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During their June 7, 2022, regular meeting the Chaffee Board of County commissioners (BoCC) addressed several land use applications, among them they approved the Bear Trail Subdivision Plat Amendment that had been rescheduled from May 16. The parcel is owned by Cake Town Properties, LLC, represented by Richard Junker. The request clears the way for the parcel to be organized as a campground which is a permitted use in this zone.

The parcel located at 31196 Kodiak Court, Buena Vista,  is already zoned commercial and the plat amendment is to remove wording on Master Plan stating: “Filing III Bear Trail Subdivision Residential PUD (up to 20 units), Dependent on Rezoning” from the Bear Trail Subdivision Master Plan.

“The property will be the subject of an application for a campground at a later date,” said Planning Manager Jon Roorda, who confirmed that that is an allowed use in the county Land Use Code.

“The HOA associated with their first filings 1 and 2, and these will automatically be extended,” he added. “But we learned that filing 3 was never platted beyond the master plan, so the Colorado statute covering the first filings wasn’t applicable.”

Roorda explained that the commercial zoning of the property has been in place since 1974 (it sits across from Elephant Rock) on the west side of U.S. 24 north of Buena Vista. He assured the BoCC that “the applicant doesn’t impact the density or use of the lot. They want to achieve 20 residential units on the entire parcel.”

There was no public comment, and the application was unanimously approved to move to a June 14 Resolution.

Cooper Minor Subdivision

The ultimate approval by the Chaffee BoCC for an amendment to the security for the Subdivision Improvements Agreement (SIA) for the Cooper Minor Subdivision took much longer to resolve. Applicant Joe Cooper asked for two things :

  1. Acceptance for using an irrevocable Letter of Credit to replace the Lot Sales Restriction for both the electric installation and the road construction.
  2. Release of the Lot Sales Restriction (Reception #479971) Based on an Escrow Payment

Staff responded that they couldn’t issue any building permits prior to electric power being extended to the lots.

County Attorney Daniel Tom offered a simple solution saying “They can sell lots, but the resolution can state that no building permits can be issued until power and roads are finalized.

Cooper responded that that would encumber his entire property; not just the three new two-acre buildable lots, but a much larger 16-acre lot 4, that already had two sources of power, while the existing big house on 3.7 acres has its own power. “This is a minor subdivision and lot 4 is the land that is left. The road to the three new lots has been up there for 45 years. Most of lot 4 is access on CR 160.”

Commissioner Keith Baker finally made a motion to approve the escrow release up to $15,000 of the Cooper Minor Subdivision, and release the lot sales restrictions on lots 1-4 with the understanding that all the requirements must be met before building permits are issued, (removing the revocable letter of credit.) Commissioner Greg Felt seconded and the motion passed.

 Merrifield Cabins Board of Health Variance

Adjourned and Reconvened as the Chaffee Board of Health, the BoCC discussed a more sustainable solution for the onsite water treatment (OWTS) system that doesn’t put residents or adjacent neighbors or residents at risk at the Merrifield Cabins located at 19320 CR 306, Buena Vista.

The county Engineer Gary Greiner has worked with Buena Vista Public Works Manager Shawn Williams for nearly two years to come up with a solution to an antiquated septic system on land within 100 feet of Cottonwood Creek. Their presentation covered the solution, which includes not just a contained filtering system, but a three-foot deep sand filter below that that allows microbes to complete the work. Not only does it meet both county and state requirements, but it is considered effective enough (and worry-free) that a house could be built on top of the OWTS system.

If they choose to proceed, the Merrifield’s will have to address the changes by crossing CR 306, because the adjacent neighbors have chosen to refuse to allow an easement for a third-party to cross their property to complete the work. “The variance is for the pathway for them to move forward if they want to upgrade it,” confirmed Felt, who noted that because Williams had been involved in the solution that the required approval from the town of Buena Vista should be expected. The resolution resulting from the BoCC’s unanimous vote will be ready by June 21.