Ark Valley Voice has received documentation showing that Chris Vely sent emails to Chaffee County Commissioners beginning in August 2016 requesting that the county not issue a building permit for Alison Brown to build her residence at 11600 Antelope Road.
Vely and his wife, Laura Barton, moved next door to Brown in the summer of 2016 ‒ Brown bought her property in 2014 ‒ and are now suing Brown in District 11 Court because of the American foxhounds that Brown kept on her property.
Over the course of several months, Vely continued communication with the county, including in-person meetings with the Planning and Zoning department the week of August 15 and August 23, objecting to Brown’s use of her property and requesting that she not be issued a building permit.
Vely’s complaints preceded the county’s actions to limit the use of the Chaffee County Right to Farm and Ranch Conflict Resolution Program (Chaffee County Land Use Code, Section 3.1.6) for conflicts between agricultural activities and rural residents. Vely’s complaints also preceded the change of the county’s kennel definition and the pursuit of revised outfitting definitions.
Vely’s emails include discrepancies. The one dated Sept. 1, 2016, was sent by Marcie Bradford to Chaffee County Director of Administration Bob Christensen on Tuesday, Aug. 29, with the request to pass it to commissioners Dennis Giese, Frank Holman and Dave Potts. It was submitted by Vely and Barton as well as Brent Smith and Debra Mahoney, and Jim and Kay Hutchings.
The August 2016 email to commissioners claims that the county had previously declined to issue a building permit to Brown, but Brown had not yet applied for a building permit. She was issued a Chaffee County building permit Nov. 14, 2016 and that permit included a check box stating the county considered her in compliance with the Chaffee County’s Land use Code.
The email cites “ongoing serious public health and safety concerns about continued development and associated activity on the property.” It also says that Vely met with Planning Manager Jon Roorda on Aug. 23 to voice his concerns and that Vely had been attempting for months to prevent Brown from continuing to develop her property. In fact, the Velys bought their property at 11444 Antelope Road on June 1, 2016, less than three months prior to Vely’s meeting with Roorda, and moved in June 20, 2016.
A letter dated Oct. 5, 2016, from Chaffee County Director of Development Dan Swallow explained to Vely, “We are charged with enforcing the county’s Land Use Code, and not Department of Agriculture regulations. … Licensing is not within our purview. … If you believe there is a license law violation, then your recourse is to file a complaint with the Dept. of Agriculture and/or their licensing board.”
Apparently the licensing rout did not work. A letter from Vely to County Attorney Jenny Davis on April 26 said they had been trying “for seven months” to get the county to deal with the commercial operation.”
On July 13, 2017, Vely attorney Randy Herrick-Stare sent an email to County Attorney Jenny Davis, informing her of a media piece “regarding various foxhound issues” that “you might find relevant to the county’s decision-making.”