Chaffee County Commissioners voted during their Dec.18 meeting to table final discussions for the Cozart Estates Major Subdivision. As part of that shift, they moved to accept a letter from Duane Cozart acknowledging the delay of a final decision, and agreeing to table the discussion until their January 15 meeting.
The Cozart development is on a 50.8 acre plat just west of Poncha Springs along the Weldon Creek Watershed. The plat is sub-divided into 8 different lots with an additional large common space lot.
During that same meeting, commissioners set a special meeting for January 9 in which they will hear two reports from the the Planning Commission, but will take no action until the Jan 15; one report concerns revised drainage and off-site flows, and a slope stability report.
Duane Cozart expressed his frustration with the process, pointing out that many of the issues the planning commission is concerned with are relevant to a few lots, but not the entire plat. Cozart believes that addressing specific lot issues, rather than holding up the entire subdivision plat would be a more logical approach.
“A lot of these issues shouldn’t be had on a plat basis, but on a lot basis,” Cozart said, “We understand soil stability is an issue, but [it] is an individual issue based on each lot. Several lots out there have no issues. We are addressing an issue affecting two or three lots that should be addressed on an individual basis.”
Commissioner Greg Felt sympathized with Cozart, and acknowledged the county’s shortcomings contributing to the delays.
“If anything, apologies are due on the county side of the equation here,” Felt acknowledged.
Felt also recognized the work of the Planning Commission and Mountain Engineering who, he noted, had suggested the slope stability study.
“It does feel to me that we are on track for a good final submission of pulling this all together,” He added.
Commissioners Keith Baker, Felt, and Chair Dave Potts all agreed the county needs to work on “streamlining” and improving the County’s efficiency with development situations while maintaining standards.
“Give us some insight on how we can improve our processes.” said Baker. “These things need be done, let’s make sure they are done efficiently and effectively.
Cozart said he wholeheartedly agreed. “I know the county is working diligently on streamlining and being efficient. I understand the difficulties the commissioners have, but it is important [to balance] those two issues of being effective and being efficient.”
Potts suggested to the Planning Commission that future-plans brought before county commissioners include notes addressing specific issues on specific lots that need to be addressed, but that those findings not disrupt development plans as significantly as they have in the Cozart case. Instead, he suggested, the county could give the go-ahead for development with the caveat that those specific issues be addressed, and that a potential buyer can see documentation on specific lot issues.
Also during their regular meeting, Chaffee County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution to contract LodgingRevs, a private vendor, to aid in regulating the growing vacation rental business.
The contract, which was bid at $15,000, calls for LodgingRevs to develop a master database of all short-term rentals in the County. The database will enable the county to keep track of short-term rentals in Chaffee County and ensure compliance with tax laws and safety regulations.
Commissioner Greg Felt raised his concerns regarding LodgingRevs’ insurance policy for private information. Due to the information the database would store, Felt wants to ensure LodgingRevs is protected, and is in compliance with all personal data management security regulations.
Commissioners voted to approve the motion as presented with the understanding that Chaffee County’s legal counsel will confirm LodgingRevs is compliant with personal data security requirements and write these stipulations into the contract.