Mountain Village considers purchase of park site; adjacent land could include 45 housing units

Lot 640A

Words by Nichole Zangara / Development

The Town of Mountain Village wants more affordable housing units beyond the 538 that exist today, in addition to a community park. On May 19, Town Council will consider whether or not to enter into a non-binding term sheet with Adams Ranch MV LLC, owner of Lot 640A, setting forth the general terms of a deal for the acquisition of a park site.

Lot 640A, also known within the community as the site where Telluride Apartments sits vacant, garnered the attention of voters last year when a citizen-initiated ballot called for various zoning limits on this lot. The ballot passed with 219 yes votes and 180 no votes in favor of limiting the number of units that could ultimately be built on this site to 45.

Adams Ranch MV LLC approached the town to gage its interest in acquiring approximately 1.42 acres for a community park. The town’s acquisition of the park site would be contingent upon development approvals. Those include a replat of Lot 640A and adjacent open space in order to create the park site and other approvals, such as an increase in zoning to 45 units from the current 30 sought by Adams Ranch MV LLC. In the event that development approvals are not approved the sale of the park site can be terminated. Nothing within the term sheet obligates the town to approve Adams Ranch MV LLC’s development application as that will have to follow the typical land use process as set forth in the Community Development Code.

According to the non-binding term sheet, the current asking price for the park site is set at $750,000, which Town Council would need to approve, with a closing date no later than 30 days following the final approval of the Rezone, Replat, Conditional Use Permit and Density Transfer Application. To protect the town’s investment, the term sheet requires Adams Ranch MV LLC to begin demolition of Telluride Apartments within the first 60 days following closing.

If Town Council decides to move forward with this acquisition, which would ultimately require a formal Purchase and Sale Agreement with Adams Ranch MV LLC, and Adams Ranch MV LLC receives the necessary development approvals, the existing park area would remain accessible to the public after closing; however, there would be a time with limited to no-park access during construction of the employee housing and new park. Once development is complete, the constructed units would be employee housing units subject to an employee housing deed restriction.

To review the term sheet in its entirety, download the May 19, 2016 Town Council Meeting Packet. The term sheet begins on page 36.

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.

New program offers residents an incentive to better manage heat trace system

Heat Trace Incentive Program

Words by Nichole Zangara / Environment

The Town of Mountain Village wants its residents to take control of their roof and gutter heat trace system. So the town is funding a new incentive program aimed at improving the safety and efficiency of heat trace systems commonly applied on roofs and gutters by offering a free system controller valued at $380.

“These systems are heating elements that are applied to gutters, valleys and eaves of roofs to prevent ice damage,” explained Building Official Randy Kee. “Although they get the job done more times than not, these types of systems often run when they aren’t needed, thereby wasting electricity. We want to create a safer, more efficient system with a state-of-the-art electrical controller.”

To take advantage of this free offering, Mountain Village residents will need to follow a few steps. First, a resident will need to hire a Colorado-licensed electrical contractor to inspect their heat trace system. Second, the resident will need to ask their contractor to email the heat trace inspection report with suggested improvements to them and to Kee. Third, Kee will review the report and contact the resident if it is determined that their home, based on the report’s findings, would benefit from improved controls. If it does, the town will offer one free controller for the electrical contractor to install. The final step: enjoy the savings.

According to Kee, using an estimated 25 amps and 230 volts supplying a heat trace system on a home without controls from November to March may cost a resident approximately $2,277 per zone. He said often a home has at least two zones. With the use of controls and a properly installed system, a resident may save 30- to 50-percent of electricity costs per winter, weather dependent.

The $12,000 Heat Trace Incentive Program is open until funds are exhausted. For more information, contact Kee at [email protected] or 970.369.8246 and visit This program is part of the town’s larger environmental incentive program, which in 2016 includes four others, as a means for Mountain Village residents to make lifestyle and environmental changes in order to help them save in so many ways.

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.”

April Mayor’s Minute

Mayor's Minute

Words by Dan Jansen / Mayor's Minute

Dear neighbors,

I hope you have successfully transitioned into the shoulder season and are thinking about what the Spring will bring to our lovely town (hopefully less snow).

Despite the slowing level of activity, town government continues its work. Last month Town Council received a report from the San Miguel Power Association about the “Telluride Reliability Project” that will add redundancy for electrical services in the event of a blackout similar to the February event. The project will start this Fall and hopefully be completed next summer (potential issues involve permitting from San Miguel County and the Forest Service). We will also schedule a worksession on other actions we should take in a future outage (e.g. phone charging stations, gas distribution, signage and communications). We also had a deep dive into fire risk throughout Mountain Village. First the West Region Wildfire Council discussed fire risk by region and parcel, then we reviewed current regulations, and finally introduced an incentive program for each home to create defensible space around their property. We heard an update from the Telluride Historical Museum including a focused discussion on their plan to reduce their deficit. Council considered a draft of a Regional Transportation Authority Intergovernmental Agreement (RTA IGA) and brainstormed ways to increase engagement in our upcoming gondola study in partnership with TMVOA, Town of Telluride, San Miguel County and Telluride Ski & Golf Company. Finally, in addition to the usual land use matters and staff reports, we discussed a potential new grant process to manage Mountain Village’s support of regional organizations.

This month, another full agenda awaits us. The town has heard some concerns from residents about the ability to sub-divide single-family lots and will conduct a worksession to share information and consider a temporary moratorium on such actions. We will receive an update on the wayfinding proposal and scope of work, regional greenhouse gas inventories, and EcoAction Partners energy programs. In addition, we will have a first reading of an ordinance approving a franchise agreement for the installation of a dispersed antenna network intended to improve cell coverage. Finally, we will have our usual array of routine land use matters, staff updates and Council reports.

I hope you will be able to join us for the meeting this Thursday, either online or in-person; if not, please be sure to provide your input in advance.

Warm Regards,
Dan Jansen
Mountain Village Mayor

Local governments ask electorate to participate in transportation phone poll

Regional Transportation

Words by Nichole Zangara / Election

The Town of Mountain Village, Town of Telluride and San Miguel County have hired Keating Research to conduct a phone poll beginning April 25. The phone poll is focused on questions related to transportation and the possibility of forming and funding the San Miguel Regional Transportation Authority (SMART transit). The results of this phone poll will provide direction from the electorate as government officials determine the best course of action for forming a SMART transit.

“The results of the poll will do three things. First, they will help inform the governmental entities as to the level of support for SMART transit. Second, we will better understand the electorate’s preferences for funding and enhanced services. And third, the results will help us formulate ballot language for a potential ballot question at the November election,” explained Mountain Village Town Manager Kim Montgomery.

Keating Research will conduct the phone poll from April 25 to April 29 between the hours of 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. and from April 30 to May 1 between the hours of 12 p.m. and 9 p.m. Voters registered in the R-1 School District may receive a call either on their land line or cell phone.

Lockstep with the November election, Mountain Village, Telluride and San Miguel County officials are in the midst of reviewing a draft intergovernmental agreement that would move them one step closer to taking SMART transit to the voters. According to all parties involved, they expect an agreement will be reached by May.

“This intergovernmental agreement is the product of several years of cooperative work between Telluride, Mountain Village and San Miguel County,” said County Commissioner Joan May. “It’s taken this long to come up with an agreement that we can all get solidly behind, that provides enough certainty for the Regional Transportation Authority framework, while giving enough flexibility to adapt to changing future variables.”

Objectives for forming the SMART transit vary and include enhanced local transportation services, the creation of regional transportation systems, and improved state and federal grant opportunities, to name a few.

“While there are indeed components of the SMART transit proposal that address immediate needs, the bigger objective here is planning for the future,” said Telluride Town Manager Greg Clifton.“Much of this effort truly represents a proactive means to provide regional resources to meet regional transit needs through time. This is what citizens expect of their local government.”

Local governmental entities will meet again on this matter April 28 beginning at 9:30 a.m. in Mountain Village Town Hall. For more information about the phone poll and the formation of SMART transit, visit

March Mayor’s Minute

Mayor's Minute

Words by Dan Jansen / Mayor's Minute

Dear neighbors,

It certainly feels like spring is here with warmer weather and soft spring corn skiing. We’ll see if the snow storms return as they often do in March.

Until then, your Town Council and staff have been quite busy. Last month we received an update from the Telluride Airport and the potential for commercial service returning. The short answer is that it is complex, and while progress is being made, the FAA moves very slowly. The Council, with me being recused, sponsored some Telluride Venture Accelerator events. Our Town Hall subarea planning moved ahead with the Town, TMVOA and TSG working together. We had an important worksession discussion about the options to improve cell service in Mountain Village. Kate Jones shared an update on Telluride Arts and how Mountain Village can be brought more into those creative activities. We also brainstormed about the various incentive programs we have created for our residents and business, ranging from energy efficiency to noxious weed control to forest health. A specific proposal will be coming to Council at its Wednesday meeting. In addition to routine land use matters and staff updates, we also passed on a second reading some ordinances about signage related to our existing weapons laws and regulations limiting off-highway vehicles in town.

This week our Town Council continues the momentum on many of these issues and adds a few more topics for consideration. We will have representatives from San Miguel Power to discuss the recent serious power outage in the area and actions that are being taken to build better redundancy. We will have a deep dive into fire risk in our region and town with three agenda items: first, the West Region Wildfire Council will share its recently completed parcel level fire risk assessment; next, our forest manager will update us on our defensible space regulations; and finally, our environmental service team will propose some incentive programs to encourage our property owners to create safe defensible spaces around their homes and businesses. We will also consider a draft Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) intergovernmental agreement, which has been the result of the three local governments working together closely over the last several years to better coordinate and improve inter-city transportation in our region. We also will review a potential new process to grant Town of Mountain Village funds, working in partnership with the Telluride Foundation. Finally, in addition to routine updates and land use matters, we will have a worksession discussing the process for engaging all stakeholders in a gondola impact study.

As always, we would love to hear your comments or have you join our meeting this Wednesday. (Note: this is not our regular day or time, so please remember that we will start at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 16.)

Warm Regards,
Dan Jansen
Mountain Village Mayor

The 23rd Annual TAB Gala Fashion Show airs live February 27

Watch TAB Gala Fashion Show

Words by Nichole Zangara / Event

It all boils down to cause and effect. The cause: a persistent virus that morphed into a pandemic after being announced worldwide in 1983. The effect: the Telluride AIDS Benefit (TAB), a full frontal assault aimed at helping those living with HIV/AIDS and preventing the spread of the disease through outreach and education.

The high point of TAB’s 10 days of activities this year – it all starts with the Student Fashion Show Friday, February 19 and ends with a sample sale of designer threads Monday, February 29 – is the fanTABulous fashion show. The event takes place Saturday, February 27 8 p.m. at the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village: it’s catwalk meets musical theatre (complete with music and dance), all in support of TAB’s seven beneficiaries.

The Gala Fashion Show is an evening when the Telluride Region pulls out all the stops. It is not to be missed. So for those unable to score a ticket, the Town of Mountain Village will air the Gala live – on Mountain Village Cable Channel 15 and online at – Saturday, February 27 at 8 p.m.

“With the Telluride TV production team in place, I am pleased Mountain Village can offer this to the community – and the online world,” said Marketing and Business Development Director Nichole Zangara Riley. “Year after year and from coast-to-coast, TAB fans host viewing parties in their living rooms: the models, who volunteer hundreds of hours of their time to the show, have friends and family members watching; past and present TAB supporters and beneficiaries are online; full and part-time community members who aren’t in town or missed out on tickets have a front-row seat nonetheless; and the fashion designers who donated clothing for this special event are able to see their designs on the runway. To extend this special event beyond the walls of the Conference Center is our pleasure.”

The mission of the Telluride AIDS Benefit is to fight HIV/AIDS by heightening awareness and generating financial support for its beneficiaries, other nonprofits that work on the Front Range, the Western Slope and in Africa, who use TAB funds to enhance client care for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS.

Power outage illuminates strengths, identifies goals for improvements

Emergency Notification

Words by Nichole Zangara / Emergency Preparedness

On behalf of the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office, Telluride Marshal’s Office, Mountain Village Police Department, the Town of Telluride, the Town of Mountain Village, San Miguel County Commissioners, and Telluride Ski & Golf Company, we thank everyone for their patience, understanding and overall good spirit during the nearly 23-hour power outage this past weekend.

In a debrief meeting Tuesday afternoon, representatives from the above agencies identified measures that will be taken to help maintain public safety and best obtain and disseminate information to the public, including during times when cell and/or internet service is not available to all.

Plans include but are not limited to:

  1. Improve communication plan with San Miguel Power and Tristate Power.
  2. Work with cell carriers to establish more reliable back up signals.
  3. Identify location(s) in the Town of Telluride and the Town of Mountain Village where people can gather for information, warmth and power to charge devices.
  4. Continue to educate the public for emergency preparedness, where to find existing county emergency plans, and how to best stay informed during an emergency incident.

In the meantime, we encourage everyone to sign up for CodeRED alerts and “Notify Me” News Flashes from the Sheriff, like the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, and follow @SheriffAlert on Twitter to receive important information and updates during emergency incidents.

Sheriff Bill Masters said emergency preparedness plans are a priority of the county and its agencies, and this power outage serves as an opportunity to identify areas and take action for improvement. “We want to do everything we can to keep the public safe and informed during emergency incidents, and we are taking meaningful steps to do better.”


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