A new ambulance station will soon be built in Hartsel. The lot is adjacent to U.S. Highway 24 just northwest of its intersection with State Highway 9. 

The South Park Ambulance District received a 100 feet by 60 feet right of way vacation of the southern portion of Midland Avenue. 

Park County commissioners approved the vacation Sept. 24. 

The vacated ROW will be combined with a lot the ambulance district purchased earlier this year.

Normally, a ROW vacation is divided equally between owners of the adjacent lots.

In this case, the adjacent land is owned by Colorado Department of Transportation. CDOT requested the entire ROW be adjoined to the ambulance district lot, saying it didn’t need any extra ROW.

Commissioner Dick Elsner said there is a growing need for an ambulance station in that area due to more traffic on the highways and the nearby reservoirs of Antero, Spinney and 11 Mile being busier. 

Residential CUP

Commissioner Mike Brazell voted no on a conditional use permit to allow a guest house on a residential lot where the main residence is being used as a short term rental.

Elsner and Commissioner Ray Douglas voted to approve it.

Owner Robert and Kathleen Douglas said the large two car garage will be converted into a two bedroom dwelling unit.

Commissioner Ray Douglas stated the applicants are not related to him.

The lot is located on Kootchie Kootchie Road west of Alma and about half way between County Road 1 and CR 12.

The planning commission with a four to one vote recommended denial due to the primary residence being used as a short term rental, so a second house didn’t meet the definition of a guest house. 

By definition, a guest house is a single family dwelling used to house a property caretaker or visitors and guests of the occupants of the primary dwelling unit on a lot. 

According to Planner John Deagan, the owner told the planning commission that the guest house might be used as a short term rental. That was also stated in the application packet.

The planning commission determined that two rental houses on one lot wasn’t compatible with the residential zone. 

At the county commissioner hearing the owner said his daughter lives in Los Angeles, California and teaches college classes remotely, will occupy the guest house as a property caretaker. She would be charged a reduced rent of $500. She will be able to continue her remote teaching. 

The written materials said she could use the property until she found Mr. Right or decided to build her own house.

Brazell asked if Douglas needed high speed internet at that location.

Douglas responded that he was installing a satellite unit for internet connection.

Brazell said satellite connections in that area could be spotty. 

He also asked if either the owners or the daughter had spent a winter at 10,700 feet.

Douglas answered no, but he had been there in the winter and slid off the road more than once due to ice and snow. The family knows what winters are like at the property and his daughter loves the area. 

Brazell said he couldn’t see someone from sea level living at 10,700 feet for more than a couple of winters before moving to a lower elevation. 

Elsner and Commissioner Douglas disagreed with Brazell, saying many live year- round in that area. 

The property has a domestic well that will furnish both houses with water. The septic system will need to be upgraded, or a new one built for the second house. 

Commissioner Douglas asked Deagan if he would recommend approval with the new information that the guest house would be occupied by their daughter. 

Deagan answered “yes,” then asked if he thought the planning commission would approve it if they had known the guest house would be occupied by the owner’s daughter as a caretaker.

Deagan said he couldn’t speak for the planning commission. They were concerned about having two short-term rentals on the property. 

Elsner said the county is currently working on a license for short-term rental property owners. It will limit the number of people using a rental at one time, based on the size of the septic system.

Brazell said he was concerned that others will go this route for financial gain. He said having two rental houses on a residential property is not the same as a home with a guest house. 

Brazell said the CUP was being requested for financial gain and he hoped it didn’t become the norm.

Elsner said that wasn’t an issue for him. 

Three conditions were placed on the CUP approval. 

1.Only one dwelling unit can be a used as a short term rental. The other can be occupied only by the owner or a caretaker.

2.Development services will determine the number of persons allowed in both dwelling units based on the size of the septic system.

3.All representations made by the Douglas’s at the hearing and in the application packet become conditions of the CUP. 

Public comment

Dave Hanson of Shawnee said he was interested in the changes to the Land Use Regulations concerning home businesses. 

The item was scheduled to be discussed that day, but was postponed. 

Hanson said he wanted to start an electronic repair shop for autos. He was going to apply to rezone his residential property to commercial or apply for a conditional use. 

Hanson said development services told him the home business section of the LURs was being updated. 

He asked the commissioners to consider allowing auto electrical repair as a home business. He said he wasn’t interested in general auto repair, only repairing electrical issues.

Patrick McKay asked the commissioners if they had received a large number of emails asking a work session to discuss the county requesting road easements from the United States Forest Service in Wildcat Canyon area. (See front page article in Sept. 18 The Flume.)

McKay said maintenance of roads was the key, not the motorized use. The four wheeler organizations would do the maintenance.

Elsner said they had received the emails and most were from out of the county. Even if someone other than the county maintained the roads, the county would still have the liability. 

“You’ve heard all three of us say we aren’t interested in easements,” Elsner said. “I trust the Forest Service to make the best decision for their land.”

He said the county has a great relationship with the USFS, and the commissioners support what the USFS is trying to do to preserve the area.  

Hazards Plan

A five-year update to the Multi-jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan was approved Sept. 17. It can be found on the county’s website www.parkco.us under the departments and emergency management.

Currently, a draft hasn’t been replaced with the approved plan. A short video summary is also posted on the same page.

Fairplay and the fire protection districts updates are also on the county website. Alma was invited to participate, but did not.

The plan is necessary in order to receive federal funding after an emergency hazard event such as flooding, drought, wildfire, severe winter weather, dam failure, tornadoes or a pandemic.


Vouchers in the amount of $111,411 were approved. Dollars were rounded by The Flume.

Three funds, general, public works and grant, spent between $32,000 and $36,000 each. 

Conservation trust fund spent $2,400 and human services spent about $9,000. Fleet services spent about $750 and the insurance fund spent around $600.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.