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Board passes LUC amendment

Jeanne Archambeault

Mancos Times editor

There was a crowd of onlookers at the town board meeting last Wednesday evening.

The board of trustees acted on a text amendment to the land use code (LUC) to permit “repair services, general and auto repair garage” in the highway business district on the north side of the highway between Beech and Willow Streets. (The highway business district includes both sides of Highway 160, some of the west side of Highway 184 and a few lots on the east side of N. Mesa Street.)

Trustee Perry D. Lewis wanted to know when the LUC had been changed to have the restrictions. He thought they were too restrictive for businesses to come to Mancos.

“I’m not sure when it was changed,” said Tom Yennerell, town administrator, “but it’s obvious that the planning and zoning commission and the trustees at the time didn’t want that kind of business on the highway. This is a standard land use code with commercial development. We just haven’t had a lot of commercial development.”

“We need to be aware of how strict this is and how much it costs for someone just opening a business,” Lewis said. “I’d like to see us pull back from some of these restrictions. These amendments don’t promote business like the comp plan says.”

Trustee Chip Tuthill said, “The land use code is in place for businesses in town. It’s not that we’re preventing businesses. We want everyone to have a good town....These restrictions are light compared to those in other places.”

“We discussed this and decided to move forward with it,” said Mayor Rachael Simbeck.

The amendment passed 4 - 2. Trustees Lewis and Queenie Barz voted no.

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The board discussed the chicken regulations as they pertain to the complaint that was brought to them at the Oct. 24 meeting. The town had received written concerns from 10 people as of Nov. 8, which were then referred to the town board. Most of the concerns were in favor of chickens in the town limits, but wanted to restrict the ownership of roosters. “This is a potentially controversial issue,” said Yennerrell. The board took all the concerns into consideration, decided it was not a decision for the planning and zoning commission, and then decided that they would refer to the town staff to make a recommendation as to the regulation.

Celeste Aurorean spoke to the board at the beginning of the meeting and expressed her concern. “The problem is not chickens; it’s the noise,” she said. “Young families are coming to Mancos to homestead and want to have chickens.”

Sec. 10-10-10 of the Mancos Municipal Code pertaining to unreasonable noise, states that “no person shall make, continue or cause to be made or continued any unreasonable noise; and no person shall knowingly permit such noise upon any premises owned or possessed by such person or under such person’s control. For purposes of this Section, members of the Marshal’s Office are empowered to make a prima facie determination as to whether a noise is unreasonable.”

Sec. 10-10-20 pertaining to animals states that “it is unlawful for any person to use, keep, have in his possession or harbor any domesticated animals which, by frequent or habitual howling, barking, meowing, squawking or otherwise, shall cause annoyance or disturbance to persons in the neighborhood; provided, however, that the provisions of this Section shall not apply to hospitals licensed for the treatment of small animals or to premises occupied or used by the Town animal shelter.”

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Gary Kennedy, superintendent of the Mancos Water Conservancy District, was at the meeting and explained how the reservoir operates, how much water the town of Mancos has in the reservoir and how much water the town uses. Tom Weaver and Glenn Humuiston were also present, having received letters saying that a decision was to be made about their request for reduced water rates in exchange for letting the town have water. Weaver, Humiston and Wayne Eppich have the #2 priority water right on the Mancos River and, in September, called the water so they could irrigate their crops and water their livestock. They came to the Oct. 10 meeting and asked if they could pay the same rates as town residents, instead of the double rates they are paying now, in exchange for letting the town have water. The town attorney, David Lieberman, advised the town on the legality of changing the water and sewer rates for them. He talked about how a written contract might be established, a study could be done on the water rights, and how the board can change the rates “as may be just, reasonable and necessary.”

Weaver, after listening to the attorney, said that “you don’t need to spend money on a study. We’ve already given the town the water twice in the last 10 years. The good and just reason is that we said we’d give the town the water! That’s the deal!”

Humiston said then that he cut short his irrigation for the town. “This is my town. It was my town before it was your town. And I won’t let it choke. But I think we’ve done our part.” Trustee Barz said, “I still think there ought to be a way to compensate these gentlemen.” The board agreed and thanked them for their generosity.

The unanimous decision then was to bill them a special “river rate” for their water.

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The board also approved an encroachment permit at Pioneer Park for the business that will be going in the building on Mesa Street. The awning that the owner is proposing will extend out past the park. The vote was 4 - 2, with trustees Lewis and Barz voting no.

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Marshal Bill Knauer told the board that three police cars had been brought back from Fisher, Ind. “They are in outstanding shape,” he said. The town paid $2,500 for all three of them and only a few things had to be done to them to get them ready for use in Mancos. Two are now on the street and one is for back-up.

On Friday, Dec. 7 the town of Mancos will have holiday activities. The Rudolph Run registration is at 6 p.m. for $3 in advance and $5 the night of the run, which starts at 6:30 p.m. (Contact Annette Mullikin at 533-7649) Santa arrives at 7 p.m. and the tree will be lit. At 7:30 “The Grinch” will be shown at the Mancos Community Center.

The community dinner is on Friday, Dec. 14 from 6 to 8 p.m.

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