Significant road work to begin on Highway 145

Road Work Ahead Blog

Words by Special Contributor / Communications, Transportation

The Colorado Department of Transportation and contractor Oldcastle SW Group, Inc., will begin a project next week on CO Highway 145 just northwest (down valley) of Telluride and Mountain Village.

The work, starting on Monday, April 15, 2019, will greatly improve safety for motorists by widening the two-lane highway, adding a southbound, uphill passing lane (toward Telluride) and improving shoulders between mile point (MP) 73.9 at lllium Road (County Road 65L) and MP 75.1 at Deep Creek Road. Passing lanes will provide space and opportunities for faster vehicles to safely pass slower moving traffic. This safety-improvement project was contracted to Oldcastle for $5.4 million.

Crews will excavate the hillside along the northbound lane and widen the roadway to accommodate the new southbound passing lane. The work will involve the following:

  • Construction of a reinforced soil slope and rockery retaining wall
  • Installation of new guardrail
  • Replacement of existing culverts at eight locations across this stretch of improvement from Illium Road to the CDOT Maintenance facility
  • Construction of a concrete box culvert at Deep Creek
  • Super-elevation and crown improvements on the roadway (meaning the roadway’s banked curve will be adjusted and its height will be leveled to improve safety for motorists, by way of cornering ease and increased sight distance)

 

TRAVEL IMPACTS

Through the project’s completion in early December 2019, motorists can expect some single-lane, alternating travel through the work zone, as well as periods of two-way traffic with narrowed, 10-foot lanes. The following are general details regarding travel impacts (for more specific, updated information, please go to the project website, below, and sign up for weekly project emails, or check “road work” on www.cotrip.org):

  • April 15 through early July 2019 – Single-lane, alternating traffic will be directed by flagging personnel from *7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays and special event dates, listed below.
  • Early June through late December 2019 – A 10-foot width restriction will be in place 24/7.
  • Early July through late December 2019 – Single-lane, alternating traffic will be controlled by temporary traffic lights at each end of the work zone, Monday through Friday, from *7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Access onto and off of Ilium Road (CR 65L) and Deep Creek Road will be maintained.
  • Access to the Galloping Goose trail system will be maintained.

(*These start/end times will change with daylight hours – please sign up for weekly project updates or check weekly lane closures on www.cotrip.org.)

 

The following periods of work suspension will be in effect for these holidays and special community events:

  • June 19 through 24 – Telluride Bluegrass Festival
  • July 3 through 5 – Independence Day holiday travel
  • July 12 through 14 – The RIDE Festival
  • August 8 through 11 – Telluride Jazz Festival
  • August 30 through September 2 – Labor Day holiday weekend
  • September 13 through 16 – Telluride Blues & Brews Festival
  • November 27 through 29 – Thanksgiving holiday

Be sure to visit the project’s website for updated information.

Living with coyotes

Coyote

Words by Kathrine Warren / Communications, Environment

The Town of Mountain Village Police Department has been receiving increased reports of coyote sightings throughout Mountain Village and would like to remind residents and visitors of several helpful tips for keeping local coyotes afraid of humans.

Coyote breeding occurs between January and March and pups are born from April to mid-May. People should never approach pups and should be aware that female coyotes are extremely protective of their young.  If you see pups unattended, their parents are not very far away and could become aggressive if they perceive a threat to their young.

Coyotes are inherently afraid of humans, but they can lose their fear. If you encounter a coyote on a trail or ski run and the coyote lingers or begins to approach, “hazing” is appropriate to scare them away. This helps keep the coyote afraid of humans. If they lose their fear, they become more aggressive to pets and begin hunting them. That can include any of the following tactics:

  • Be as loud and big as possible and do not run or turn your back.
  • Wave your arms, clap your hands and shout in an authoritative way.
  • Make noise by banging post or pans.
  • Throw small stones, sticks or tennis balls at them, but remember the intent is to scare them off, not injure them.

Do not allow your pets to roam, especially at night and do not allow dogs to run with coyotes. Don’t leave pet food outside and keep your garbage in a storage facility or tightly sealed container. Keep garbage cans and recycling bins clean with hot water and bleach to reduce residual odors that can attract animals.

 

For more information about living with coyotes, visit the Colorado Parks & Wildlife website.

Mountain Village waives deed-restricted development fees

Deed Restricted Housing Incentive

Words by Kathrine Warren / Communications, Development, Housing

MOUNTAIN VILLAGE, COLO.  (March 13, 2019) – When Adam Miller and his wife Nancy bought a plot of deed-restricted land in Mountain Village’s the Boulders, they knew it would take some time before they would be able to build on it. Working in the construction sector, Miller is all too familiar with the building and permitting process, both of which are costly.  They had begun drafting up plans in 2014 but weren’t able to move forward until this year.

Last fall the Town of Mountain Village announced it would begin waiving both development and building permit fees for all deed-restricted construction projects starting in 2019, dreams of their own home became more attainable.

“This makes a huge difference for us,” Miller said. Both Miller and his wife, Nancy, are firefighters and are raising two young kids, and he said the fee waiver encouraged them to start drawing up architectural plans for their future home. “The whole process has been easy, and hopefully we can continue to find ways for people to live here.”

They expect to begin building this spring.

Last October the Town of Mountain Village Town Council unanimously voted to waive all planning, development and building permit fees for deed-restricted housing units effective Jan. 1, 2019. Deed-restricted workforce housing gives local workers and their families the ability to rent and own homes at below-market rates.

Michelle Haynes, planning and development services director states, “Planning and building permit activity for deed-restricted housing has been minimal compared to free market activity over the past few years.”

“We are excited about Town Council’s commitment to waiving development fees regarding existing and new deed-restricted construction,” Haynes continued. “We hope this will encourage new deed restricted construction, as well as incentivize those that have existing deed-restricted units to upkeep and maintain their units. Money that would have otherwise paid town development fees, can now be used to pay for labor and materials to improve and maintain our deed-restricted inventory.”

By waiving town fees, the town sought to encourage owners of deed-restricted units to maintain existing units and offer greater financial incentive to construct deed-restricted units on remaining deed-restricted properties.

“Mountain Village had some current incentives in place such as waiving the road impact fee and reduced water and sewer tap fees,” Haynes said. “However, after a review of the existing fee schedule, Haynes stated, “we felt we could do more, and the Town Council unanimously supported this direction.”

“The town is actively working to construct additional workforce housing and we’re looking forward to an additional 49-units coming online with the upcoming VCA expansion. Despite this investment, we are acutely aware of the need for more affordable housing and wanted to do whatever we could to support the generation of more affordable workforce housing construction,” said Mountain Village Mayor Laila Benitez.

“There are still quite a few deed-restricted lots available in Mountain Village. If waiving building and planning fees allows us to provide a home for even one additional family then I will be thrilled with the outcome of this program,” Benitez added.

The Town of Mountain Village has 539 built units dedicated to both deed-restricted and workforce housing which consists of roughly 47 percent of San Miguel County’s affordable housing inventory.

For program information, please email our planning department or call 970.369.8242.

Town of Mountain Village Continues Stage 2 Fire Restrictions

Fire Restrictions Blog

Words by Bill Kight / Communications, Emergency Preparedness

On Thursday, June 14, Mountain Village Town Council approved a motion to continue a fire restriction ordinance implementing a ban on open fires and fireworks and restricting smoking within the Town of Mountain Village. In conjunction with San Miguel County, Town of Telluride, Telluride Fire Protection District, Norwood Fire Protection District, and Egnar Fire Protection District, the Town of Mountain Village remains under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions effective immediately due to exceptional drought conditions and fire danger in the region.

Police Chief Chris Broady stressed, “We don’t perceive any imminent risk to the public for either Town of Mountain Village or the Town of Telluride.” “However, Fire danger is unusually high for both our towns and neighboring counties and ask that our residents, please be aware, be ready, and be prepared. Everyone needs to know, understand, and obey all fire restrictions, including our visiting guests.”

Under town ordinance No. 02-04 § 2 of the Town of Mountain Village Municipal Code, the following shall apply to all open fires within the incorporated limits of the Town, as further specified herein, but shall not apply to approved, permanent gas fireplace locations within a residential or commercial building:

  1. Building, maintaining, attending or using any fire to burn trash, debris, or vegetation, any campfire, warming fire, and charcoal, paper or wood grills;
  2. Smoking; except within an enclosed vehicle or building or an area at least three (3) feet in diameter cleared of all flammable material; on any paved hardscape areas; and all smoking debris shall be disposed of properly in an enclosed container;
  3. Fireworks of any kind;
  4. Operation of a chainsaw or a chop saw for cutting steel without USDA or SAE approved spark arresting devise property installed and in effective working order, and a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than eight (8) ounces capacity by weight, and one size zero (0) or larger round pointed shovel with an overall length of at least thirty-six (36) inches. The extinguisher shall be with the chainsaw operator. The shovel may be kept with the fueling supplies but readily available for quick use;
  5. Welding or operating acetylene or any other torch with an open flame; except within an area that is barren or cleared of all flammable material at least ten (10) feet on all sides from the equipment;
  6. Using explosives requiring fuses or blasting caps.

Permitted actions include:

  • Any fires contained within liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves and fireplaces;
  • Operating a stove, lantern, or other device fueled by liquid petroleum or bottled fuel equipped with a valve that allows the operator to turn the flame on and off.
  • Operating an internal or external combustion engine with a properly installed and maintained spark-arresting device in effective working order.

This Order shall remain in effect for 30 days unless adopted by Resolution by the Mountain Village Town Council.

Ouray, Montrose, and Delta counties are currently under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions. La Plata and San Juan counties are under Stage 3 Fire Restrictions.

Please be advised U.S. Forest Service-Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre & Gunnison National Forests (except Grand Mesa) National Forest areas have also declared Stage 2 Fire Restrictions. Please visit, westslopefireinfo.com to stay informed on regional fire restrictions and preparedness info.

For information on current conditions, fire restrictions for the Town of Mountain Village and emergency preparedness and evacuation information, please visit townofmountainvillage.com/current-conditions.

Below are various options to stay informed and to receive updates and emergency notifications for the region:

Stay informed and connect with Mountain Village:

 

Mountain Village Media Contact and Public Information Officer
Bill Kight
(970) 369.6430 (o)
(970) 729.2179 (c)
[email protected]
https://www.linkedin.com/in/billkight

ABOUT MOUNTAIN VILLAGE
Situated in the heart of the breathtaking San Juan Mountains, Mountain Village was incorporated in 1995 as a home rule municipality.  Its founders envisioned a European-style ski-in/ski-out, pedestrian-friendly destination resort that would complement the historic mining town of Telluride. A three-stage gondola transportation system connects the Town of Mountain Village with the Town of Telluride. Situated at 9,500 feet, Mountain Village is comparably a world apart from other resorts: it is innately spectacular, beautifully orchestrated and planned, and overflowing with style, charm and sophistication. For more information, please visit us on the Web at townofmountainvillage.com.

ABOUT SAN MIGUEL SHERIFF’S OFFICE
The San Miguel Sheriff’s Office, located in Telluride, Colorado and established in 1883, serves 7,800 residents and countless visitors across the 1,288 square miles of San Miguel County. Sheriff Bill Masters has been serving as the county’s elected Sheriff since 1980. For more information, please visit us on the Web at sanmiguelcountyco.gov.

ABOUT U.S. FOREST SERVICE GRAND MESA, UNCOMPAHGRE & GUNNISON NATIONAL FORESTS
For information on prescribed burns, wildfires and fire restrictions on National Forest System lands and other areas, call the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests Fire Information line at 970.874.6602, or 970.765.8563, visit the GMUG Forest website (www.fs.usda.gov/gmug); Twitter https://twitter.com/GMUG_NF (#GMUGNF);  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GMUG.NF/

The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre & Gunnison National Forests manage approximately 3 million acres of land in Southwest Colorado within Delta, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray, Saguache, San Juan and San Miguel counties.

May Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Communications, Government, Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

Below are some Town Council meeting highlights from last month and some upcoming topics, but first please read a quick note about our water conservation measures. As always, I hope you can join us for tomorrow’s meeting or consider sharing your feedback with us about any of these matters.

  • Quick note: Due to extreme drought conditions throughout southwest Colorado, last month Town Council approved initiating water conservation measures beginning on May 1. As of April 9, San Miguel County 34% of average snowpack, and due to an unseasonably dry and warm spring the average snowpack was at 21% as of May 4. On May 10, our region was classified as “Exceptional Drought,” which is the highest level of drought classifications issued by the National Weather Service. To illustrate how extreme these conditions are, our neighboring county in Montrose was classified this month as a natural disaster area due to crop losses and damages caused by this drought. These extreme drought conditions impact not only us but our neighbors downstream in the Norwood area and beyond, who hold more senior water rights than ours.The last time our region was in a drought of this nature was in 2002. In 2002, a call was placed on the San Miguel River on June 21 and extended through October 31; however, the San Miguel River never dropped below 6.5 cubic feet per second at the Mahoney Street Bridge, which is a crucial threshold. However, this spring the in-stream river flows are running lower than they were in 2002, during the same period. When a call is placed on the San Miguel River it means junior water rights must cease diverting/using water in order to supply senior water rights in the Norwood area, which impacts the town’s ability to use its water supply fully. While the town has good water rights that are not junior to many other water users, there are water rights on the San Miguel River that are senior to the town’s rights.Per the town’s water rights and in-stream flow requirements, should the San Miguel River flow drop below 6.5 cubic feet per second at the Mahoney Street Bridge, further water restrictions will be necessary and required. The town’s current water restrictions are geared towards avoiding a call on the river from neighbors with senior water rights. Also, if the region experiences a significant increase in moisture the town may rescind its water conservation efforts. We appreciate your patience, as this is a very real issue the town is facing, and we will continue to keep you up-to-date as the situation evolves.

April 26 Agenda Topics

  • After months of direct negotiation between principal-designated representatives from Lot 161C-R, The Ridge HOA, The Ridge Club, some of The Ridge owners, and the town, Town Council approved a term sheet regarding settlement of the 161C-R and Ridge at Telluride ongoing litigation.
  • Town Council approved the use of action minutes as the official record of all Town Council meetings. Action minutes will be compromised of an objective record of motions, votes, and names of speakers during public comment and/or public hearings without a summary of some discussions, as was previously found in narrative minutes. The town will continue to record and retain all Town Council meetings via video and audio.
  • We approved the following Green Team Committee initiatives: calculation of an updated Town of Mountain Village Greenhouse Gas Inventory, development of a Compost Incentive Program, and launch of a Farm to Community Pilot Program.
  • The Town Hall and Village Center Subarea Committee provided their monthly update. The Village Center Subarea Committee is currently made up of two members each from the town, Telluride Mountain Village Owner’s Association (TMVOA), and Telluride Ski & Golf (TSG); the committee updated Council that they will be adding one lodging and one merchant member to their team, as well.
  • Town Council discussed Trails Master Plan, which is focused on reviewing trails in and around the existing town network, evaluating the feasibility of proposed trails identified in the Mountain Village Comprehensive Plan, and providing further recommendations for future trails based on the community’s vision and goals.

If you would like more specifics about any of these topics, you can review minutes from the meeting or watch the video at the town website.

May 17 Agenda Topics

  • We will receive an update on the Telluride Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Master Plan (TRWWTP) regarding the ongoing and future major upgrades to the plant located at Lawson Hill. The two primary goals of the plan are upgrading facilities to comply with new federal treatment and outflow standards and increasing capacity to manage current and future demand.
  • Over the years, Town Council has adopted a public comment policy through the Rules of Conduct of Public Meetings Policy but has not strictly followed nor publicized this public comment policy. This worksession will provide an opportunity for us all to discuss best practices in adopting and implementing an open, fair, and robust  public comment policy.
  • As part of our annual budgeting process, we will have a worksession to help establish and refine the budget goals for projects, programs, and infrastructure in 2019. The Finance Committee and town staff will use this direction as they draft the 2019 budget.
  • Town Council will hear on first reading a Community Development Code (CDC) amendment regarding Village Center roofing requirements. Due to the unavailability of the original burnt sienna concrete tiles, the proposed amendment would allow for more permitted materials in the Village Center.
  • Lastly, the Town Hall and Village Center Subarea Committee will be providing their monthly update and Marketing Telluride Inc (MTI) will present their quarterly report.

A full agenda has been posted on our website; we welcome your input and hope to see you at the meeting.

Reminder: Beginning June 5, I will be hosting monthly walks on the first Tuesday of every month. I’m looking forward to this opportunity for us to talk about current events and projects in our community. Stay tuned for more info.

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

Areas Affected By Town of Mountain Village Broadband and Cable Outage

Outage

Words by Bill Kight / Communications, Utilities

Town of Mountain Village is currently experiencing a broadband and cable outage due to a damaged fiber optic cable line on Adams Ranch Road. The outage is affecting approximately 200 modems west of the Mountain Lodge and Ski Area. The areas affected include Mountain Village Town Hall, Trails Edge, Elkstone Place, Village Court Apartments (VCA), Lower Benchmark, Larkspur Lane and Victoria Drive. The outage is expected to last through tomorrow morning, July 12 while crews replace the fiber optic line.

Mountain Village Town Hall and the Police Department phone and internet systems are affected by this outage and are currently down. Offices remain open at Town Hall and the Police Department during normal business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For a staff directory please visit: townofmountainvillage.com/staff.

“Crews will be working through the evening to restore service in the affected areas,” said Marketing and Business Development Director Bill Kight. “Residents can expect service to be restored by Wednesday, July 12.”

For routine public safety calls, please contact the Mountain Village Police Department dispatch center at (970) 249-9110. In cases of emergency, contact 911 and ‘call if you can, text if you must’.

For questions, please contact Marketing and Business Development Director Bill Kight at (970) 729-2179 or our broadband and cable customer service personnel at (970) 369-0555.

Real-time updates are posted on the town’s social media channels at Facebook and Twitter while crews work on mitigating the problem.

Thank you for your patience, and we’re sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.

 

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.