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

Market on the Plaza – recipe of the week – 8/14/2019

Words by Zoe Dohnal / Community


Hearty Eggplant and Chard Stir Fry



  • 1 ½ cup dry jasmine rice (or other long grain rice)

  • 1 large eggplant, cut into ¾” cubes with skin on (about 5 C cubed)

  • Large bunch Swiss chard (green or rainbow, about 1.5 lbs.)

  • 2 T minced garlic

  • 1 T minced ginger (dried or fresh)

  • ½ large jalapeno, seeded and minced

  • 3 large green onions, sliced

  • 2 T toasted sesame oil

  • 2 t cornstarch

  • 1 lime (plus a second for garnish, optional)

  • 2 T soy sauce or Tamari (for gluten free)

  • 1.5 T vegetable oil

  • Optional garnishes: cilantro; roasted peanuts or cashews; sesame seeds


Kohlrabi is a brassica and it’s not a root, the bulb grows above ground and is a swollen stem base.

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine rice with 2 ¼ cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer (low to medium-low heat) for ten minutes. Shake the pan slightly to hear if any unabsorbed water sloshes. When water is absorbed, turn off heat, fluff rice with a fork, and cover to keep warm. (Note: jasmine rice cooks quickly and it’s difficult to predict the exact cooking time. A saucepan with a clear lid would really come in handy, if you have one!
  2. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together a tablespoon of sesame oil, cornstarch, juice of one lime, and soy sauce. Set aside.
  3. Wash the chard and cut the leaves from the stems. Cut the stems into two inch pieces and keep separate. Roughly chop the leaves.
  4. In a wok or large skillet (I don’t use nonstick), heat remaining tablespoon sesame oil and the vegetable oil over high heat. Once hot, add the garlic, ginger, and jalapeno pepper and cook for about 30 seconds to infuse the oil.
  5. Add the chard stems and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until just beginning to soften. Add the eggplant cubes and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until they soften but are not completely cooked. Add the chard (the pan may be a little full, which is okay) and a couple tablespoons of water. Cook, stirring, until the chard starts to wilt. If your skillet has a cover, put it on for a minute or two to speed the process by steaming the vegetables. Stir the sauce mixture to incorporate any settled cornstarch, then add to the pan and bring to a simmer. Decrease the heat to low to continue to heat and thicken the sauce, stirring to coat the vegetables.
  6. Serve stir fried vegetables over jasmine rice with extra soy sauce and garnishes, if using.

Telluride Reserve celebrates food and wine Aug. 15-18

Words by Kathrine Warren / Event

On August 15-18, the inaugural Telluride Reserve will bring celebrated food and wine talent to luxury private homes in Mountain Village. Dine with celebrated sommelier Rajat Parr, Saveur Magazine Editor-in-Chief Stacy Adimando, Michelin Star winner Chef Daniel Patterson, celebrity talent like Chef Marc Murphy and members of Mondavi family.

There are four ticket options, three of which are for the full four-day experience, and one brand new option to attend the Saturday-only Sparkling Wine track.

  • For Ticket Option #1 choose all of your Friday & Saturday tasting sessions. ($1,600)
  • For Ticket Option #2 your Friday itinerary is pre-selected with the InvitedHome Sparkling Wine Experience tastings. You choose your Saturday tasting sessions. ($1,800)
  • For Ticket Option #3 you choose your Friday tasting sessions. Your Saturday itinerary is pre-selected with the InvitedHome Sparkling Wine Experience tastings. ($1,800)
  • NEW Ticket Option #4 InvitedHome Sparkling Saturday. Attend Telluride Reserve on Saturday only and enjoy sparkling wine all day. Your Saturday itinerary is preselected with the InvitedHome Sparkling Wine Experience tastings only. ($695)
  • The Judgment of Paris is on Friday night, but has sold out!

Telluride Reserve recently announced the InvitedHome Sparkling Saturday, a new ticket option for those only able to attend the festivities for a day. This specific one-day experience provides a pre-selected itinerary of sparkling wine tasting, allowing guests to attend Telluride Reserve on Saturday, Aug. 17, and enjoy world-class bubbles all day for $695 per person. Only 20 InvitedHome Sparkling Saturday credentials are available.

The InvitedHome Sparkling Saturday includes the following tastings:

  • Tastevin. Bubbles Around the World. Start your day off with an international tasting of sparkling wines. Enjoy an educational, interactive and festive seminar with Tim Buzinski, lead wine instructor at the Culinary Institute of America, while sipping a variety of sparkling wines from South Africa, Oregon, Italy, California and England with delicious small plates.
  • Taste & Terroir of Champagne. Explore the unique flavors and the rare opportunity to taste a collection of grower Champagnes – those Champagnes from small producers who grow their own grapes, manage their own vineyard and produce exceptional wines from those sources. With a menu from James Beard-nominated Chef Mark Tarbell and sparkling wines presented by Champagne expert Valerie Masten Bonne this will be superb dining experience.
  • The Afternoon Pour: New World Sparkling. While many incorrectly lump all effervescent wines as Champagne, many producers from the fabled Champagne region have expanded and are producing wine in places like Napa Valley, Oregon and South Africa. Try some of the best examples of New World bubbles and discover how the storied producers from Champagne have impacted and influenced the rest of the world.

“So many wine events consider sparkling wines and champagnes as fun extras, and not necessarily the focus,” said Maite Daguerre, Vice President of InvitedHome Colorado. “We thought it would be great to showcase the sparkling wines of the world, including traditional champagnes and new world varieties, and the best food pairings for each, to highlight their unique characteristics that are often overlooked. InvitedHome Sparkling Saturday will be an entire day dedicated to the bubbly side of wine, surrounded by the beautiful backdrop of Mountain Village.”

Some of Telluride Reserve’s tasting and pairing sessions are hosted in luxury private homes to provide a lush and intimate atmosphere. For example, The Russell Estate (Taste & Terroir of Champagne) is an InvitedHome property with beautiful timber framing, stone walls, and vast, mountain-view framing windows that set the tone within Russell’s warm environment. In the kitchen, there’s a spacious social atmosphere, granite countertops, and high-end stainless steel appliances—perfect for showcasing a collection of grower Champagnes.

Four-day credentials are still available for purchase but are moving fast! For more information about the available options, visit

August Green Tip of the Month

Words by Zoe Dohnal / Environment

August’s Green Team Tip of the Month encourages you to have a reusable water bottle and coffee mug with you during your daily life and travels.

This reduces your personal environmental impact and helps prevent single-use waste from entering our landfills.

Some studies estimate that 50 billion water bottles are sold in the U.S. each year and only 23 percent are recycled. An article from reports that this produces more than $1 billion in wasted plastic each year, which is the equivalent to 192 million gallons of oil.

And any plastic water bottle that ends up in a landfill is estimated to take up to 1,000 years to decompose.

Many Mountain Village merchants sell glass or insulated reusable water bottles.

To take the tip one step further, you can also purchase reusable utensils and straws to reduce your environmental impact.


Market on the Plaza – recipe of the week – 8/7/2019

Words by Zoe Dohnal / Community


Kohlrabi Carrot Slaw


Total Time:

10 minutes



  • 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 11 Kohlrabi
  • 2-3 CarrotsCilantro
  • Parsley, Mint



Kohlrabi is a brassica and it’s not a root, the bulb grows above ground and is a swollen stem base.

  1. Peel the kohlrabi.

  2. Thinly slice the kohlrabi and carrots into matchsticks by hand or using a mandoline.

  3. Throw these in a bowl along with the cilantro, parsley and mint roughly chopped.

  4. Toss with the dressing and season


  • Olive Oil (or you could use mayo for a creamy dressing)
  • Mustard, Red Wine Vinegar.
  • Lemon Juice.
  • Salt and Pepper.
  1. Whisk these together and set aside.

Mountain Village Community Clean up Day & Celebration Saturday, August 24

Clean Up Day

Words by Zoe Dohnal / Event

The Town of Mountain Village’s Green Team will host its annual Community Clean Up Day on Saturday, August 24, 2019.

This year’s Clean Up Day will be based in Sunset Plaza. Volunteers are asked to arrive between 9:30 and 10 a.m. to register and be assigned an area in Mountain Village to pick up trash. Clean up will take place from 10 a.m. to noon.

“We are hosting this event to spread awareness of pick up trash when you see it in your day-to-day lives,” said Green Team Member Savanna Wagner. “One person truly can make a difference and together as a community we will have an incredible impact.”

In its second year now, the Clean Up Day is intended to spread awareness of pick up trash throughout the community and to bring neighbors together to enjoy and preserve Mountain Village’s beautiful natural surroundings.

“Last year was a huge success for its first year with more than 100 people coming out to clean up,” said Zoe Dohnal, Mountain Village’s business development and sustainability manager. “This year we’re expanding it to include even more of a celebration aspect to the day.”

“We’ll also be weighing trash collected to have a better understanding of the event’s accomplishments,” Dohnal added.

Participants will be provided a bag for trash and a bag for recycling and are encouraged to bring gloves, reusable cups and plates and wear long pants and comfortable shoes.

After the Clean Up, there will be an after-party with music, games, food and drinks in Sunset Plaza from 12-2 p.m. All are encouraged to join in the celebration, even if they aren’t able to help with the clean up.

There will be clean up day goodies for those that come, including Klean Kanteen cups, and for every bag of trash you give, you get a raffle ticket. There will be a raffle and prizes for best trash finds, including a GoPro camera and Osprey Pack, among other fun fabulous prizes.

Mountain Village launches Fiber to the Home project

Words by Kathrine Warren / Business Development, Communications

The Town of Mountain Village is pleased to announce the official launch of its Fiber to the Home project which is slated to deliver ultra-high-speed 1-gigabit internet to every property in Mountain Village by the end of 2020. 

At its July meeting, the Mountain Village Town Council voted unanimously to hire Lightworks Fiber & Consulting to install the fiber optic cables, and last week a contract was officially executed. 

“We’re very excited to be launching construction of this major upgrade to our broadband network infrastructure, which will allow us to offer improved internet services to every home and business in Mountain Village,” said Mayor Laila Benitez.

Town of Mountain Village Chief Technology Officer Jim Soukup explains that current internet systems in Mountain Village were originally intended only to deliver cable television to properties. 

“When the internet came along, cable providers learned how to deliver that over their existing networks,” Soukup said. “The current system we have was good in its day, but it’s become dated. We’re now putting the infrastructure in that’s specifically designed to give us a fast service. This is a monumental upgrade that we’re doing.” 

Fiber networks are much simpler in design and function, making it easier to troubleshoot connection issues and, “easier to deliver the high-speed internet experience we all want,” Soukup said. 

The construction of the fiber network will be completed in two phases. Phase one construction began July 29 and is expected to finish by the middle of October. Once this initial construction work is complete, customers living in the Boulders Prospect Plaza Shop Area will have the option to begin testing different fiber internet boxes in exchange for free internet. 

The construction of the fiber network will be completed in two phases. Phase one construction began July 29 and is expected to finish by the middle of October. During this time, crews will begin installing the new fiber network underground in certain parts of Mountain Village.

To view a map of where this will happen, please see our phase one map. Additionally, during this phase, the Boulders Prospect Plaza Shop Area (along Boulders Way in the Meadows) will be the beta test site.

Once this initial construction work is complete, the customer in the beta area will have the option to begin testing different fiber internet boxes in exchange for free internet.

Customers who live within the beta test site have already been contacted by the town, but those interested in learning more can email [email protected]. To view a map of the beta test area, please visit Periodic updates of the project’s progress will be posted to this site as well.

The second phase is planned to begin spring of 2020 as construction and installation will be rolled out through the entire town of Mountain Village. When fiber is installed to each premise, cable modem internet service will be removed, and other services, such as phone and TV will connect to the new internet box and remain active.

Once the fiber is installed, current Town of Mountain Village phone and TV customers will automatically be migrated to the new fiber network.

“Town Council has heard from residents and businesses, both large and small, that reliable and fast connectivity is an indispensable need,” Benitez said.

To learn more about the fiber project and to sign up for the updates on the fiber construction project, please visit

Mountain Village Community Grant Program open Aug. 1-Sept. 3, 2019

Community Grant Program

Words by Kathrine Warren / Communications

Mountain Village’s annual Community Grant Program will begin accepting applications for  2020 funding on Thursday, Aug. 1. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. 

The Town of Mountain Village’s Community Grant Program seeks to support projects and programs that meet the needs of both the residential and business communities. Currently, $150,000 in funding is allocated for grants in the 2020 draft budget. 

Applications are encouraged from organizations with programs, projects or services that support and promote a healthy and robust community in Mountain Village. These services include health and human services, education, athletics, arts and culture, early childhood education or environmental stewardship.

The grant program is intended to fund services and programs not already offered through the municipality. 

“The grant program provides much-needed support for organizations that serve and lift our community up,” said Town Council Member Natalie Binder, who serves on the town’s Grant Committee. “We are grateful we’re able to provide assistance to these incredible organizations that are an integral part of our quality of life.” 

The Telluride Foundation administers the application process on behalf of the Town of Mountain Village. 

To learn more and to apply, please visit


Market on the Plaza – recipe of the week – 7/31/2019

Words by Zoe Dohnal / Uncategorized


Mustard Greens


Total Time:

20 minutes



  • 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • mustard green washed and chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • Pepper and salt



  1. Heat oil in a pan over medium.

  2. Add garlic; cook, stirring often, until garlic is golden brown and crispy, about 1 minute.

  3. Stir in greens, in batches

  4.  Cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes, before adding more greens.

  5. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender-crisp, 10 to 12 minutes.

  6.  Stir in lemon juice and crushed red pepper.

  7. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  8. Stir in an additional crushed red pepper.

Mountain Village DRB & Town Council to review Village Pond Plaza conceptual plans

Village Pond plan

Words by Kathrine Warren / Development

This notice advises the public of a Design Review Board public meeting date of August 1, 2019, at the Mountain Village Town Hall located at 455 Mountain Village Blvd, Suite A.

The Town is sharing conceptual designs related to Village Pond Plaza enhancement and landscaping. The public is encouraged to attend and provide feedback.

Mountain Village Town Council will also review these same designs at its August 15, 2019 meeting.

Improvements to the Village Center Pond are scheduled for the coming months cooperatively with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Consistent with the Village Center Subarea Plan, TMVOA and the Town of Mountain Village are seeking to enhance and improve the health, usability and landscaping of the Village Pond and the surrounding plaza areas.

The Town, in conjunction with TMVOA, contracted with MRWM Landscape Architects, out of Albuquerque, NM, to execute the vision for Village Pond Plaza, in alignment with the recommendations of the Village Center Subarea Plan. Elements that will be considered for the area include:

  • Dredging work as identified by the Town (in conjunction with the EPA)
  • An expanded and deeper Village Pond, to promote its long-term health and usability
  •  A wetland walkway with outdoor education components
  • Telluride Conference Center Plaza enhancements
  •  A sensory stream with tactile interaction for children
  • A tent overlay to demonstrate how Telluride Conference Center events can be brought outdoors

To see the submitted proposal and plans, please visit the Town of Mountain Village’s Current Planning ProjectsThe community is encouraged to attend these meetings to provide input and review the conceptual designs. 

Date & time of public meeting(s): 

DRB Hearing Date: August 1, 2019
DRB Hearing Time: 10:00 a.m.  or as soon as practicable thereafter

Town Council Hearing Date: August 15, 2019
Town Council Hearing Time: 8:30 a.m. or as soon as practicable thereafter

Location of Work Sessions:  Town Hall, Town Council Meeting Room, 455 Mountain Village Blvd, Ste. A, Mountain Village, CO 81435

Written comments can be sent to: 
Sam Starr
Town of Mountain Village Planner
s[email protected] 


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