UP BEAR CREEK | Trying to Limit Needless Regulations

07/15/14 | By | More

SHORT TERM RENTALS … The story in the Watch last week was good, but I wanted to clarify one bit of confusion about my dissenting vote. In the meeting, I questioned why we were including Home Owner Associations like the Wilson Ranch HOA in the new county permit-system for short term rentals when their HOA declarations expressly prohibit short-term rentals. It seemed like we were setting up a conflict. However, County Attorney Steve Zwick explained that, as regards zoning, all members of a defined zone district needed to be treated equally, or the County could open itself to lawsuits. In the end, all of us on the Board agreed that HOAs should work to enforce their own regulations rather than trying to have the County carve out special areas within a zone district. So that wasn’t why I dissented … The second issue that I raised in the meeting had to do with why we were including the Wright’s Mesa Zone District in the permit system, while exempting the West End Zone District. As County Planning Commissioner Marty Schmalz of Norwood uncovered in the planning commissioner hearings, there have been no complaints in the Wright’s Mesa Zone District about short term rentals. I suggested that including the Wright’s Mesa area was a “solution looking for a problem.” Staff and my fellow commissioners disagreed, and the short term rental measure passed 2-1, with my dissent … The Watch story was correct when it ended with my comment that I thought the permit system developed by our planning department and modified by our planning commission was “very well done.” My one sticking point was adding Wright’s Mesa to this new set of county regulations, fees and inspections … As the District 3 commissioner, I continue to believe that we ought to treat the two regions of our county differently – the liberal, densely populated, wealthy East End with the conservative, sparsely populated, working class West End. One size fits all doesn’t work for me or our county’s diverse citizens, although I understand the laws that require the concept’s application within a zone district. But I believe the county was imposing rules on a defined zoning region where they weren’t needed. The Libertarian in me bristles at regulations, unless they are absolutely necessary. And as a Green, I think listening to the grassroots is a core principle of democracy. Truth be told, I heard support for new regs in the East End and only opposition in the West End. That’s why I voted no.

IRENE VISINTIN … I hadn’t caught up with Gay Cappis in a half-dozen years, so it was delightful to see her, chipper and smiling, sweet as clover, at last week’s memorial for Irene Visintin. No county clerk was more compassionate with citizens than Gay was with all of us, old timers and newcomers alike. I know there are many who swear by the letter of the law, especially bureaucrats, those who do the specialized work of government at the local, state and national levels. Gay was better than that. She made the law fit the people, and did everything in her power to help citizens through the maze of regulations, permits, licenses and registrations that her office handled. With her it was government for the people … The memorial at the Elks in Swede-Finn Hall was a lovely gathering of old time locals. I had a delightful afternoon trading memories with Ron and Joyce Allred and Shari Flatt and all of us worrying about the future of county development limitations in place here – limitations that are routinely violated in almost every other ski resort in the West. … Scott Smith was there. Took pix he’s already posted to Facebook. Scott’s become Old Telluride’s town chronicler, catching images of all the relics of the ‘70s and ‘80s before they slip away … Gene Wunderlich hosted the gathering at the Elks, along with his gracious daughter Terra. Gene had me in tears, remembering his aunt, Irene. And his mom, Elvira. The Visintin Sisters. Or just “The Sisters” to most of us of the first two decades in born-again (as a resort) To-Hell-u-Ride. They led the parades. Commented on things in the paper. Put out their own newsletter for the mining-camp Telluride diaspora … Gene smiled remembering how Elvira could be gritty when she was upset about something and how Irene was always the sweet one. And how that changed after Elvira passed, and Irene became a bit more crotchety with age – probably needing to balance her own good nature with some of her sister’s upset at the world, how it is … Truly an end of an era for those of us who came before the giant awakened.

WEEKLY QUOTA … “He was held in a U.S. prison camp in Bucca, in southern Iraq, from 2005 to 2009, and within a few years of his release had become one of the world’s most influential jihadist leaders.” – as quoted in THE WEEK (July 11, 2014), speaking of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Islam’s first claimant to the title of Caliph … Like America’s extrajudicial drone program, and our (perpetual) War on Terror with its jailings, waterboardings and the like that seem programmed to turn even religious men into terrorists, America seems to be losing its moral ground. And that’s very hard ground to gain back.




Take No Prisoners


Yes I want to

move to

a balanced bud jet


I enjoy the sweet haze

of numbers

burning down to fact


Locally we have to

live within our means

Expose our debits


& protect our assets

While the Feds keep

it all hidden


within the Federal Reserve’s

global vaults & labyrinthine

Congressional closets


Truth be told

borrowing from the future’s

a furtive kind of pederasty


And screwing our kids’ kids

to squeeze out



mostly for war

ain’t no way to run

a country

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Category: Commentary, Opinion, Up Bear Creek

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