MONTROSE COUNTY BRIEFS | Conflicting Language in Zoning Resolution Removed

08/05/14 | By | More

MONTROSE – Following passage of an amendment by the Montrose Board of County Commissioners on Monday, conflicting language within several sections of the Montrose County Zoning Resolution was removed along with a section of design guidelines that are unenforceable by county staff.

The commissioners unanimously agreed to remove language in the “prohibitive uses” section in both the General Agricultural and General Residential districts. Prior to Monday’s approval, the Zoning Resolution stated commercial uses and industrial uses that do not meet the definition of a “home occupation” are prohibited in both the General Agriculture and General Residential districts.

In both districts, land uses that are defined as by right are listed, as are special uses requiring a special use permit. Montrose County Planner Steve White said the two lists of allowed uses in those districts often conflict with the Zoning Resolution’s prohibitive uses and how they relate to the definition of “home occupation.”

Monday’s BOCC approval of the amendment, which came at the recommendation of the Montrose County Planning Commission, removes that conflict.

Also included in the approved amendment on Monday, language under the General Agricultural District as it relates to design guidelines for development on agricultural lands were removed. In this section, White said there are seven guidelines listed and many of them are often impossible for the county to enforce or encroach on landowners’ private property rights – for example, according to White, ensuring pets are not mistakenly labeled livestock. Montrose County does not enforce protective covenants or deed restrictions to address the issue with pets interfering with livestock.

Monday’s public hearing was a continuation of a public hearing held on July 28. While one resident asked for minor tweaks in the amended language, staff and the planning commission ultimately recommended to the commissioners that the resolution be passed as written. Before its passage, no public comment, either for or against the amendment, was given.

Big Plans for Montrose County Fairgrounds

Now that the dust has settled following another successful Montrose County Fair and Rodeo, future improvements to the Montrose County Fairgrounds, including a new electronic sign, improved parking and a large indoor arena, are coming into focus.

While the county hasn’t been able to keep up with the 2011 Montrose County Fairgrounds Master Plan timeline, Fairgrounds Business Operations Manager Emily Sanchez said planned projects to improve the county-owned property are still slated with the ultimate goal of increasing indoor space and attracting more two-day events.

By mid-August a new electronic sign will be constructed on the fairgrounds adjacent to the San Juan Bypass that will “communicate all of the events that go on here,” Sanchez says.

Along with the new electronic sign, Sanchez said one of the more immediate improvements residents will see at the fairgrounds in improved parking. Last March, the Montrose Board of County Commissioners agreed to purchase the former United Companies Gravel pit at 63160 LaSalle Rd. to be the new home of the Montrose County Road and Bridge Department, which uses space at the fairgrounds. Sanchez said more parking and more room at the fairgrounds will be available once Road and Bridge is able to move to its new headquarters.

Perhaps the biggest, most exciting fairgrounds project will be the construction of a new 1,000-seat indoor arena, located where the current BMX track is. Following “a big” planning phase, Sanchez said construction on the new arena is expected to take place in 2016 or 2017. The new arena will have the ability to hold motocross events, antique shows and rodeos. The arena is expected to attract multi-day, national events that will benefit businesses in the Montrose community.

“The new arena will be something the county can show off,” Sanchez said. “Right now, we are trying to complete one project at a time.”

Seeking Candidates for MMH Board of Directors

The Montrose Memorial Hospital Board of Directors is currently looking for new board members and is encouraging anyone interested in becoming a director to apply for one of four vacancies currently available.

MMH Board Director Tricia Dickenson, who serves on the board’s nominating committee, announced the need for board members at Monday’s regular meeting of the Montrose Board of County Commissioners.

“Board members will find the position to be challenging, interesting and rewarding,” Dickenson said during the meeting’s public comment time period. “What other opportunity is more important than the service for health care in the community?”

As a nonprofit, the board, Dickenson said, is one of the hospital’s most vital resources; it is charged with overseeing the governance and operations of the hospital.

“Directors are primarily responsible for ensuring the mission, vision, and strategic direction of the hospital, and providing effective oversight of its management, quality and finances,” Dickenson said.

The board will elect four directors at its annual meeting in October.

Anyone interested in serving on the MMH Board of directors should inquire in person at the hospital’s administration office or by calling Lark Jacobsen at 970/249-2211. Anyone with questions about the role of the directors can call Dickenson at 970/249-4325.

Twitter: @Gus_Jarvis

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