Temporary moratorium on subdividing single-family lots passes

Planning Applications

Words by Nichole Zangara / Development

Mountain Village Town Council passed an emergency ordinance imposing a temporary moratorium at its April meeting which prohibits any applicant who wants to add additional lots and transfer additional density on lots zoned single-family residential pursuant to Section 17.3.4(F)(4) of the Community Development Code. With one absent, five of the six councilmembers voted in favor of the moratorium, which went into effect immediately and is set to expire August 1, 2016.

In recent months, Mountain Village residents and property owners have expressed their concern about a land use law that gives any property owner the ability to subdivide single-family lots within town limits. Due to the volume at which concerns were expressed, Town Council voted to pass the moratorium so they could, as elected officials, engage in conversations with constituents and understand their concerns without the possibility of an application being submitted. A pending application limits Town Council’s ability to discuss any relative issues regarding an application since councilmembers are not allowed to have any ex-parte communications.

According to town officials, the temporary moratorium does not prohibit one from submitting a minor subdivision application, such as lot line vacation and lot line adjustments, a PUD application on lots zoned anything other than single-family residential, or any other development application which is permissible pursuant to the Community Development Code. Moreover, the moratorium does not determine the outcome of Town Council’s deliberations into the issues raised by residents and property owners. It simply gives Council the ability to educate, listen and make an informed decision.

The concerns raised by residents and property owners stem from a 2015 amendment to the Community Development Code related to Section 17.3.4(F)(4), in which the amendment itself didn’t give the ability to subdivide single-family lots, but rather clarified the previous language and refined the process required to accomplish such a subdivision. Therefore, Town Council will examine this language along with previous language in both the Community Development Code and its predecessor, the Land Use Ordinance, which also allowed for the subdivision of single-family lots, along with surveying other similarly situated communities during the period afforded by the moratorium.

Corps provides wetland application update to Hospital District; final decision is pending

Telluride Medical Center

Words by Special Contributor / Development

The Telluride Hospital District (THD) and the Town of Mountain Village released today update on an application filed with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) concerning a pending Individual Permit to allow the THD to impact wetlands on a parcel of land located next to Mountain Village Town Hall and the Gondola Parking Garage, which THD acquired from the Town of Mountain Village in June, 2015.

The request was to impact and mitigate 0.44 acres of wetlands located on the site. The site would accommodate a new expanded Critical Access Hospital (CAH), designed by the THD to serve the growing population and expanding needs of the Telluride region, which needs are currently underserved given the limitations attributable to the existing aging 9800 sf facility located in the Town of Telluride, which lacks opportunities for sufficient updates and expansions to meet the current and future healthcare needs of the community.

Since 2006, THD, recognizing the space limitations in the existing facility, embarked on process to identify a new site to construct and operate a new, replacement hospital. The process led to the identification of some 22 potential sites that THD determined merited further evaluation for the possible acquisition and siting of the new hospital. THD reached out to the owners of these parcels and encouraged each owner to submit a proposal to THD if their parcel was available to THD for the development and operation of the facility. THD received firm proposals from three owners proposing a transaction with the THD for their respective site. After studying the sites, THD determined that the site owned by the Town of Mountain Village was the only viable site, based upon cost considerations; access to parking and public transportation, applicable land use provisions and similar considerations.

The Town of Mountain Village initially submitted the wetlands permit application for this site in February 2015 and later modified it in July 2015 to facilitate the development of the CAH. Since closing on the Mountain Village parcel in June 2015, THD has been pursuing the wetland permit. Since July 2015, the THD and the Town have responded to questions and provided additional information to the Corps in response to questions and comments raised by the Corps, sister agencies and the public, which made for a clear, detailed record for the Corps to consider and evaluate in making a decision on the wetland permit.

The Corps follows a sequential process in reviewing and acting on a wetland permit. One element of the review is a determination by the Corps clarifying there are not practical alternatives that THD could pursue in connection with the development of the CAH that would avoid impacts to wetlands and allow THD to meet its development goals and objectives.

The Corps advised the THD, in correspondence dated April 19, 2016, “the Corps has determined that the overall project purpose is to construct an expanded medical center facility that will meet the requirements of a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) compliant facility to serve the Telluride Region. The Corps assessed the alternative analysis information you provided in light of the overall project purpose and it appears that at this point there is no other practical alternative location to achieve the overall project purpose.” [See the Corps letter attached.]

With this determination, THD will now proceed with other elements of the wetland permit review process.

THD Board President Larry Mallard commenting on the Corps response said, “I’m pleased to see the US Army Corps of Engineers confirm our belief that ‘it appears that at this point there are no other practical alternative locations.’ We will ask our consultants to diligently follow up with providing information, such as a final wetland mitigation plan to the Corp, to enable it to continue and complete its evaluation of the pending wetland permit.”

Mayor Dan Jansen commented “this is a sequential process and this letter represents an important milepost within the much broader process. We understand there are more steps to come and know the Army Corps is looking for additional information that I’m certain THD will provide in a timely manner.”

Task Force to review initial medical center site plans at a two-day design charrette session

Telluride Medical Center

Words by Nichole Zangara / Development

The Town of Mountain Village is hosting two design charrette sessions to evaluate the initial site plans for the new regional medical center development project. The Telluride Hospital District (THD) Board is proposing to build a 25,000-square-foot medical facility between Mountain Village Town Hall and the Gondola Parking Garage. If financially feasible, this facility may include a second floor, which could house allied health offices in the short-term and serve as an expanded medical center in the long-term. Town Council unanimously agreed to convey roughly a one-acre parcel to the THD in January at di minimis cost. According to Mountain Village Mayor Dan Jansen, the town is excited that the process can shift from site selection to more critical issues.

“While the site selection step was important, the process is now moving into the critical issues of developing the best medical facility, doing so in a fiscally responsible manner, and providing a broader range of services quickly for our communities,” Jansen said.

The proposed medical center is envisioned in the Mountain Village Comprehensive Plan, and due to its location – it falls within the Town Hall Center Subarea Plan – THD representatives will present site-specific development plans to the Town Hall Center Subarea Task Force and members of the public March 31 and April 1.

“The Task Force was created as a condition when the town rezoned several properties within the Town Hall Center Subarea to civic uses. A medical center falls under civic use,” Hawkins explained. “The main responsibility of the Task Force is to review site-specific plans within this subarea in order to ensure that all concerns voiced by surrounding neighbors are considered prior to formal review. During the medical center design charrette sessions, the THD’s architectural firm, Mahlum Architects, will present initial site plans for purposes of obtaining input from the Task Force. Subsequently, the Task Force will provide a non-binding recommendation to the Design Review Board and Town Council.”

The Task Force was formed by way of Town Council appointment in January, and is comprised of four homeowner association representatives from surrounding developments, one Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association Board member, one Town of Mountain Village representative, one Comprehensive Plan Task Force member, and two at large community members. This will be the third time the Task Force will convene formally. This past month the Task Force reviewed The Lofts at Mountain Village development proposal.

Both design charrette sessions will be take place in the conference room in Mountain Village Town Hall on March 31 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and April 1 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The public is invited to attend these meetings in person or watch online at townofmountainvillage.com/video.

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