The Poncha Springs Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously agreed in a Monday work session an increase in membership from five to seven would benefit the town.

Chairman Steve Rust stepped down in July.

Poncha Springs Mayor Ben Scanga said the increase would help the commission mirror the Poncha Springs Board of Trustees, give residents more input and facilitate better discussions.

The commission recommended that trustees review the change during their Feb. 24 meeting.

Additionally, the commission reviewed and voted unanimously to recommend Poncha Springs’ short-term rental policy in its current state to the board of trustees. The policy covers definitions, required licenses and renewals. A new application costs $125 and a renewal application costs $75. Both include a business license.

A first-time violation of the policy would result in a 30-day suspension and a $100 fine. A second offense would result in a one-year suspension and a $250 fine. A third offense would result in revocation of license and a $500 fine.

The commission also unanimously recommended trustees approve the Transect Zoning Map update. It had last been updated in April 2018. Since then, the area has experienced subdivisions, zoning changes, annexations, highway access point improvements, lot splits and lot consolidations.

Commissioners began initial discussion for several projects including a trail system connecting Halley’s Avenue to Town Center, potential U.S. 50 crossing locations, directional highway signs and pylon signs for Crossroads Retail Park and Industrial Park. For any of those projects to come to fruition, additional discussion with Colorado Department of Transportation will need to take place.

The trail system connecting Halley’s Avenue to Town Center would cross CR 120 and run parallel to U.S. 285.

The directional highway signs would conceptually resemble signs found at ski resorts. They would identify local landmarks such as monuments, mountains, rivers, neighboring towns and ski resorts. One sign would be made for those heading west on U.S. 50 and the other would be made for those heading south on U.S. 285.

The intention of the pylon signs is to give more business exposure to locals and tourists for Crossroads Retail Park and Industrial Park. Because of lack of space on the sign, the commission intends to require an annual fee to be featured on the sign. The location will be determined after future discussions with CDOT.

A short-term rental request for 650 Quarry Station was recommended for approval by the commission. The application was submitted by Poncha Springs resident Dawn Waldrop, who sought to gain approval to rent her residence through Airbnb. She plans to rent the space for two or three weekends a month. Waldrop will return in the future to fulfill application requirements.

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