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Two hot topics from four years ago, camping and storage containers, are back on the table.

The first reading and discussion on both camping and storage container ordinances were approved on Jan. 9.

The commissioners decided to approve ordinances instead of revising the land use regulations.

Commissioner Dick Elsner said enforcing ordinances is faster and more effective than enforcing the LURs because the Sheriff can issue a ticket or citation.

Elsner said enforcing the LURs involved a several-step process before a case actually gets to the district court to be heard.

Staff and quite a few people spoke during the first readings, but the microphone used was not working. The Flume could not hear anyone except the commissioners and Erin Smith, county attorney.

The ordinances will be published in The Flume before the second reading and adoption on Feb. 6. (See Page 13 of this edition)

The current camping regulations can be found under the planning and zoning tab on the county website, www.parkco.us. It is found in Article V, Section 5-712 of the LURs

A major change to the camping regulations discussed for inclusion in the ordinance is the length one may camp without the need for a septic system.

Currently, 60 days is the limit. With a septic system, one may camp another month.

Elsner said most campers have recreational vehicles with self contained water and/or sewage disposal tanks.

He favored increasing the limit to 90 days, eliminating the requirement of a septic system, but requiring submission of pumping receipts.

He favored a large fine for violations.

Elsner said the South Park businesses had been financially hurt by the camping regulations.

Commissioner Mike Brazell said he supported the current regulations which had lots of meetings and public input before adoption four years ago.

He said Elsner’s proposal only addressed RVs. Someone in a shed or tent wouldn’t have the option of pumping a disposal tank.

Brazell said the main purpose of the regulations was to address those living in noncompliant housing without any water or proper waste disposal.

Brazell said that problem had not decreased.

The county had worked on a one-to-one basis to help those without funds who want to build a home and/or install a septic system.

One example is being able to use boiler plate building plans and waste disposal plans developed by a local builder.

The proposed ordinance keeps the requirements of a permitted driveway and for a camping permit, if camping longer than 14 days on your property.

It also limits the ordinance to vacant lots under 160 acres that are zoned residential or mining.

Storage unit ordinance

Regulations on storage units are currently in the LUR, Article V, Section 5-713.

They were adopted around the same time as the camping regulations, because people were living in units with no water or waste disposal.

The regulations only limit storage containers on agricultural land or in any zone while a primary residence is being built.

The ordinance allows storage containers as an accessory structure in all zones. All setbacks must be met.

A permit and visual mitigation are required if on lots smaller than 160 acres.

Brazell’s main concern was that the containers do not become living quarters, and he wanted specific language added to prohibit living in them.

He also wanted the county to approve visual mitigation specifics before implementation to avoid inappropriate and/or objectionable visuals.

Both ordinances state that they will be enforced by development services personnel and/or the Sheriff’s Department.

The fine for a first violation is $150. A second violation carries a fine of $500 and a third will cost $1,000.

All fines will be deposited into the Sheriff Department’s budget.

Water storage

The commissioners signed a water storage license with Colorado Springs Utilities to store county water in Montgomery Reservoir located near the county line north of Alma.

The five-year renewable license is to store up to fifteen acre feet per water year in wet years. The water year in Colorado is from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

The cost for 2020 is $50.00 per acre foot for a total of $750. Each year the cost will increase by two percent. In 2025, the cost will be $55.20 per acre foot, for a total of $828.

Any water in storage that is not used by the county will carry over to the next year, but can at no time exceed 15 acre feet.

By March 31 of each water year, the county will notify CS-U of a schedule for anticipated storage into and releases from the reservoir. It may be adjusted depending on river conditions and the actual usage by the county.

Releases will be made when the flume is operational, which is approximately from May 15 to Oct. 15.

The county is responsible for augmenting its monthly share of evaporation and seepage losses.

If CS-U needs the storage space for its own purposes, it will notify the county in time for the county to look for alternate storage before the county’s water is dumped from the reservoir.

Fairplay SRO

The commissioners signed an agreement to provide a school resource officer to the Park County RE-2 School District’s Fairplay school campus. The agreement runs from November through the end of the school year.

Under the agreement, the district will pay $25,000 for the SRO to work full time during the school year. The amount will be reconciled at the end of the school year based on actual time worked at the school campus.

The remainder of the contract is the same as one signed in November with the Platte Canyon School District.

Tourism marketing bid

The commissioners signed an agreement with Mount Bailey Productions for providing tourism marketing materials for Park County and the South Park National Heritage Area.

MBP is located in Bailey and owned by Stephanie Cantu. The bid by MBP was $44,220.

Three other bids were received that ranged from $117,725 to $212,740.

Slate was awarded the bid for the past two years and did submit a bid this year for the next lowest price of about $118,000.

Jennie Andrusin, grants and projects manager, told The Flume that MBP was awarded smaller marketing tasks in the past. County staff was impressed with the quality of work completed by the company.

Under the agreement, MBP will be responsible for six tasks.  The contract includes up to six meetings with staff.

Websites and social media

MBP will maintain www.exploreparkcounty.com, which promotes Park County tourism, and four websites associated with the South Park Natural Heritage Area.

Two social media accounts, one for Park County and one for SPNHA, will be maintained on Facebook and Instagram.

Videos and publications

MBP will develop and produce 12 ‘slice-of-life’ videos based on heritage and life in Park County. Each will be five to seven minutes long and posted on SPNHA’s Facebook page and used in other places as well.

A 16-page magazine for summer and another for the winter will be developed and published to promote SPNHA. One thousand copies of each will be printed for distribution.

Symposium

MBP will be responsible recording and producing presentations made at the SPHNA symposium and a short promo video. All will be able on YouTube.

The symposium is tentatively set for Aug. 14.

Pilot program

A new pilot program will be developed by MBP this year to heighten awareness of the benefits of tourism best practices to local businesses.

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