served on the Planning and Zoning Commission, so was familiar with the criteria to be satisfied. Those criteria are the same for each proposal that comes before the commission, and require any new development to contribute to the county’s goals of diversifying the economy and protecting the environment, in addition to satisfying many other requirements including safe ingress and egress to the site, easements, recreation and drainage.Reiss addressed all of the commissioners’ concerns, saying that he was especially sensitive to their concerns about the view-sheds, access to trails and landscaping for an attractive development.He said that the hotel planned for lot #4 would be four stories tall, but only three stories would be above grade.Code requires that a sketch plat be brought to the commission and approved before a preliminary or final plat can be considered.The approval of the sketch plat was passed in an 8-to-0 vote.A planning and zoning workshop is scheduled for March 11, when Community Development Director Rick Bohn will present a draft of the proposed sign code to the commission for review.