At their March 20 regular meeting, Chaffee County commissioners dealt with resolutions for private property minor boundary-line adjustments, approved a resolution for the Oak Leaf Limited Impact Review appeal and approved a resolution authorizing the Live Nation special event permit.
During public comment, Laura Deer of Buena Vista highlighted her concerns about county policies regarding short-term vacation rentals, particularly safety issues and septic systems. “When it’s a two-bedroom house and it’s being advertised as lodging for 12 people, that can’t be safe.”
Planning manager Jon Roorda said the topic is being addressed. “Our assessor has been compiling a list of these short-term rentals,” he said, adding that an administrative review related to safety issues and septic systems is necessary. “This is an effort we need to push county-wide when we’re ready. At the moment, we’re still working on a process.”
Commissioners also gave unanimous approval to Deer Valley Ranch, also known as 2411 Ministries, located in Chalk Creek Canyon. The applicant is abandoning two lot lines that separate vacant properties and substituting two legally-created and recorded lots, adjusting the boundaries for two existing structures located within the Deer Valley Ranch Facility. Because the applicant is abandoning existing lots, no additional lots will be created by the action.
Commissioners also unanimously approved a boundary line adjustment requested by Steve Shurbet for his rurally zoned property along C.R. 150. The applicant indicated an intention to distribute agricultural acreage to adjacent properties, and the application includes an easement redefinition.
“The easements on the property are currently prescriptive easements, not deeded (or platted) rights,” said County Attorney Jennifer Davis. “This adjustment will shift these to deeded rights, so there will be more space to do road maintenance.”
Following an initial motion by Keith Baker and a second by Greg Felt, commissioners spent much of the meeting reviewing multiple changes to a resolution authorizing a Live Nation special event permit for a Labor Day weekend concert outside Buena Vista.
Discussion centered on the requisite language to cover costs for emergency fire and law enforcement services. The county’s experience with concerts over the past few years, including the Vertex concert near Buena Vista, underlies concern about the language covering life safety protection.
Commissioners said they want to ensure that the Chaffee County Fire Protection District’s involvement is documented as required by county event rules.
“For whatever reason, there was some misinterpretation to this point. It would have been better if we’d had (Fire) Chief (Robert) Bertram interacting with our county emergency services,” said Felt. “Last night I heard from the chief; he wasn’t sure we had accounted for their issues. I talked to Phil Graham of Chaffee County Emergency Medical Services this morning. We should hear from these guys to acknowledge the impacts they think should be looked at.”
The problem, explained Bertram, is that Chaffee County Fire Protection District isn’t in the county’s event contracts because it is not part of the county. “Because of the confusion of our name, people think we are included in the contract, but we’re not.”
Even though they participated in plans for the past few concerts, the fire department struggled to get reimbursed for $15,000 in staff and equipment they supplied for the Vertex concert. The Buena Vista Police Department was not represented at the meeting, but commissioners noted that they have a similar concern.
“If we’re going to have staff out there, we want to be reimbursed,” Bertram said. “We had to fight for reimbursement (for the Vertex concert) and got our attorney involved. … We want to be part of this planning process so that we have agreements in place for reimbursements.”
The county resolved the dilemma by adding a paragraph to the resolution stating the Chaffee County Fire Protection District – and any other life safety entities participating in the event – is a separate entity from the county and will require its own agreement with the event organizers. The resolution binds the concert organizers to satisfy each requirement.
Asked about the central command functions for the event, Sheriff John Spezze said that the county will organize a unified response arrangement for the event, using a mobile incident command post provided by El Paso County as part of its mutual response agreement. Final aspects of the agreement are required by June 29.