April Green Tip of the Month-Cooking with excess fats, oils and greases

Green Tip of the Month

Words by Zoe Dohnal / Environment

April’s Green Team Tip of the Month will come in handy in the kitchen.

Excess fats, oils & grease (FOG) are a problem in our sewage collection and treatment system. The proper disposal of FOG is very important.

Improper disposal of FOG can create a hazard for wastewater operators and increase the risk of a sewer backup in both your home and overflow at the wasterwater plant.

Please take the time to follow these simple rules:

  • Dry wipe pots, pans and dishware with a paper towel prior to dishwashing
  • Do not put food waste down the drain
  • Recycle cooking oil or pour it onto a paper towel or newspaper
  • Make sure everyone in your home knows how to dispose of FOG properly

Source: Town of Telluride. 


Mountain Village, SMART partner for spring bus service

Bus and Dial-A-Ride

Words by Kathrine Warren / Transportation

With the upcoming spring shoulder season closure of the gondola, the San Miguel Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) and the Town of Mountain Village announce the spring 2019 off-season bus service between Telluride and Mountain Village.

The free off-season service will run from Monday, April 8, 2019 through Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Changes for this year include an earlier departure from the Meadows to Telluride at 6:25 a.m., and a shorter loop in Telluride that terminates at the San Miguel County Courthouse. The off-season service is funded by SMART and operated by the Town of Mountain Village.

“SMART is excited to partner with the Town of Mountain Village to provide this service and we hope that it serves residents’ and visitors’ needs throughout the off-season,” said SMART Executive Director David Averill.

To download both the full spring bus schedule and the express schedule, please visit townofmountainvillage.com/bus.

The Town of Mountain Village is also hiring for an off-season bus driver. Effective immediately. Please visit our career page for more information.


Mountain Village offers building permit fee discounts with smart building measures

Smart BUild

Words by Kathrine Warren / Community, Development

In an effort to reduce energy and greenhouse gas emissions, the Town of Mountain Village (TMV) offers property owners up to 100 percent off building permit fees with its Smart Building Incentive Program.

“The Smart Build Incentive Program has been in place since 2015 and reflects the TMV commitment to reducing development’s carbon footprint by smart design. We hope to educate our building community to take advantage of this program in order to reduce building permit fees and encourage energy-efficient design,” said Michelle Haynes, planning and development services director.

The Smart Building Incentive Program offers three owner incentives which can be used for individual building permit fee discounts, or collectively for a full fee waiver. This could save homeowners upwards of tens of thousands of dollars depending on project size.

“The more you lower the energy use of your home the more efficient or “smart” your home is and the higher building permit waiver you get,” said Zoe Dohnal, Mountain Village’s business development and community engagement coordinator.

The first owner initiative is focused on offsetting energy use by renewable energy. A 20 percent building permit fee discount is available for any project with either no exterior energy use or at least 20 percent of estimated energy use being offset by a renewable energy source.

Additionally, Mountain Village’s Solar Energy Incentive program offers a 40 cent rebate per watt up to a total rebate of $2,000. An average home will install a 4,000-watt system which would equate to a $1,600 rebate from Mountain Village.

The second initiative focuses on eliminate exterior energy. A 15 percent building fee permit discount is available for buildings designed with no exterior energy use elements other than lighting and an owner signs a convenient forfeiting the right to install any exterior energy use within 50 years of receiving the property’s certificate of occupancy.

Up to a 100 percent fee discount is available for buildings with a Home Energy Rating (HERS) rating of 50 or lower. HERS ratings can be lowered by either installing on-site or off-site solar photovoltaic systems.

For questions and more information, please contact the Mountain Village Planning and Development Department by emailing our planning department or calling (970)369-8251.

Mountain Village Housing Authority to hold lottery May 6

Castellina Unit E

Words by Kathrine Warren / Community

The Mountain Village Housing Authority is selling a deed-restricted unit in the heart of Mountain Village through a weighted lottery process. The lottery results (along with all lottery applicants) will be posted online at smrha.org on May 6, at 12 p.m.

The unit is available to qualified employees within the Town of Mountain Village.

“THE SMRHA is really excited to be helping Mountain Village employees move into ownership,” said Shirley L. Diaz, executive director of the SMRHA.

The unit is a one-bedroom deed-restricted detached condo in Castellina, in the heart of Mountain Village. It is 700 square feet with parking, private basement storage, upgraded finishes and high-end appliances. HOA, utilities and insurance apply. A number of public meetings and open houses will be held for those interested throughout the month of April.

They are as follows:

Castellina Unit Public Meeting 

Location: Mountain Village Town Hall, 455 Mountain Village Blvd. Ste. A


    • April 2, 12-1 p.m.
    • April 3, 5-6 p.m.
    • April 24, 12-1 p.m.


Castellina Unit Open House 

Location: 117 E. Vischer Drive, Unit E


  • April 3, 12-1 p.m.
  • April 4, 5-6 p.m.
  • April 16, 5-6 p.m.
  • April 17, 12-1 p.m.
  • April 23, 4-6 p.m.

Applications may be submitted to the San Miguel Regional Housing Authority online or by appointment ONLY (820 Black Bear Road G-17) no later than 12 p.m. Tuesday, April 30.


For more information, please visit the San Miguel Regional Housing Authority’s website.


CSA shares in Mountain Village and Telluride

CSA for the region

Words by Bill Kight / Community

Thinking about signing up for a community supported agriculture (CSA) share but want to learn more about the idea before you commit? Read on.

For over 25 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a favorite way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.

Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “food shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included such as meat and/or dairy. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

This arrangement creates several rewards for both the farmer and the consumer. Here in southwest Colorado, there is an abundance of farm fresh food to offer our community members.

Sometimes farms have pickups only at the farm, but often there are other locations where you can get your produce. Below are farms with shares that can be picked up in Mountain Village and Telluride.

Borden Farms is situated in the fertile Uncompahgre Valley in the historic farming community of Pea Green. At an elevation of 5,423 feet, the warm summer days and cool nights combine with a fertile, sandy loam soil to provide ideal conditions for growing. From a modest beginning, we have grown each year to 14 acres of field production and over 13,000 square feet of flowers, herbs and vegetable plants in our greenhouses.

Buckhorn Gardens, located at the base of Buckhorn Mountain at 6700′ elevation, Buckhorn Gardens is a small, organic vegetable farm 13 mile. south of Montrose, Colorado. Our farm is an active part of a 12,000-acre ranch; however, we only manage 3 acres with intensive vegetable gardening.

Farm Runners is a regional food distributor specializing in custom-harvested farm products that serve the Roaring Fork, Gunnison, and Grand Valleys of Colorado with local food year-round. Based in Hotchkiss, CO, where they have been building lasting relationships with farmers since 2012. In addition, they help new and established family farms find a market for their product while making it easier for consumers to access the amazing food grown here in Western Colorado.

Fresh Food Hub is the only CSA that can be picked up in Mountain Village at our Market on the Plaza. They are a community food cooperative based in Norwood offering local meat, produce that is all organically grown and non-GMO. To sign up before their April 20 deadline, please visit their website.

Happy Belly, located in Paonia, CO is a small farm that specializes in culinary and medicinal herb production, as well as value added products. Located at Elderberrys, the former Fresh & Wyld property, now owned by The Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism. They are dedicated to growing highly nutritious culinary herbs and vital medicinal herbs for our CSA farm share members, as well as education for use in the kitchen and beyond. They thread together this holistic multi-farm experience, providing weekly menus and newsletters full of inspiration from the garden.

Indian Ridge Farm is a pastured poultry apprenticeship in Norwood, Colorado, located at 7,000 feet in elevation, is a 120-acre diversified farm operation that centers around pastured broilers, layer hens and turkeys, but also includes hogs, beef cattle, dairy goats, horses, a large on-site vegetable operation, beehives, greenhouse, and hay pasture. The farm is situated outside Norwood, Co., on a mesa-top in the beautiful San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, near Telluride.

Jubilee Family Farm is a local farm in Olathe, Colorado.

Mountain Roots Produce located in the beautiful Mancos Valley, just to the east of Mesa Verde National Park, in Southwest Colorado. Their goal of producing high quality and reasonably priced vegetables for their local and regional communities while improving soil health and being water resilient in their high desert climate.

Southwest Farm Fresh Cooperative is a collaborative of small family farms from southwestern Colorado, northwestern New Mexico, and now the North Fork Valley of Colorado. Their farms came together in 2014 to form the Southwest Farm Fresh Cooperative, a farmer-owned marketing and distribution business.

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

Four seats open for election on Town Council

Words by Kathrine Warren / Election

Four seats on the Mountain Village Town Council are up for election on June 25, 2019.

The Town of Mountain Village Clerk’s office is now accepting candidate applications from those with a desire to serve and make a difference in their community.

To qualify as a candidate, you must be a registered elector who has maintained legal residency within Mountain Village for at least 120 days immediately preceding the June 25 election. A Letter of Intent and candidate biographical information sheet must be submitted via email no later than 5 p.m. May 10 to the Clerks Office.

For more information, please visit our Election page.

Living with coyotes


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.

Important reminders for snow removal measures

Snow Removal

Words by Kathrine Warren / Community, Emergency Preparedness

With this week’s monumental snowstorm dropping 58 inches of new snow in the past seven days (39” of which has fallen since Monday), the Town of Mountain Village would like to remind residents, property managers and business owners of the following safety precautions when clearing snow from properties:

  • Ensure the address monuments for your properties are cleared of all snow so emergency personnel can see them from the main road. This is also helpful for FedEx and UPS drivers.
  • Remember to clear any exterior vents on your house. If the vents are on the roof, please consider hiring professionals to do this work. If boiler vents are blocked with snow, this can create an increased risk of carbon monoxide emissions in your home. In that same vein, be sure to have carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home and ensure they have fresh batteries.
  • When removing snow from your roof be sure to communicate with any possible individuals below and make sure a potential roof slide isn’t going to bury or break your gas meter line. Also, please keep snow clear from your gas meter.


If you have any questions please call the Mountain Village Police Department at 970.728.9281 or Telluride Fire District offices at 970.728.3801. if you have an emergency always call 911, or if you can’t call, text 911. And be sure to follow the Mountain Village Police Department on Twitter and Facebook for the updates on conditions, safety and more.


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.

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