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The Poncha Springs Board of Trustees gave the go-ahead during their Oct. 22 regular meeting to the local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter to erect a Korean and Vietnam War memorial at the Visitor’s Center as part of the proposed redesign of the site. Jerry Cunningham from the VFW made the presentation, seeking permission to put memorials to Chaffee County veterans of the Vietnam and Korean wars on the east side of the Visitor’s Center near the site proposed for relocating the existing war memorials. Bill Hussey of the Crabtree Group provided an update on the Visitor’s Center redesign that would include the memorials. Mayor Ben Scanga called for a motion to approve, and it passed unanimously.

The trustees also heard presentations addressing development projects in Chaffee County. The first was from the new Chaffee County Housing Director Becky Gray, who made a pitch for a letter of support from the board for a health grant application. Noting that good housing has long-term health impacts, Gray said that the purpose of the grant was to fund “policy and system changes related to anti-displacement housing efforts that include land use planning.” Gray stated that this grant, if funded, would be used to revise and complete the new Chaffee County Office of Housing Strategic Plan.

Trustee Dean Edwards, a member of the county’s housing policy subcommittee, said he thought the grant for a strategic plan was a good idea. The board agreed to write the letter of support.

After a public hearing and consideration of the final plat of their minor subdivision request, the Poncha Springs Board of Trustees unanimously approved Ordinance No. 2018-8, authorizing the Harder-Diesslin Group to go forward with their development on the west side of Halley Avenue. The trustees also revised a decision they had made at an earlier meeting, approval of of a W1 Warrant Request on an Auxiliary Dwelling Unit (ADU).

Hussey reviewed the salient points of the Harder-Diesslin subdivision request: that approving the final plat meant approving the developers’ request for a zoning change on Lots 1 and 2 from T-5 to SD-1, which allows for work-live development permitted by right, rather than by W1-Warrant request. A variance was requested for zero setback for outbuildings on Lots 1 and 2 (which would allow for garages or ADUs that shared a wall if the townhouses in front of them shared a roof). The same restrictions that applied for Lots 1 and 2 of the development, located just south of Monarch Crossing, would also apply to Lots 4 and 5, which are to be sold to other parties: the new developers would have to come back to the town for plan approvals. Finally, the development improvement agreement would include that the alley is to be graded and road-based prior to release of lot sales. Hussey finished his presentation by noting that the proposed development “completes business incubator district on Halley’s Avenue.”

After Mayor Scanga asked for an update on the sewer system for the development, he closed the public hearing and called for a motion on Ordinance 2018-8. Dean Edwards made the motion to approve, and Darryl Wilson seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Finally, the trustees considered an appeal of a decision they had made at their Sept. 24 meeting approving a W1 Warrant Request for an ADU on a Pinyon Avenue property with the condition that the owner obtain separate water and sewer taps for the new building. The owner, Fred Klein, who had not been present at the meeting, objected to paying for separate taps and filed an appeal. In his report, town administrator Brian Berger outlined the options for the board to consider on the issues of the tap fees and the configuration of the water and sewer pipes. After discussion of the various options, Mayor Scanga asked for a motion on allowing the owner to split off the existing service line to the house to the new ADU without a separate tap, noting that he wished to “have the water rate fees discussion another night.” The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

After approving a motion to certify delinquent water accounts, the board moved to executive session.