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Dear Editor:

If you like to hunt and fish, bike and hike, kayak and raft, or any other of our amazing list of wonderful outdoor activities, you may be classified as an “outfitter” running an “outfitting facility,” according to the current definition of “outfitting facility” in the Chaffee County Land Use Code. And if you are so classified, the world as you know it may come crashing down on you.

It seems that the current planning commission and county commissioners have struggled to define the loose definition of what an outfitter and outfitting facility actually means.

Here is what they have come up with in their most recent consensus of opinion. You are an outfitter running an outfitting business if:

1) you belong to an outdoor organization that has outings (involving third parties) that originate from your home/land.
Or, 2) If you are a recognized leader or have a title in the outdoor organization and go on those trips.
Or, 3) if your friends gather at your house as a staging point for expeditions or to put on clothing specific to your sport.
Or, 4) if you train for your sport on your property with others.

For you, the definition might change as the current “outfitting facility” definition is so vague that it can change from case to case depending on the mood/desire/politics of the county staff.

New text changes have been submitted to the planning commission that will vastly remove most of this confusion. Proposed is new text that follows standard definitions found in the Colorado Revised Statutes 2017. This includes a definition for “outfitter” and for “outfitting facilities.”

Please come to the public hearing Tuesday, April 24, 7:15 p.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room and support this change. The commissioners will have another public hearing on Tuesday, May 8, at 9:15 a.m.

Dave Moore
Chaffee County