March Mayor’s Minute

Mayor's Minute

Words by Dan Jansen / Mayor's Minute

Greetings neighbors,

I hope you are enjoying our spring-like conditions and getting the last few turns in. Your local government continued its efforts this past month, which I’ve outlined below.

February 16 Meeting Highlights

1 > Town Council approved a two-step Design Review Board (DRB) process to enable an initial higher level sketch review and then a more detailed final approval review as unanimously requested by the DRB.

2 > Town Council approved a set of suggested DRB changes to expand the design standards to allow for more contemporary mountain architecture in Mountain Village in a manner still consistent with the overall community.

3 > Town Council also worked on two important lighting issues in the community. The first included reducing the light emanating from St. Sophia Station on Coonskin Ridge. Second, Council approved a communications tower amendment for a FAA-required red beacon. This beacon will connect to an aircraft detection system, similar to what turns the runway lights on when a plane is approaching at night. Similarly, the red beacon will only activate when a plane is within three miles of approach. While nobody is advocating for more light pollution, the new tower is necessary to support emergency personnel and public safety, increase cell coverage, and provide stronger radio tower reception.

4 > Town Council had an extensive discussion of the ‘lawful presence’ requirements regarding Village Court Apartments (VCA), and the recent lapse in the town’s required enforcement of this rule. This is a difficult situation where previous VCA management enforcement of lawful presence lapsed and allowed non-legal residents to rent VCA units. Mountain Village’s federal and state grants, which total over $1.5 million, just in recent years require that lawful presence is proven. A recent review by the Department of Local Affairs issued a verbal warning that Mountain Village was out of compliance and must comply quickly or the town could lose future funding and/or potentially have to return the grant money received. Mountain Village staff is working with the affected residents to resolve the situation in as compassionate a way as possible.

5 > Town Council chose to retain the $5 million insurance requirements for open fire burns, though added the ability to grant waivers at Council’s discretion. This decision is in response to the Telluride Fire Festival that conducts “artistic burns” as part of its festival.

6 > Letters of support were offered for a regional composting facility and expansion of the San Miguel County jail, including a new dedicated detox facility.

7 > Town Council reviewed the Municipal Benchmarking Study. In the end, the consultant hired to conduct this study was not able to complete it per town’s direction (though his interim study is available on the town’s website). Since the analysis of making costs comparable between towns was incomplete, Council concluded that it would be cost prohibitive to finalize. I reached out to several other ski town mayors, and there is no appetite to participate in this study. Instead, Mountain Village will conduct a separate compensation and benefits study to see how this area of the town’s cost structure compares with other towns. I believe other ski towns will provide this information.

8 > Finally, the Town Hall Center Subarea Planning Committee has been hard at work coming up with some exciting options for enhanced services, better pedestrian and vehicle flows, and an aesthetic upgrade to this area. Special thanks to Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association and Telluride Ski & Golf Company for partnering with the town in this exciting work.

March 16 Agenda Highlights

This week Council continues its work with a full agenda.

1 > The Gondola Subcommittee Task Force will provide a preliminary report on their recent market research trip of world-class gondola and transit systems. The hope is that this information will inform Mountain Village’s long-range gondola strategic planning process.

2 > Town Council will receive an annual report from the Telluride Historical Museum and discuss the results regarding the Governmental Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Report in addition to exploring market-based solutions to reduce the town’s carbon footprint.

3 > Town Council will make several important appointments to the DRB, Grant Committee, Region 10 and the Multi-Cultural Advisory Council.

4 > As required, Town Council will hold a second public hearing and reading of previously approved changes to the design review process and design standards.

5 > Finally, routine land use matters and reports from Councilmembers and town staff will round out this month’s agenda.

As always, I hope you can join us whether in person, online or by providing your input in advance of the meeting.

Warm Regards,
Dan Jansen
Mountain Village Mayor

February Mayor’s Minute

Mayor's Minute

Words by Dan Jansen / Mayor's Minute

Greetings neighbors,

I hope you are enjoying the winter season. Our Town Council and staff continued its hard work this month.

January 19 Meeting Highlights

1 > Town Council re-certified the Mountain Village Promotional Association, allowing the town to have open events across the plazas so people can wander freely between participating bars and restaurants.

2 > The Telluride Regional Airport manager provided a report that included approval of the ‘C approach’, allowing larger commercial and private planes into the airport. In similar news, FBO expansion and work on the airport aprons and infrastructure will begin this Spring.

3 > EcoAction Partners presented its 2017 work plan that outlined specific programs intended to impact Mountain Village, including composting activities.

4 > Mountain Village launched a task force to help define the future of the Telluride Conference Center, a facility which the town currently owns with the Telluride Ski & Golf Company managing and operating it.

5 > Town Council conducted a joint worksession with the Design Review Board to expand the design standards to allow for more contemporary mountain architecture in Mountain Village. Council will take action on these recommendations in upcoming meetings.

6 > Town Council agreed on a funding level for a regional behavioral health initiative that we will share with the Town of Telluride and San Miguel County.

7 > Town staff offered a series of updates and Council considered a set of routine land use matters.

February 16 Agenda Highlights

This week Council continues its work with a full agenda.

1 > Again, Town Council will discuss enhancements to the design standards and processes to keep Mountain Village’s architecture current and relevant.

2 > An action item limiting the amount of light emanating from gondola stations will be voted on.

3 > There will be an important discussion of compliance actions for Village Court Apartments (VCA), which is when Council will describe the situation where enforcement of the ‘lawful presence’ requirements lapsed under the previous manager at VCA. This lapse came to light after there was a management change at VCA and from audits performed by the state and federal agencies that grant money to VCA. In short, the town must come into compliance or put at risk grants that have helped the town keep rental rates affordable at our town-owned housing complexes. We will describe this difficult situation in more detail, the options to move forward, and hear from the public.

4 > Town Council will consider an action item to modify the Coonskin Ridge communications tower to allow for a FAA-required red beacon.

5 > Several regional issues, including a regional composting facility, an expanded jail facility, and revised open burn insurance requirements, will also be discussed.

6 > Finally, Councilmembers will provide updates about the various committees and boards they serve on and staff will provide routine reports and lead any and all land use matter discussions.

As always, I hope you can join us whether in person, online or by providing your input in advance of the meeting.

Warm Regards,
Dan Jansen
Mountain Village Mayor

January Mayor’s Minute

Mayor's Minute

Words by Dan Jansen / Mayor's Minute

Dear neighbors,

I hope you are enjoying this wonderful snow and sunny skies. The town remains quite busy and your government is working hard.

December 8 Meeting Highlights

1 > Toqn Council conducted a fair amount of its fiscal management last month including approving the revised 2016 and final 2017 budgets. There was the related approval of mill levies, property taxes and the transferring of funds to implement these budgets.

2 > Town Council briefly updated the public on the benchmarking study. The study’s consultant has not been able to gather actionable data from other ski towns. We will agendize a worksession early in 2017 to discuss this issue in more depth and identify options to continue the project with better resources.

3 > Council approved an open burn permit for the Telluride Fire Festival, which I hope you will be able to attend. If you haven’t seen this event, it is quite a sight.

4 > The Telluride Tourism Board and Colorado Flights Alliance gave their biannual updates reporting significant growth in regional tourism including more brand recognition for the destination, increased air seats, the return of service to the Telluride Regional Airport, and the addition of a year-round daily flight to Dallas. The Telluride brand continues to grow and impress, earning many recognitions including Conde Nast again ranking it as the number one ski destination in the country.

5 > Town Council received an update on the wastewater treatment plant that requires both an upgrade of the nutrient levels in the outflows (that need to be 10 times better than our drinking water!) as well as a capacity expansion to accommodate the fact that we are nearing its limit. A master plan is being created and we anticipate that report will start to identify the specific plans and funding requirements that we will share with our regional partners. This will be expensive.

6 > In addition to some usual land use matters, Council heard some staff and Council updates regarding the boards and committees they serve on.

7 > Finally, we bid farewell to our Director of Marketing and Business Development Nichole Zangara Riley and thanked her for all of the wonderful work she contributed over the years.

January 19 Agenda Highlights

This week Town Council will again consider a full agenda.

1 > Local airport manager will provide an update on the Telluride Regional Airport Authority.

2 > EcoAction Partners will present their work plan for the coming year.

3 > The Design Review Board will update Council on their work to expand the design standards for buildings in Mountain Village.

4 > Town Council will consider a request to increase funding for the Town Hall Center Subarea process, and potential funding for a regional behavioral health initiative.

5 > Finally, in addition to our usual staff and Councilmember updates, several significant land use matters will take up some of our time.

As always, I hope you can join us for the meeting online or in person, but if not, please share your thoughts through calls or emails.

Warm Regards,
Dan Jansen
Mountain Village Mayor

Town of Mountain Village launches cutting-edge app for visitors, residents

Vizzit Places App

Words by Nichole Zangara / Community

Although Mountain Village is still a relatively young town – it was established in March 1995 – it is much more than what meets the eye. So to pull back the curtain on this town, Mountain Village is launching Vizzit Places, a self-guided GPS-triggered audio tour app that reveals the wizardry behind the Telluride Region and its many secrets hidden in plain sight.

“The real intent of this innovative project is to connect Mountain Village and all its stories and people with those that visit and live here,” said Marketing and Business Development Director Nichole Zangara Riley. “Most often, people love being here. It’s just this unexplainable feeling they get. What we want to do is deepen their connection and experience with Mountain Village, and the region, and really show them why this place is an adventure of discovery and what and who makes this town go round. One way to do this is with curated content created by insiders. And the beautiful thing is this is all accessible from the smartphone in your pocket.”

The first three tours will launch December 17 just in time for Holiday Prelude in Mountain Village and the December 20 Gondola Anniversary Celebration. Of the three tours, “World’s Best Commute” is dedicated to the 13-minute gondola ride and all that one can see and experience from a cabin. The other tours, “Top of the World: St. Sophia” and “Millennial Mountain Village” pay homepage to some of the best offerings in the region. The tours are hands-free, bringing technology to the outdoors using a non-distracting, well balanced approach.

“The tell-all stories that are a part of these three tours are centered on community, businesses, culture and history,” said Zangara Riley. “When one downloads the app, they have this beautiful lens in which everyone can connect more deeply and individually to this extraordinary place. In short, a mere experience turns into an indelible memory. After this initial launch we will continue to develop more tours, keeping the content fresh and enticing for our world class destination and its residents and visitors.”

Users can download the free Vizzit Places smartphone app from the Apple Store or Google Play (available December 15). The next step is simple: select a desired tour based on one’s location in Mountain Village, and start the journey of discovery. Tours reveal GPS-triggered stories along the way, creating connections to what is seen and unseen, the history and culture of people and places, and a deeper look into the landscape that surrounds the Telluride Region.

Gondola turns 20; community celebrates December 20

20th Gondola Anniversary Celebration

Words by Nichole Zangara / Event, Transportation

The most unique public transportation system of its kind in North America has gone platinum. The beloved Telluride-Mountain Village Gondola system will celebrate its 20th anniversary December 20, 2016, at Club Red in Mountain Village. This free event will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and is open to residents and visitors alike.

“We are looking forward to celebrating this amazing machine and all that it’s done for our community,” said Marketing and Business Development Director Nichole Zangara Riley. “In the last 20 years it has carried over 40 million passengers, brought two communities together – Telluride and Mountain Village – with the views to boot, and reduced the region’s carbon footprint. People have been married on the gondola. Musicians have recorded songs and films have been produced on the gondola. The list goes on and on. Simply put, this mode of transportation is unforgettable and it’s part of the lifestyle, so it only makes sense to celebrate the gondola turning 20.”

All told, the anniversary celebration will include appetizers and dessert, a champagne toast, and live music by local band Chrome Velvet. In addition, a GoPro camera, Stalk-It snowboard and Osprey backpack will be raffled off, gondola anniversary schwag items will be given away, and the coveted red cabin will turn into a photo booth.

“And of course we couldn’t stop there, so we are premiering two short gondola films and launching Vizzit, a Mountain Village tour guide and storytelling app that features the gondola,” explained Zangara Riley. “We are also excited to announce that the Telluride Ski Resort will run a #GondolaSelfie sweepstakes on Instagram between December 20 and December 31 along with surprising several gondola riders with gifts and prizes in celebration of the gondola’s 20th anniversary. And to add a personal touch to the evening event, Mountain Village visionary Ron Allred will share his story of how the gondola came to be. This really is a not-to-be-missed event.”

Gondola Background

Owned and operated by the Town of Mountain Village, the gondola opened on December 20, 1996, one year after the Town of Mountain Village was incorporated, to provide free transportation between Mountain Village and Telluride while reducing the area’s carbon footprint. The electricity used to operate the gondola comes from on-site solar energy and wind power purchased from San Miguel Power Association; LED lighting throughout the terminals ensures it is used efficiently. With roughly 2.61 million passenger rides each year, the gondola offers an effective mode of transportation that reduces carbon emissions resulting in cleaner air for the region. It also adds to the guest experience, giving visitors ease of access to both towns without needing a vehicle, making the destination one of the most pedestrian-friendly mountain resorts in the country.

Green transportation is not the only perk the gondola provides. It also gives riders access to hiking and biking trails in the summer and ski terrain in the winter. Guests have a front-row seat to view the striking scenery from 10,500 feet on the gondola. The ride from Mountain Village to Station St. Sophia has an elevation gain of 960 feet, which then takes an exhilarating 1,750 foot vertical foot plunge down in to the Town of Telluride. The entire two-mile journey takes about 13 minutes. The gondola runs daily from 7 a.m. to midnight during summer and winter, and it is ranked as the number one thing to do in Telluride and Mountain Village on TripAdvisor.

Since 1996, the gondola has remained a free mode of transportation. The Town of Mountain Village owns and operates the gondola, and the Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association funds operations, maintenance and capital improvements.

“The gondola has played a vital role in our community over the years,” said President and CEO of the Telluride Tourism Board Michael Martelon. “It has become an icon for the destination, and we look forward to honoring its importance and celebrating 20 years of operation.”

To learn more about the gondola, visit townofmountainvillage.com/getting-around/gondola-chondola. For event details, visit townofmountainvillage.com/event/20th-gondola-anniversary-celebration.

December Mayor’s Minute

Mayor's Minute

Words by Dan Jansen / Mayor's Minute

Dear neighbors,

I hope you are enjoying our open ski mountain … and praying for more snow! We had a busy month with many interesting work streams.

November 17 Meeting Highlights

1 > Staff presented a second schematic wayfinding design that will permeate the Village from the entrance all the way to Oak Street Plaza in the Town of Telluride, helping our visitors find everything such as parking, the gondola, shops and restaurants, and much more.

2 > Town Council endorsed a significant reduction in our mill levy from 11.8 to 1.8 after next year given the substantial pay down of debt. This presents a significant tax cut for all of our property owners. Residential property tax per $100,000 in taxable value will go from $201.26 in 2017 to $121.30 in 2018 in a static valuation analysis. All other property will go from $733.21 to $441.92.

3 > Town Council discussed the revised 2017 budget, with the only significant change being an increase to $430,000 for the upgrade of our wastewater treatment plant. This is the first of several years of increased spending to fund this multimillion dollar required upgrade.

While Council had hoped to have the findings from our Benchmarking Study in time for the budget season, our consultant is struggling to get comparable data from other municipalities to finalize this report. With that, the town is exploring alternative paths to obtain the necessary data.

In the meanwhile, on first reading, Town Council approved the 2017 and revised 2016 budgets and will consider them for a second reading this week.

4 > Telluride Ski & Golf Company presented its Master Development Plan that laid out a long-term vision of the ski resort for the Forest Service. I would encourage you to visit the company’s website to peruse the plan and learn about the possible enhancements.

5 > Routine land use matters and reports were offered and considered.

6 > Finally, the Town Hall Center Subarea Planning Committee updated Council with options for the area including enhanced services, better access, a larger park, more parking and better transit access, among many other ideas. Council hopes to see a fuller report from this committee over the holidays.

December 8 Agenda Highlights

This week Town Council will again consider a full agenda.

1 > The Telluride Tourism Board and the Colorado Flights Alliance (CFA) will provide their biannual update, including the recent expansion of year-round daily flight service and the re-establishment of service into Telluride Airport. Well done CFA!

2 > Council will consider a request to approve an open burn related to the Telluride Fire Festival.

3 > While not glamorous, there will be an update on the possible upgrade and expansion of our shared wastewater treatment plant with the Town of Telluride. These necessary improvements could prove quite expensive, so Town Council is seeking a full update and complete transparency.

4 > Councilwoman Benitez will lead an informational session on enhancements we can make to the town’s grant process for future years.

5 > Council will consider forming a committee to investigate options for the town-owned Telluride Conference Center. This facility will be fully paid off at the end of 2017.

6 > As usual, the agenda includes a full array of staff and Council updates as well as consideration of some routine land use matters.

7 > Finally, on the personnel front, we will be thanking and recognizing our Director of Marketing and Business Development Nichole Zangara Riley. She is leaving us and will be missed; please join us to wish her the best of luck in new endeavors.

As always, we welcome your comments and please join us online or in-person for our meeting, if you can.

Warm Regards,
Dan Jansen
Mountain Village Mayor

Mountain Village hosts Holiday Prelude December 17

Holiday Prelude

Words by Special Contributor / Event

Mountain Village is being transformed once again into the North Pole for this year’s Holiday Prelude celebration Saturday, December 17, 2016. This year promises a whole day of holiday movies, train rides, Santa, live reindeer, ice skating, and children’s holiday surprises around every corner. Holiday Prelude is a collaborative effort between Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association, Town of Mountain Village, Telluride Ski & Golf Company, and local merchants to transform Mountain Village into the regional destination for holiday fun and activities.

Children of all ages will delight in the decorations and lights galore as Santa’s elves send you up the Gondola to visit Santa’s Workshop at the Telluride Conference Center from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Children can share their Christmas list with Santa, make holiday ornaments with the elves, and enjoy holiday movies with free hot chocolate and popcorn. This year’s holiday films include Mickey’s Magical Christmas, Polar Express, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The Parents’ Lounge and cash bar will be available for parents who want to put their feet up. In addition, free ice skating is available from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Children and adults can expect many surprises on the free train ride throughout the twinkling Mountain Village. This year the train will be making some very special stops through town to visit the live reindeer petting area and local shops will be giving gifts and treats to all children.

The culmination of this year’s event will be a Tree Lighting Ceremony with Santa and carolers in Heritage Plaza at 6 p.m. Following the lighting, head back to the ice skating rink because the Telluride Figure Skating Club will be presenting North Pole on Ice. Mountain Village is very excited to feature local ice skaters who are excited to show off their skills on the ice. The show is set to begin at 6:15 p.m. After our local pros leave the ice, stick around for the “coolest” ice skating party ever – all set to your favorite tunes.

For those who need to get some last-minute Christmas shopping done, Mountain Village merchants are extending discounts and specials to customers until 9 p.m. Shoppers will receive some of the best discounts of the year, along with raffles, giveaways, food and drink specials, and more. And, in the true spirit of giving, Franz Klammer Lodge will host an Angel Baskets Charity Drive for donations and will be offering complimentary treats and beverages in their lodge on Saturday from 1 p.m. 5 p.m.

Lodging and ski packages are available for those who want to extend the holiday fun. For more information, visit http://www.visittelluride.com/holiday-prelude. Events and times subject to change so please check back often.

November Mayor’s Minute

Mayor's Minute

Words by Dan Jansen / Mayor's Minute

Dear neighbors,

I hope you are practicing your best snow dance as the mountains look pretty bare. As we await snow, plenty of work is getting done.

October 20 Meeting Highlights

1 > Town Council discussed putting a ‘story pole’ type structure that will simulate the new cell tower and red light that could be built on Coonskin Ridge. It has been up for several days. Did you see it? Any comments? The light is required by the FAA, so if we want expanded cell coverage, particularly on the mountain, we need to endure the nuisance of the light. At the Intergovernmental Meeting next week, we will hold a worksession on the merits of installing the light permanently, so please share your thoughts.

2 > Mountain Village declared October Domestic Violence Awareness month, which is not only an important issue, but a chance to recognize all of the residents who volunteer to help in these difficult situations.

3 > Town Council received an update from its wayfinding project team and reviewed schematic design options to better improve signage and pedestrian and vehicular flow throughout Mountain Village.

4 > Legal counsel provided a legislative update about what is happening at the state level that impacts our town. There were many interesting changes, but nothing too dramatic.

5 > Town Council appointed, tentatively, Councilmembers Laila Benitez and Dan Caton as Mountain Village representatives to the just passed SMART Board, with Bruce MacIntire as an alternate. Given the strong passage of SMART, all three government representatives have already begun their work.

6 > The Colorado Communities for Climate Action policy statement was approved by Town Council. Mountain Village is one of many small towns across Colorado teaming up to push more action on climate change issues.

7 > Town Council considered a Memorandum of Understanding with the Town of Telluride and San Miguel County, as presented by the Telluride Foundation, to hire an owners’ representative to drive regional workforce housing solutions.

8 > Finally, the usual set of update reports and routine land use matters filled out the agenda.

Just this week a few significant events occurred, notably the election at the federal, state and local levels. I won’t repeat all of the results, but would direct you to the San Miguel County website or media outlets if you have an interest in the local results. Second, the Telluride Hospital District Board chose to withdraw its wetland permit with the Army Corp of Engineers and will again be considering a broader range of sites for a potential new medical facility.

November 17 Agenda Highlights

This month we have many interesting items to tackle.

1 > Staff will present the second wayfinding schematic design draft, which includes additional recommendations based on Town Council and Design Review Board feedback from last month.

2 > Some important quasi-judicial matters will be considered regarding land use, so please review the agenda for the specifics to see if you would like to comment.

3 > Telluride Ski and Golf Company will present its five-year master plan, which they will submit to the U.S. Forest Service.

4 > Finally, in addition to our usual staff and Council reports, the Town Hall Center Subarea Planning Committee will provide an update on their work.

As always, we welcome your comments and please join us online or in-person for our meeting, if you can.

Warm Regards,
Dan Jansen
Mountain Village Mayor

Parkmobile, LLC eases parking with its mobile payments solution in Mountain Village, Colorado

Parkmobile App

Words by Nichole Zangara / Parking

Parkmobile, LLC, the leading provider of on-demand and prepaid mobile payments for on- and off-street parking, announced today the launch of its mobile payments solution in the Town of Mountain Village. Motorists will be able to use the app in three off-street lots throughout the town. Customers can pay to park with their smartphones using Parkmobile’s app for iPhone, Android, and Windows phones, or by calling the toll-free number on the green meter stickers.

“We are continuously researching ways to make parking more convenient and accessible to our residents, guests and commuters,” said Transit Director Jim Loebe. “Parkmobile’s pay by app system will enable our users to bypass the meter as well as extend their parking time remotely, hopefully making for a more pleasant parking experience in Mountain Village.”

Parkmobile’s mobile payments system is very simple and easy to use. Customers first must register by downloading the mobile app in their phone’s app store or online at us.parkmobile.com. Once registered, they may use the mobile app, internet, or the toll-free number listed on signage to pay for parking. After setting up their account, customers can immediately start using the system with their registered mobile phone. Mobile app users may also choose to receive custom alerts and reminders prior to their parking session expiring.

“Parkmobile is excited to bring our service to Mountain Village. Relieving customers of having to carry coins, and instead pay from their phones, makes paying for parking fast and simple, truly enhancing the customer parking experience,” said Jon Ziglar, CEO of Parkmobile, LLC.

Additionally, enforcement officers will be able to see that a motorist has paid with Parkmobile using their wireless handheld devices, so customers should not worry when the meter does not change. Parkmobile’s mobile payment solution is an added payment option and is intended to complement existing parking payment options. All existing forms of payment are still valid for meter use.

With the most widely used mobile parking solution in the country and five million people using Parkmobile’s services over 30 million times per year, Parkmobile is excited to make a difference leveraging our large network of users.

Feedback requested for the red light demonstration on the Ridge

Cell Phone

Words by Nichole Zangara / Communications

For the last five years, many residents and visitors have experienced an interruption in cell phone service, specifically during peak times when the overall destination population increases dramatically. In an effort to combat cell service interruptions, the Telluride Ski & Golf Company (TSG), in association with a tower company, is planning to construct and operate a communications tower which would serve multiple cell carriers and could include equipment for public safety communications in accordance with the approved Mountain Village conditional use permit.

This proposed new lattice communication tower would be located on TSG open space on the Ridge near the top of Station St. Sophia, and next to the existing 90-foot KOTO tower. After obtaining the conditional use permit from the Town of Mountain Village, which does not allow lights on the tower, the tower company learned that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires an eight-inch red light affixed to the tower due to its proximity to the Telluride Regional Airport. In aviation terms, the tower is considered a hazard since it would sit within a certain radius to the airport, so it must be marked appropriately.

But before this new requirement is considered, officials with Mountain Village and San Miguel County have requested a demonstration. Between October 26 and November 7, a temporary story pole standing at 100 feet on the Ridge will include a lighted red light device, satisfying the applicable FAA hazard lighting requirements as to its size and intensity, from dusk to dawn in order to gauge any impacts the light may have on the neighboring communities.

“This tower is about more than communications; it is about the safety of our residents and visitors, which is why Mountain Village Town Council granted TSG the conditional use permit for the tower in August of 2015. This permit included a condition that a light could not be affixed to the tower. Now that it is a requirement of the FAA, TSG informed us for the need to modify their conditional use permit; however, given the impacts and Ridgeline Covenant on this piece of property a lot more information is needed prior to moving forward,” explained Town Manager Kim Montgomery.

Before granting such a modification and after the demonstration period ends, Mountain Village Town Council, Telluride Town Council, and the San Miguel County Board of Commissioners will hold a joint public worksession, date to be determined, to discuss the matter and the findings of the story pole demonstration. San Miguel County enforces the Ridgeline Covenant, which is intended to prevent lighting
or buildings from extending into the Coonskin View Plane where such improvements would be seen from the Town of Telluride and portions of the Telluride Valley. If it is agreed to move forward, TSG will have to apply and go through the public hearing process to amend the conditional use permit to allow the safety light.

To provide comments about the temporary story pole, please email Planning and Development Services Director Glen Van Nimwegen.

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