The Buena Vista Board of Trustees has scheduled a work session ahead of its regular Trustees meeting begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15. The topic of the work session; a discussion regarding recreational vehicles (RVs) and camping uses occurring within the town of Buena Vista. With the county-wide shortage of workforce housing, the town has seen an uptick of people living in RVs, or parking them for long periods of time in areas not approved for that use.

RVs are increasingly being relied upon for affordable housing options across Colorado as the housing shortage has worsened. Image courtesy of Bigstock.

The lack of workforce housing in the county has been an ongoing and growing problem as documented over the past few years. The county itself has considered, but never finalized an approach to the use of RVs as temporary housing solutions:  (https://arkvalleyvoice.com/county-planning-commission-considers-recreational-vehicles-permanent-housing/  and https://arkvalleyvoice.com/hrrmc-to-expand-services-develop-hospital-rv-parking/)

Trustees will begin their 7 p.m. session appointing and reappoint members to the various town boards including; the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Buena Vista Trails Advisory Board, the Buena Vista Historic Preservation Commission, and the Beautification Advisory Board.

Chaffee County Director of Development and Building Services Dan Swallow will present a 2019 year-end overview of the building activity across the county. Chaffee County, like Buena Vista itself, has experienced a significant uptick in residential development and construction projects over the past year, a trend that shows no sign of abating.

Trustees will review public parking proposals for 2020. Parking options include the Buena Vista School District Administration parking lot, rail road land parking in downtown for overnight parking, and the Farmers Market.

Trustees are expected to adjourn to executive session with the town attorney for receive legal advice on specific legal questions concerning a civil rights case known as Lipton v. Buena Vista. The case involves Richard Lipton, a U.S. Coast Guard veteran who gives a middle finger salute to the entire city of Buena Vista whenever he passes through town. After he did it one too many times, he was issued citations for each offense, and spend some time in the town jail.

In June of 2019 he sued the city claiming his civil rights have been violated every time police issue him a citation. He filed in U.S. District Court in Denver, naming Buena Vista, and police officers Randall Hancock and Amber Lee as defendants. Initially Lipton, who is homeless and indigent, said he was seeking a formal apology from the town, Now it appears he is seeking a monetary award.

Lipton is represented by some big civil rights guns: Killmer, Lane & Newman of Denver. The firm, one of Colorado’s highest-profile civil rights law firms, has won millions of dollars for clients who have sued municipalities for violating constitutional rights.