Commission: No barriers with city

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In other action

At its Tuesday meeting, the Moffat County Commission:

• Signed an energy impact grant request for $652,500 from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs for new heavy equipment purchases. The county will provide a $300,000 match.

• Signed an energy impact grant request for $80,647 from DOLA for The Memorial Hospital's ambulance services. The money will go toward a new ambulance and two electronic-lift cots. The county will provide an equal match.

• Entered into an executive session to discuss the status of NC Telecom's bankruptcy filing with County Attorney Kathleen Taylor. NC Telecom maintains the county's computer server.

— There is no unworkable rift between city and council officials on planning and zoning issues, Moffat County Commission members said.

Craig City Councilor Gene Bilodeau appeared at the Commission meeting Tuesday to follow up on his promise to try to mend any fracture that may exist between the city and county.

Bilodeau said several local residents have asked him why the city and county seem unwilling to work together.

"I can't help but feel I'm not the only person that's having these talks with citizens," Bilodeau said. "Wrong or right, that perception is out there."

The ongoing issue, Bilodeau said, seems to be planning and development policy in the urban development zone around Craig, which extends about three miles from the city's borders.

It seems there has been no progress on the issue since the city sent a proposed contract agreement to the county in 2007, which spelled out combined planning and zoning policies, Bilodeau said.

The agreement would give city officials authority to make comments on developments close to Craig. It also required developments be annexed into the city if they met certain criteria, such as using city utility services.

Commissioner Tom Mathers said he and other commission members looked at the city's proposal as "one-sided."

"We felt like we were stepped on a little there," he said, which is why county officials have not gotten back to the city council with a response.

However, Mathers added, the commission hired the same person who drafted the city's proposal to draft a counter-proposal.

The city will have the county's agreement by the end of August, Mathers said, adding he expects they should have it within 10 days.

Commissioner Tom Gray and Jeff Comstock, county Natural Resources Department director, said a new agreement shouldn't be necessary.

Comstock, who owns land close to the city's western boundary, said forming a bureaucratic committee makes a problem where there isn't one.

"I think I've finally lived long enough to witness bureaucracy at its finest," he said. "We don't need a full committee to get together. All these issues are already addressed in the County Master Plan, which was signed by both the city and the county."

However, the Master Plan is not a set of binding resolutions, City Manager Jim Ferree said.

It's a set of recommendations, he said, such as provisions that recommend the kind of uniform planning and development processes outlined in the city's original contract agreement.

"That's the purpose for the (contract agreement)," Ferree said. "It did a number of things that were recommended in the Master Plan. These are action items that still need to take place."

Regardless of what happens with an agreement, Gray said the county is committed to making sure the city will not have to annex developments with poor infrastructure.

If there is any development in the county that wants to connect to city utilities, such as water and sewer, then the county will ask the developer to coordinate their infrastructure makeup with the city, Gray said.

However, when it comes to other regulations in the city Land Use Code, such as architecture and landscaping requirements, the county maintains a hands-off philosophy.

That philosophy includes allowing a property owner that may own 40 acres next to the city to subdivide his land into 5-acre ranchettes.

"How do you take someone that owns their property and tell them what they can and can't do with it?" Mathers said.

Ferree said he is encouraged to hear the county wants to help the city maintain positive growth.

"It sounds like we're moving forward, and that's great," he said.

However, Ferree could not comment on whether the city council or city staff would ask for other city codes - such as landscaping - to also be implemented on properties in the county.

Ferree added city officials are not upset with anything the current commissioners have approved. The developments that needed money to bring them up to code were approved a long time ago, and the city council then probably shares as much responsibility for those developments as the former commission.

"I think it just outpaced the city and the county's ability to manage at that time," he said.

Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or cesmith@craigdailypress.com

Comments

grannyrett 6 years, 4 months ago

Many people who live out in the county do not want city interference with the way they live their lives. That is why they live there. Leave the county alone, and take care of what you have. You can set the rules for area's that want to be annexed into the city, but people who live outside the county, do so for a reason. It is to get away from some of the crazy regulations-landscaping, for one-that the city imposes on residents and businesses.

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lonelyone 6 years, 4 months ago

They should enforce their own rules on city residents before worrying about what to do with possible developements outside the city. Sure it's nice to require certain things, esp. if your close to the high way so people driving past don't get a bad impression, but still, I think it's a bit much to annex a developement just because it is close enough to be able to use city services. I do wish sometimes that we had a county code enforcement officer who could "encourage" some places to clean up a bit, but where do you draw the line, cuz as you as Grannyret, many people live outside the city limets to get away from all those rules and regulations.

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Ray Cartwright 6 years, 4 months ago

Rules and Regulations come about because there is someone out there that choose to disregard other peoples' health and welfare not because someone wants to rule what other people do.

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lonelyone 6 years, 4 months ago

I agree Dented, but at what point does someone have the right to say, your not living by the rules and now you need to get a talking to?? I wish someone would do that in the area I live in. Some of the homes out here are such aweful messes that I truely wish somone could come and tell them to clean up their act, but no one from the county will do that and I have no right to tell them to clean up their yards and get the junk moved out. All I can do is try to keep my place nice looking...........well my husband does that, I thinkk you understand what I mean!!!

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Ray Cartwright 6 years, 4 months ago

So you say your area is a mess, so when your area was developed I am sure that there were covenents written before the plans were okayed and the development started.

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50cal 6 years, 4 months ago

dented, there are some subdivisions in the county that do have covenents and others that do not. while I think that if there was a health or safty risk in the county you could call and get help, I don't think its the governments job to have the say over every aspect of peoples property. that is supposed to be one of uor freedoms in this country. I too live in the county. I do not want anyone from the city being allowed to make decisions over my property. although I am out of the three mile zone what would be next? city influance over the tax issues in the county?

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lonelyone 6 years, 4 months ago

Yes, Dented, when this subdivision was developed there were conenets drawn up, but no one paid any attention to them and once when my husband and I went to the county to see what they were and talk to them about what was going on, we were told if we didn't like what someone was doing, if it was against the covennets, then it was up to us to take them to court! That really upset me. I wondered why these things were even drawn up if no one was going to enforce them. I sure as heck don't have the money to take every household to court that has 5 dogs instead of 2 and who might have a home based busincess when that was a no no too! So some people let their places go to hell and makes this whole area look bad, but there is nothing I can do about it.

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grannyrett 6 years, 4 months ago

You can drive around town, and some yards look as if a big dumpster was emptied in their yards. Isn't there an ordinance about that? Some yards have not seen a lawn mower in years. Isn't there an ordinance about that? How does the city think they can take care of all of Moffat County when they can't take care of their own backyard?

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irishbrat 6 years, 4 months ago

However, Mathers added, the commission hired the same person who drafted the city's proposal to draft a counter-proposal.

Wouldn't this be a conflict of interest??? WTF???

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