October Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

Below are some Town Council meeting highlights from last month and some upcoming topics. As always, I hope you can join us for tomorrow’s meeting or consider sharing your feedback with us about any of these matters.

Last week, Town Council convened for the annual special Town Council meeting focused on the 2020 budget. The all-day budget meeting allows council members and staff to review the details of each department’s budget, receive the Grant Committee’s recommendations, and discuss upcoming capital improvement projects. A first glance and deeper dive of the budget can be found at http://bit.ly/MV2020Budget using the OpenGov Portal. You can also access this tool to take an in-depth review of the town’s past financial reporting, budgeting, and expenses. Stay tuned for a more in-depth email dedicated solely to the 2020 budget, once the budget has been approved.

September 19  Meeting Highlights:

  • Town Council continued discussing the potential 49-unit expansion of Village Court Apartments (VCA). Specifically, we explored whether the proposed project is designed as a rental or for-sale development. As a brief recap, of the 1,203 occupied affordable housing units in San Miguel County, 539 or 44.8%, are in Mountain Village; however, only 120 of those units, or 22%, are owner-occupied deed-restricted housing. The last for-sale affordable housing development developed by the town in Mountain Village was the Coyote Court development in 2005. As we continue to explore options as part of our due diligence, we will need to examine financing options, complete a market analysis, conduct a local survey of residents and business owners, and draft a developed project proforma. While all of us would prefer a project with a more expedited timeline, there is a fiduciary and community responsibility to consider all our current housing development options. Additionally, we are sensitive that our decisions today impact not only this project but the available options and resources to fund future community housing needs.
  • Town Council voted to approve on first reading an amendment to the Community Development Code (CDC) clarifying the definition of Efficiency Lodge units, a zoning designation comparable to what is commonly called a “Hotel Room” – a single room with a bathroom. Council aligned our definition of “Short-Term Accommodation” to the CDC that is consistent with our Municipal Code and Colorado State Sales Tax laws. These clarifications were drafted to ensure that properties zoned to function as short-term hotel rooms or “hot-beds” are not used as a primary residence. Lodge and condominium units, which are sized and equipped for longer-term use, can still be used without stay limitations.
  • As part of our region’s ongoing effort to meet new and updating wastewater treatment regulations, Mountain Village is beginning a one-year pilot project to add a phosphate blend to our drinking water system in order to help reduce copper levels at the Telluride Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). Mildly corrosive water and copper-containing infrastructure in both the Mountain Village and the Town of Telluride influent flows are thought to be substantial contributors to high copper levels at the WWTP. We will be reviewing this pilot program in six months to gauge the project’s efficacy and any unintended impacts.
  • Last month, Town Council appointed Michael Doherty to the Mountain Village Business Development Advisory Committee and Cath Jett and Michael Fallon to the Green Team Committee. On behalf of Town Council, thank you to everyone who volunteered and those who were appointed.

If you would like more specifics about these topics, you can watch a video of last month’s meeting on the town’s website. September meeting minutes will be posted online after they are approved at tomorrow’s meeting.

October 17 Agenda Topics:

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

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

September Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

Below are some Town Council meeting highlights from last month and some upcoming topics. As always, I hope you can join us for tomorrow’s meeting or consider sharing your feedback with us about any of these matters.

August 15 Meeting Highlights:

  • Town Council appointed Richard Child and Michael Rosenfeld to the Ethics Commission; Liz Caton to the Mountain Village Community Grant Committee; and Sherri Reeder and Garrett Brafford to the Mountain Village Business Development Advisory Committee. On behalf of Town Council, I would like to thank everyone who volunteered and those who were appointed.
  • We reviewed a number of safety enhancement options to help make biking and walking along Lower San Joaquin Road, Mountain Village Boulevard, and Upper Country Club Drive safer and easier. These three roads were selected based on public feedback, traffic conditions, and Town Council’s concerns about bikes and pedestrians through these corridors. One or more of these road enhancements will be considered for inclusion in the 2020 budget with construction beginning as early as next summer.
  •  Lastly, we heard an update on the Village Center Pond Dredging Project, which is scheduled to begin next month in order to improve the health and overall appearance of the pond area.

If you would like more specifics about any of these topics, you can watch a video of last month’s meeting on the town’s website. August’s meeting minutes will be posted online after they are approved at tomorrow’s meeting.

September 19 Agenda Topics:

  • Town Council will hold a work session to review the first draft of the 2020 budget. A few of our goals and key capital expenditures being considered include:
    • Maintain town reserves at or above the 35% and continue to pay down debt when feasible
    • Forecast sales tax revenue growth conservatively at 4% and project a flat forecast in property tax revenue
    • Maintain town infrastructure to a high standard of repair and condition, including trails and necessary improvements for safe pedestrian travel in Mountain Village
    • Continue planning for the financial impact of the wastewater treatment plant upgrade and expansion, including a potential increase of 10% to town water and sewer customer rates
    • Complete the major upgrade of our broadband network infrastructure that will allow us to offer improved 1G fiber services to every home. Engineering, design, and initial construction began this year; the project is estimated to be completed by end of year 2020.
    • Implement a cybersecurity plan based on the 2018 consulting study findings
    • Continue to explore the expansion of Village Court Apartments
    • Consider a 3% merit-based compensation adjustment for town staff
    • Increase available grant funds from $130,000 to $150,000 annually
    • Consider expansion and renovation of the town municipal building in the Meadows neighborhood
  • We will continue discussing the potential 49-unit expansion of Village Court Apartments (VCA). Specifically, we will explore whether the proposed project is designed as a rental or for-sale development and we will review the latest cost estimates and timeline.
  • Town Council will vote on first reading of an amendment to the Community Development Code (CDC) to clarify the definition of Efficiency Lodge units, and other hotel zoning designations. Efficiency Lodge is a zoning designation comparable to what is commonly called a “Hotel Room” – a single room with a bathroom. Council will consider adding an additional definition of “Short-Term Accommodation” to the CDC that is consistent with our Municipal Code and Colorado State Sales Tax laws. Council will also consider adding a provision that would allow these units to be used by the owner for up to 90 days in a calendar year, provided the unit is enrolled in a rental pool. These clarifications are being proposed to ensure that properties zoned to function as short-term hotel rooms or “hot-beds” are not used as a primary residence. Lodge and condominium units, which are sized and equipped for longer-term use, can still be used without stay limitations.
  • Town Council will consider a pilot project to add a phosphate blend to our drinking water system in order to help reduce copper levels at the Telluride Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). Mildly corrosive water and copper-containing infrastructure in both the Mountain Village and the Town of Telluride influent flows are thought to be substantial contributors to high copper levels at the WWTP.
  • We will consider changes to the Plaza Vending Committee Rules and Regulations to allow the committee flexibility and the ability to approve additional offerings to the existing vending regulations. These changes are aimed at enhancing the resident and guest experience in the plaza while bringing additional vitality to the Village Center.
  • Lastly, Town Council will appoint one member to the Mountain Village Business Development Advisory Committee and two members to the Green Team Committee.

A full packet and agenda have been posted online; we welcome your input and hope to see you at the meeting.

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

August Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

Below are some Town Council meeting highlights from last month and some upcoming topics. As always, I hope you can join us for tomorrow’s meeting or consider sharing your feedback with us about any of these matters.

Last month, the four newly elected Town Council members: Dan Caton, Peter Duprey, Marti Prohaska, and I were sworn into office. Town Council next voted to elect Dan Caton to the position of Mayor Pro Tem and me to the role of Mayor for the next two-year term.

July 18 Agenda Topics:

  • Town Council made three appointments to the Telluride Regional Airport Authority (TRAA) Board: Richard Child was appointed to fulfill the remainder of Jon Dwight’s recently vacated term, Larry Crosby was as a regular member, and Tom Richards was appointed as the alternate. On behalf of Town Council, I would like to sincerely thank Jon Dwight for significant service on this key regional organization.
  • Alta Planning + Design presented a draft of the Trails’ Master Plan. This plan has been an ongoing project since last spring to update, refine, and expand upon the open space and recreation vision of the 2011 Comprehensive Plan. The plan still needs to undergo a priority analysis to determine which trails are most needed to improve safety, trail conditions, and user conflicts. We will review the estimated costs for trail construction and maintenance and available funding options later this year.
  • Town Council held a conceptual work session to discuss the proposed La Montagne development, historically referred to as the Rosewood. After a presentation from the applicant and hearing public comment, Council determined it was in the best interest of the community not to revoke the PUD and existing site-specific development plan from the properties. Historical information about these lots and the now-expired PUD are available for review here.

If you would like more specifics about any of these topics, you can watch a video of last month’s meeting on the town’s website. July’s meeting minutes will be posted online after they are approved at tomorrow’s meeting.

August 15 Agenda Topics:

  • Town Council will make appointments to the Ethics Commission, Mountain Village Community Grant Committee, and the Mountain Village Business Development Advisory Committee.
  • Council will hold a public hearing and vote on the second reading of an ordinance considering a density transfer, rezone, and height variance for the 49-unit expansion of the Village Court Apartments. Preliminary plans call for breaking ground on the affordable housing project later this year with funding through a revenue loan, paid for by the collected VCA rents and dedicated funding from the Mountain Village Affordable Housing Fund.
  • We will hear on first reading and vote on an ordinance regarding a request to convert a portion of a commercial unit, located at 98 Aspen Ridge, to an employee apartment.
  • Town Council will consider a number of safety enhancement options to help make biking and walking along Lower San Joaquin Road, Mountain Village Boulevard, and Upper Country Club Drive safer and easier. These three roads were selected based on public feedback, traffic conditions, and Town Council’s concerns about bikes and pedestrians through these corridors. If we decide to move forward with one or more of these enhancements, they would be considered for inclusion in the 2020 budget with construction beginning as early as next summer.
  • Town Council will also hold a work session to discuss efficiency lodge units, including background information on density limitations, zoning designations and specifically efficiency lodge units.  The Council will discuss and give direction to staff on next steps which include available options for owners and possible amendments to the Community Development Code (CDC) to clarify the definition and permitted uses of Efficiency Lodge units. Efficiency Lodge is a zoning designation comparable to what is commonly called a Hotel Room – a single room with a bathroom and limited kitchen facilities, primarily used for short-term accommodations. These CDC clarifications are being discussed to ensure that properties that were zoned to function as hotel rooms or “hot-beds”, are used as intended and allowed under current zoning.
  • Lastly, we will hear an update on the Village Center Pond Dredging Project. The Village Center Pond dredging is scheduled to begin this October in order to improve the health and overall appearance of the pond area. While we waited to move forward on this project, the town and TMVOA had concurrently been working with a landscape architect to determine what additional improvements could be made to the pond in conjunction with the dredging project. However, we recently learned that the Army Corps and EPA have determined that they are not willing to consider any additional work within the scope of our existing pond dredging permit, at this time. Once the project is complete, they will consider allowing additional improvements.

A full packet and agenda have been posted online; we welcome your input and hope to see you at the meeting.

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

July Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

Below are some Town Council meeting highlights from last month and some upcoming topics. As always, I hope you can join us for tomorrow’s meeting or consider sharing your feedback with us about any of these matters.

June 13 Meeting Highlights:

If you would like more specifics about any of these topics, you can watch a video of last month’s meeting on the town’s website. June’s meeting minutes will be posted online after they are approved at tomorrow’s meeting.

July 18 Agenda Topics:

  • First, the Town of Mountain Village will swear into office our four newly elected Town Council members: Dan Caton, Peter Duprey, Marti Prohaska, and me. Town Council will then vote to elect a Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem to serve the next two-year term. With the new team in place, Council will work together to assign roles for the various boards and commissions on which we serve.
  • Town Council will make three appointments to the Telluride Regional Airport Authority (TRAA): one resident to replace and serve the remainder of Jon Dwight’s recently vacated term and one regular seat and one alternate seat, each for four-year terms. On behalf of Town Council, I would like to sincerely thank Jon Dwight for his significant service on behalf of our community to this key regional organization.
  • The Green Team will present their quarterly report and offer for consideration the adoption of an initiative calling for a voluntary single-use plastics reduction (i.e. plastic straws, cutlery, to-go containers) for all grocers, lodgers, restaurants, and merchants. It is currently not legal to ban plastic products in the State of Colorado; however, the Green Team is proposing an effective and legal alternative to a mandatory ban that can still help us to reduce our use of single-use plastic products and replace these products with reusable and compostable alternatives. Additionally, the Green Team is working to identify options and locations to make composting locally a reality.
  • Council will hear and vote on the first reading of an ordinance considering a density transfer, rezone, and height variance for the 49-unit expansion of the Village Court Apartments. Preliminary plans call for breaking ground on the affordable housing project later this year with funding through a revenue loan, paid for by the collected VCA rents and dedicated funding from the Mountain Village Affordable Housing Fund.
  • On the tech front, we will consider for approval a number of items related to the upcoming 1G fiber construction project, which will allow us to provide high-speed internet services to every home and business in Mountain Village. Engineering, design, and initial construction has begun; the first phase of the project is estimated to be completed by the first quarter of 2020.
  • Town Council will hold a conceptual work session to discuss the proposed La Montagne, historically referred to as the Rosewood, Planned Use Development (PUD) rescission, density transfer, and rezone on Lots 126R and 152R and preliminary design review for the proposed Lot 152R development. The PUD rescission and revocation are a request to remove the existing site-specific development plan from the properties. The design, density, and zoning of the properties will be discussed but no application or approvals are being considered at this time. Historical information about these lots and the now-expired PUD are available for review here.
  • We will consider a pilot project to add a phosphate blend to our drinking water system in order to help reduce copper levels at the Telluride Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (TRWWTP). Mildly corrosive water and copper-containing infrastructure in both the Mountain Village and the Town of Telluride influent flows are thought to be substantial contributors to the copper levels at the TRWWTP.
  • Lastly, Alta Planning + Design will present a draft of the Trails’ Master Plan. This plan has been an ongoing project since last spring to update, refine, and expand upon the open space and recreation vision of the 2011 Comprehensive Plan. Alta Planning + Design conducted a series of stakeholder meetings, public events, online surveys, and a thorough review of the entire Mountain Village trail system. They will be presenting an analysis of our current transportation and recreation trail system and an assessment of trail conditions, user conflicts, an analysis of trail connectivity, opportunities to expand the network by identifying specific trail segments, and estimated costs for trail construction and maintenance.

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

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

June Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

Below are some Town Council meeting highlights from last month and some upcoming topics. 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 reminder: Election Day is June 25. All ballots must be received either by mail or in person to Town Hall by 7 p.m. on June 25. On Election Day, the polling place at Town Hall will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Please contact the Town Clerk’s office at (970)369-6406 or via email for any questions.

May 16 Meeting Highlights:

  • As part of our annual budgeting process, we held a work session last month to establish and refine the budget goals for projects, programs, and infrastructure in 2020, as the Finance Committee and Finance Department draft the 2020 budget. The following goals were proposed:
    • Maintain town reserves at or above the 35% and continue to pay down debt when feasible.
    • Forecast sales tax revenue growth conservatively at 4% in anticipation of the expected impact of the Gallagher Amendment on residential property valuation and a projected flat forecast in property tax revenue.
    • Maintain town infrastructure to a high standard of repair and condition, including trails and necessary improvements for safe pedestrian and bike travel in Mountain Village.
    • Continue to plan for the financial impact of the wastewater treatment plant upgrade and expansion. This includes a potential increase of 5-10% to the town water and sewer utility customer rates.
    • Complete the major upgrade of our Broadband network infrastructure that will allow us to offer improved 1G fiber services to every home. Engineering, design, and initial construction began this year; the project is estimated to be completed by the end of 2020.
    • Implement a cybersecurity plan to be developed from the 2018 consulting study.
    • Complete expansion of Village Court Apartments.
    • Increase available grant funds from $130,000 to $150,000 annually.
    • Address the Public Works Department’s need for expansion and improvement of the town shops.
  • We voted to approve on first reading an ordinance amending our Community Development Code (CDC) residential lighting regulations. These proposed changes are being considered to better balance our need for residential outdoor illumination that allows us to enjoy our homes while minimizing unintended negative impacts to neighbors and the surrounding community. There will be a public hearing and second vote on the lighting regulations at this week’s meeting.
  • We voted to approve a density transfer and rezone for the expansion area of Elkstone on Lot 600A, an increase of two condominium units and six person-equivalents of density. One of the conditions of approval was the new project must allow for the future construction and use of the Elk Pond Loop Trail, as envisioned in the Town of Mountain Village Trails Master Plan.
  • Town Council appointed Adam Miller to the Design Review Board (DRB) to fill the seat recently vacated by Luke Trujillo.
  • Last month was outgoing Council Member Dan Jansen’s last meeting. Town Council thanked Dan for his eight years on Town Council, four years serving as Mayor. His energy, commitment, and service to our community will be greatly missed.
  • Lastly, the Telluride Tourism Board, Colorado Flights Alliance, and Gondola Subcommittee provided their quarterly reports.

If you would like more specifics about any of these topics, you can watch a video of last month’s meeting on the town’s website. May’s meeting minutes will be posted online after they are approved at tomorrow’s meeting.

June 13 Agenda Topics

  • Town Council will consider authorizing of the sale of two deed-restricted units at Cassidy Ridge and Castellina. One unit will be sold to a Town of Mountain Village employee and the other unit will be sold to a long-time employee within the Mountain Village.
  • There will be a public hearing and second vote on an amendment to the CDC to allow for staff-level review instead of DRB review of roof repair and replacement applications using synthetic roof materials. This change should streamline and ease the process for property owners interested in replacing the cedar shake shingles with more fire-resistant materials as part of the Cedar Shake Incentive Fire Mitigation Program.
  • We will publicly thank and present Town Council Member Bruce MacIntire with a Service Award in gratitude for his four years of service on Town Council. During his term, Bruce served on the Town Hall and Village Center Subarea, Telluride Conference Center, Green Team and Parking and Transportation Committees. If you can, please join us to thank Bruce for his public service.
  • Lastly, Bill Jensen will provide the Telluride Ski & Golf quarterly update.

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

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

May Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

Below are highlights from last month’s Town Council and some upcoming topics for this week’s meeting. As always, I hope you can join us for Thursday’s meeting or consider sharing your feedback with us about any of these matters.

April 25 Meeting:

  • Karen Guglielmone, Town of Telluride Public Works Environmental and Engineering Division Manager, presented an update on the Telluride Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Master Plan (TRWWTP) and key milestones for 2018 and 2019. We also discussed the potential costs and funding options to finance the TRWWTP Master Plan implementation through 2030.
  • Town Council resumed discussions and took a first vote to approve an ordinance that would implement a dismount zone in the Village Center plazas for bicycles and skateboards. Simply stated, the dismount zone would require cyclists to dismount and walk their bike across the plazas, an area equivalent to one city block, or cyclists can choose to continue riding using the designated bike bypass routes. The town has worked extensively with Telluride Ski Resort, local bike shops, and the Parks and Recreation team to craft a mapped plan with bike bypass and test-ride zones, which aims to balance the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, and merchants.We all are looking forward to the upcoming expansion of the Telluride Bike Park and access via Lift 4, so it is important to all involved that we plan for a successful and safe biking season. We appreciate the many community members who have taken the time to share their thoughts about the proposed changes. This month, Town Council will hold a public hearing and vote on second reading. If approved, the dismount zone will go into effect this summer.
  • Town Council heard an update about the status of the Market on the Plaza. Our summer farmer’s market runs Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Heritage Plaza, June 19 through August 29. The 2019 Market will be 25 percent larger than the 2018 Market, with a record 35 vendors. This summer there will be seven vendors with fresh produce and prepared and baked foods; face-painting and stories read by our friends at the Wilkinson Public Library; live music; and loads of local art, jewelry, clothing and other regional goods. We hope you’ll come out and support our local farmers and merchants.
  • Lastly, we appointed Council Member Natalie Binder to the Plaza Vending Committee and Dan Caton and Laila Benitez to the Business Development Advisory Committee.

If you would like more specifics about any of these topics, you can watch a video of last month’s meeting on the town’s website and March’s minutes will be posted online after they are approved at Thursday’s meeting.

May 16 Meeting: 

  • As part of our annual budgeting process, we will have a worksession to establish and refine the budget goals for projects, programs, and infrastructure in 2020. The Finance Committee and town staff will use this direction as they draft the 2020 budget.
  • We will hear on first reading and vote on an ordinance amending our Community Development Code (CDC) residential lighting regulations. These proposed changes are being considered to better balance our need for residential outdoor illumination that allows us to enjoy our homes while minimizing unintended negative impacts to neighbors and the surrounding community.
  • Town Council will also hold a worksession to consider a CDC amendment that clarifies the permitted uses of efficiency lodge units and adds the definition of “short-term accommodation”. These clarifications are being proposed to ensure that properties that were zoned to function as hotel rooms or “hot-beds,” are not used as a primary residence or as long-term rentals.
  • We will consider and vote on second reading a density transfer and rezone for the expansion area of Elkstone on Lot 600A. The proposed expansion area is located adjacent to Elk Pond, off Mountain Village Boulevard. If approved, the density would be increased by six person-equivalents.
  • Town Council will consider the appointments of one new member to the Design Review Board (DRB) to fill the seat recently vacated by Luke Trujillo. On behalf of the town, I want to thank Luke for his many years of service and commitment to Mountain Village.
  • Lastly, the Telluride Tourism Board, Colorado Flights Alliance, and Gondola Subcommittee will provide their quarterly reports.

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

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

April Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

Below are highlights from last month’s Town Council and some upcoming topics for this week’s meeting. As always, I hope you can join us for tomorrow’s meeting or consider sharing your feedback with us about any of these matters.

March 21 Meeting Highlights

  • Town Council discussed whether a dismount zone is necessary for the Village Center plazas. Over the past few years, there has been an increasing number of incidents between bicycles and pedestrians in the Village Center. Bikes are and will continue to be an essential part of all our lives whether we are using them to commute, exercise, or just to have fun; however, with the upcoming expansion of the bike park and summer use of Lift 4 for bike park access, some changes to how or where bikes can travel will need to be made. We have been examining tactics used to reduce negative bike/pedestrian interactions in other communities such as Fort Collins and Durango. With help from our Parks and Recreation team, Police Department, local bike shops, and others, we are working to craft a plan that balances the needs of our residents, guests, pedestrians, bicyclists, and merchants.
  • We discussed proposed amendments to our Community Development Code (CDC) Residential Lighting Regulations. As we review and amend these regulations, we are striving to strike the balance between our need for residential outdoor illumination that allows us to enjoy our homes while minimizing unintended negative impacts to neighbors and the surrounding community.
  • Town Council discussed the two incentive programs dedicated to helping homeowners reduce their home’s risk of fire. The Wildfire Mitigation Incentive Program helps owners protect their home and surrounding areas from an approaching wildfire by landscaping the area around a home in a manner that reduces fire hazard. The Cedar Shake Fire Mitigation Incentive Program waives all town building fees when a cedar shake roof is replaced with a new, fire-proof roof. Council asked for improvements and expansion of the Cedar Shake program that will make participating simpler, quicker, and available to more households. We hope these changes will encourage increased participation and a safer community.
  • Town Council appointed five members to the Design Review Board (DRB): Liz Caton, Greer Garner, David Eckman, Cath Jett, and Ellen Kramer. The DRB functions as the town’s architectural review board and as the Planning and Zoning Advisory Board. On behalf of the town, I want to thank outgoing DRB members Phil Evans and Jean Vetter for their years of service and commitment.
  • Lastly, Town Council approved renaming the Village Court Apartments Community Garden as the “Michael Ruterbories Memorial Community Garden”. Michael, a longtime Mountain Village resident, gondola operator, and cherished friend to all who knew him, passed away unexpectedly in February. He is greatly missed by the Town of Mountain Village and the community he adopted.

If you would like more specifics about any of these topics, you can watch a video of last month’s meeting on the town’s website and March’s minutes will be posted online after they are approved at tomorrow’s meeting.

April 25 Meeting:

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

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

March Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Community, Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

Below are some Town Council highlights from last month and some upcoming topics. As always, I hope you can join us for tomorrow’s meeting or consider sharing your feedback with us about any of these matters.

February 21 Meeting Highlights

  • The town is excited to welcome another new business, Sunshine Pharmacy, to the Mountain Village Center. They will be opening a second location in the Franz Klammer Building across from the Telluride Distilling Company’s new Tasting Room. In addition to prescription pick-up service, health and wellness products, and other sundry items, Town Council approved Sunshine Pharmacy’s Fermented Malt Beverage Liquor License application at their Mountain Village location.
  • Town Council discussed the continued use of lot OSP39 (commonly known as the wood lot) for tree removal staging. Since 2015, the town has informally allowed large private and forest-health property tree removal projects to drop-off chopped wood on the lot, where it is then picked up for use by local residents. The wood lot provides major cost savings for new home building and defensible space tree removal projects by reducing the transportation arborists’ charge for staging the wood outside of the Village. This cost savings further incentivizes community members to create defensible space on their properties in order to lower property owner’s wildfire risk.Town Council directed staff to conditionally keep the wood lot in the existing location as a courtesy with the provision that landscaping and trees are planted to shield the wood lot from being viewable from the Mountain Village Boulevard. The use of this area will continue to be observed and reviewed by Town Council in the future.
  • We approved the formation of a Plaza Vending Committee to facilitate an open and transparent vendor selection process. The committee bylaws will be approved at a future meeting.
  • Lastly, Michael Martelon provided  Marketing Telluride’s (MTI) quarterly update.

If you would like more specifics about any of these topics, you can watch a video of last month’s meeting on the town’s website and February’s minutes will be posted online after they are approved at tomorrow’s meeting.

March 21 Agenda Topics:

  • Town Council will consider a Settlement Agreement resolving litigation related to 161CR and Ridge at Telluride. This agreement is the result of months of direct negotiations between principal designated representatives from Lot 161CR, The Ridge HOA, The Ridge Club, some of The Ridge owners, and the town.
  • Town Council will consider the appointments of five members to the Design Review Board (DRB). The DRB is made up of seven full-time members and two alternate members, who are all appointed by Town Council to two-year terms.
  • An ordinance to implement a dismount zone in the Village Center plazas for both bicycles and skateboards will be considered by Town Council. Over the past few years, there has been an increasing number of accidents and incidents between bicycles and pedestrians in the Village Center. With the upcoming expansion of the bike park and summer use of lift 4 for bike park access, the town has been examining tactics used in other communities such as Fort Collins and Durango. If approved, the dismount zone would go into effect this summer.
  •  We will hold a work session to discuss potentially amending the Community Development Code (CDC) Residential Lighting Regulations. The purpose of the lighting regulations is to balance our need for residential outdoor illumination that allows us to enjoy our property while minimizing unintended negative impacts on neighbors and the surrounding community.
  • Town Council will also hold a work session to consider a CDC amendment to clarify the definition of an Efficiency Lodge unit and to add a definition of “Short-Term Accommodation” as less than 30 consecutive days and no more than 60 days in a calendar year. These clarifications are being proposed to ensure that properties that were zoned to function as hotel rooms or “hot-beds,” are not used as a primary residence or as long-term rentals.
  • We will hear an update about our Wildfire Mitigation Defensible Space Rebate and Cedar Shake Fire Mitigation Incentive Programs and consider changes to the program that we hope will encourage increased participation in the programs.
  • Lastly, we will consider a resolution by the family, friends, and neighbors of Michael Ruterbories asking the town to rename the Village Court Community Garden as the “Michael Ruterbories Memorial Community Garden.” Michael, a longtime Mountain Village resident, gondola operator, and cherished friend to all who knew him passed away unexpectedly last month. He is greatly missed by the Town of Mountain Village and the community he adopted.

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

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

February Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

Words by Laila Benitez / Community, Mayor's Minute

Hello neighbors,

Below are some Town Council highlights from our January meeting and some upcoming topics for this week’s meeting. As always, I hope you can join us for tomorrow’s meeting or consider sharing your feedback with us about any of these matters.

January 17 Meeting Highlights

  • Town Council considered a proposed ordinance amending the Community Development Code (CDC), which would have allowed future applicants to propose subdivisions, rezoning, and density transfers on eight specific Single-Family lots in the Village Center Subarea, as envisioned in the Comprehensive Plan. But after significant discussion, we agreed that additional outreach and exploration was needed to better understand how the area has evolved since the Comprehensive Plan was approved.
  • The Bauen Group presented conceptual architectural plans and a rough order of magnitude cost estimate for the Village Court Apartments (VCA) expansion project. Preliminary plans call for breaking ground on the affordable housing project later this year with funding through a revenue loan, paid for by the collected VCA rents and dedicated funding from the Mountain Village Affordable Housing Fund. Project plans and specific funding mechanisms are still being finalized, but we anticipate this expansion will provide up to 42 two-bedroom and seven one-bedroom apartments.
  • Town Council voted to reinstate and extend until February 28, 2019, the term sheet concerning the settlement of the 161CR and Ridge at Telluride litigation and authorized me to execute any agreement. The term sheet is the result of months of direct negotiations between principal designated representatives from Lot 161CR, The Ridge HOA, The Ridge Club, some of The Ridge owners, and the town.
  •  Last month Town Council considered whether to begin negotiations with a new provider to become the town’s primary supplier of broadband services, which are currently provided by Century Link. Based on the service issues we have been facing, the town has decided to move forward with a request for proposals (RFP) for a new broadband provider. We look forward to an updated plan of action and service provider solution which addresses our need for redundant service, increased bandwidth, and improved reliability later this spring.
  • Finally, we received updates from Bill Jensen with Telluride Ski and Golf, the Gondola Subcommittee, the Telluride Regional Airport Association, and the Green Team.

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

February 21 Agenda Topics

  • The town is excited to welcome another new business, Sunshine Pharmacy, to the Mountain Village Center. Sunshine Pharmacy will be opening a second location in the Franz Klammer Building across from the Telluride Distilling Company’s new Tasting Room. In addition to prescription pick-up service, health and wellness products, and other sundry items, Sunshine Pharmacy has also applied for a liquor license to sell beer at their Mountain Village location. Town Council will consider their Fermented Malt Beverage Liquor License application tomorrow.
  • Town Council will discuss the continued use of lot OSP39 (commonly known as the wood lot) for tree removal staging. Since 2015, the town has informally allowed large private and forest-health property tree removal projects to drop-off chopped wood on the lot, where it can be picked up for use by residents. In the past, chopped wood was stacked at individual job sites, and people looking for firewood drove throughout the village looking for wood piles. Besides the reduction in the number of vehicles driving through Mountain Village neighborhoods looking for wood, the other major benefit of the wood lot is cost savings for new home building and defensible space tree removal projects.
  • We will consider the formation of a Vending Cart Committee for future vendor selection. Currently, vendor selection is at the sole discretion of the town’s business development and community engagement coordinator. Given the increased interest in new vending cart businesses in the Village Center, the creation of a vending committee would allow more opportunity for public comment, multiple viewpoints, and transparency in vendor selection. Recommended committee members would include members from TMVOA, Town Council, and representatives from the departments of Planning and Development, Plaza Services, and Community Engagement.
  • Lastly, Michael Martelon will provide Marketing Telluride’s (MTI) quarterly update.

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

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

January Mayor’s Minute

Mayors Minute

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

Hello neighbors,

Below are some Town Council meeting highlights from last month and some upcoming topics. As always, I hope you can join us for Thursday’s meeting or consider sharing your feedback with us about any of these matters.

Quick note: We have heard numerous concerns from community members about the lack of a live operator answering the telephone at Town Hall. It is important to us that your calls to Town Hall are answered quickly and efficiently.

Therefore, our telephone system is being reconfigured this month to allow callers to speak with a staff member and make finding the resources you are seeking quick and simple. Please be patient with us while we make this change.

December 13 Meeting Highlights

  • Town Council approved the 2019 and revised 2018 budgets. Read more about the 2019 Budget and upcoming, approved infrastructure projects in the latest Mayor’s Minute: Budget Edition.
  • In response to new state legislation that became effective September 1, 2018, we adopted a new policy outlining how records containing personal identifying information will be destroyed, discarded, and protected. The new law requires us to not only adopt a policy regarding destruction and protection of these personal records but also contains requirements regarding protecting personal identifying information, reporting breaches of personal identifying information, and contracting with third parties that might handle personal identifying information.
  • Town Council voted to raise rent 2-3 percent depending on unit size at Village Court Apartments; rental rates were last increased five years ago. We also discussed the need for a rental increase policy to aid us in responding to occupancy fluctuations, keeping up with ongoing maintenance needs, and allow the town to avoid large future rental increases.
  • EcoAction Partners presented the results of the 2017 Town of Mountain Village Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report.
  • Lastly, we received reports from Colorado Flights Alliance, Marketing Telluride Inc., and the Town Hall and Village Center Subarea Committees.

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

January 17 Meeting Highlights

  • Town Council will consider an ordinance amending the Community Development Code (CDC), which could allow future applicants to propose subdivisions, rezoning, and density transfers on eight specific Single-Family lots in the Village Center Subarea, as envisioned in the Comprehensive Plan. We will not be rezoning or considering for rezoning any of these lots at Thursday’s meeting. Any future rezoning would require a development application to be submitted to determine if the application meets requirements such as CDC standards, any applicable ridgeline development covenants, and the vision of the Comprehensive Plan and undergo Design Review Board and Town Council review and approvals.These eight lots were designated as Multi-Family in the Comprehensive Plan; however, the lots are currently zoned Single-Family. In 2016, Town Council voted to amend the CDC to prohibit any rezoning of a Single-Family lot; at the time, Council did not realize there were Single-Family lots in the Village Center that had not yet been rezoned Multi-Family, as outlined in the Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan identified these lots in the Village Center Subarea as best served by condominiums to allow for a transitional buffer between the Village Center and the adjacent Single-Family homes in the surrounding neighborhood. Please note: the prohibition on subdivision and rezoning outside of the Village Center Subarea would not be affected by the proposed amendment.We have heard from numerous community members regarding this topic and as always, we encourage you to share your input with Council via email and/or by providing public comment at Thursday’s meeting.
  • We will review conceptual/schematic architectural plans and a rough order of magnitude cost estimate for the Village Court Apartments expansion project. The town contracted the Bauen Group to produce these drawings and a rough cost estimate for the project based on their determination of the maximum number of units possible within the building area given the site constraints, which include a delineated wetland, relocation of a sewer line, soils, topography, and necessary building setbacks.
  • Town Council will consider reinstatement and extension of a term sheet regarding settlement of the 161-CR and Ridge at Telluride litigation and authorizing me to execute any agreement. The term sheet is the result of months of direct negotiations between principal designated representatives from Lot 161-CR, The Ridge HOA, The Ridge Club, some of The Ridge owners, and the town.
  • The Gondola Subcommittee will provide an update on gondola long-term planning. They will also share initial analysis conducted by an independent research group regarding gondola use, economic impact, and ridership forecasts.
  • Town Council will consider whether to begin negotiations with Forethought.net to become the town’s primary supplier of broadband services, currently provided by Century Link.
  • Lastly, Bill Jensen with Telluride Ski and Golf, the Telluride Regional Airport Association, and the Green Team will provide their recurring updates.

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

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

Warm regards,

Laila Benitez
Mountain Village Mayor

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