With a record of 17 wins and six losses, the Ridgway Lady Demons girls basketball season ended in Durango on Saturday after a 47 to 42 loss against Paonia in the 2A Region 3 Championship match. Photo by Bill Tiedje Read more...
|BUG OURAY COUNTY Visual impact hearing to continue||| Print ||
|Wednesday, 30 October 2013 20:32|
OCPC Chair Ken Lipton began by explaining that the planning commission makes recommendations on changes to the land use code to the Board of County Commissioners, who have sole authority to enact changes. Tuesday's hearing, not attended by the county commissioners, was intended to take public comment before the OCPC's final deliberation on the proposal.
Planning commissioners were there to listen, Lipton said. After the public comment period is closed, they will begin deliberating and will answer any questions posed by the public Tuesday night.
Lipton summarized the proposed changes and how they differed from the current section 9, Visual Impact Regulations in the Land Use Code. The number of visual impact corridors is increased; blending of new structures is mandatory; exemptions from compliance with VIR are increased; and, skyline breakage is clarified, as is measurement of setback from the escarpment. Also, the current point system that analyzes compliance with VIR has been revised, along with other changes.
County Planner Mark Castrodale gave a short history of how the planning commission got to where it is, including the 2010 BOCC resolution setting out 12 areas the commission was instructed to address. Both the proposed draft section 9 and the resolution were included in a packet available at the meeting and still available at the land use office.
Castrodale and Associate Planner Bryan Sampson showed with a PowerPoint presentation that they understood the proposed regulations and could implement and enforce them.
Four speakers represented groups, and they went first, being allowed 15 minutes each. The 30 individuals could speak for three minutes each.
Broker Donna Whiskeman spoke on behalf of the real estate community, giving arguments against the proposed revision. Whiskeman used photos and statistics to make her point.
Currently, she said, nine roads are designated as visual impact corridors. By adding 44 more, 53 out of 87 numbered county roads, or 61 percent, will be visual impact corridors.
A major consequence, Whiskeman said, is that more existing structures will be considered "non-conforming" to VIR. While those structures would not have to be brought into compliance immediately, if there is remodeling or reconstruction they will get a one-time exemption from compliance. Thus, the owner or a succeeding owner would have to bring the structure into compliance in subsequent remodels.* (correction below)
Whiskeman also contended that sellers of "non-conforming structures" would have to disclose that to potential buyers, lowering land values. Lower values means lower tax revenue, she said. "This is a solution in search of a problem," Whiskeman concluded.
No proponents of the revision spoke on behalf of a group; all were individuals. Most said they chose to move to the county because of the unspoiled views and strong visual impact regulations. Some called attention to the Master Plan, which calls for protecting the scenic beauty of the county.
Proponents contended that VIR actually protect property values, citing other areas of the state where unrestricted development has resulted in decreased values and blighted areas. Speaking to Whiskeman's statement, Pleasant Valley resident Ann Devine said the proposal "in my mind is a solution in anticipation of a problem." Others agreed, saying they could not depend on new neighbors to be considerate.
Patsy Miller noted that the OCPC had done what the BOCC asked, increasing the objectivity of section 9 and going about it in a scientific way. Scott Williams said his home may become non-conforming, but he compared the current and proposed rules and found the latter were more lax and expand the rights of the property owner.
Nick Williams cautioned that if anyone thought all homeowners would be reasonable and build appropriate homes, "just look at Family Dollar."
On the opponents' side, a group from Caldera Resource, operator of the Camp Bird Mine, spoke to issues that will arise if County Road 361 is deemed a visual impact corridor. Two historic properties there may be remodeled, and they may be required to comply with VIR. Mining structures are exempt only if they are not on a bench, ridge or hill.
Doug Macfarlane, an architect spoke on behalf of the ad hoc committee formed to assist the BOCC when it was attempting a revision. His criticism centered on the complexity of the proposal, when only a little tweaking was necessary. Architects need to confidently know how VIR will be interpreted and enforced, he said.
Andy Mueller, as attorney for Wolf Land Company, spoke to the hardships that would be encountered by large landowners. His reading of the proposal is that every new fence and hay shed will have to comply with VIR.
John Meltzer: as prop owner and ask you reconsider what you presented. values of my two properties that will be added will decrease. 18 lots in chalet haven on 361 and 90% will be affectd. many still vacant. subdiv formed 35-40 yrs ago. Not sure they can all afford to meet all these requirements.
Some of the individual speakers got more personal with the planning commissioners. Ouray resident Steve Martinez said, "I don't know if I can trust what you are doing now because I don't know who any of you are except Karen (Risch)."
Ouray city council member Richard Kersen commented, "People come here and want to change the county. If you are going down 550 you are looking at Mt. Abram, not a house on the side of the road."
"How many of you are members of ROCC (Ridgway-Ouray Community Council)?" asked Roger Pinyon, to a scattering of applause. "What influence does ROCC have on your changes to section 9?"
Mueller, later speaking on behalf of Todd Gray, questioned whether the procedure followed by the OCPC was legal. He said most of the work and decisions were made at workshops which were not properly noticed meetings.
Ethan Funk of Ouray asked commissioners to take another look at the definition of "structure," as it is too broad and would bring mailboxes and utility equipment under VIR.
*Correction: In last week's story regarding the county visual impact regulation proposed revision, the Plaindealer misstated what broker Donna Whiskeman said during the public hearing. Whiskeman said, in regard to structures that will become non-conforming if the revisions are adopted, "While those structures would not have to be brought into compliance immediately, if there is remodeling or reconstruction they may be eligible for a one-time exemption from the setback and skyline regulations only. In every other way, the property has to be brought into compliance."
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Final: Ridgway girls lose 47-42 to Paonia after a valiant 4th quarter comeback attempt.
Update: 45-42, Crozier hits 2 from the line.
Update: 52 seconds, 45-40 Paonia
Update: 2:19 remaining, Paonia on top 43-34
Update: Paonia up 43-32 in 4th Qtr.
Update: Paonia up 25-21 at half.
Update: Paonia up 21-19 in 2nd Qtr.
Update: Tied 13-13 end of 1st Qtr.
Update: Teams trade leads early - Ridgway up 9-8.
Update: Ridgway girls are up 6-0 early in Durango.
Follow all the action of the Ridgway girls basketball team vs. Paonia right now on Twitter, @ocplaindealer
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