by D.J. DeJong

Mail Staff Writer

Chaffee County commissioners accepted South Main Arts and Parks Trust as a non-profit entity enabling the noise levels to be set at a maximum of 105 decibels at the sound board for the Meet Me at the Creek concert event scheduled for Sept. 24-25 at The Meadows in Buena Vista.

The commissioners approved the event at their July 6 meeting; however, Bonfire Entertainment requested the opportunity to submit an amended permit request including the non-profit information and Bonfire Entertainment’s Scott Stoughton’s request of the 105 decibel noise ceiling.

In addition to controlling noise with the decibel maximum,  sound engineer Damon Lange told commissioners it is possible with relatively new technology to “steer” low frequency noise, such as bass tones, toward the audience and away from the surrounding area, using cardioid subwoofers to delay and phase changes in sound.

Commissioners also approved a resolution for a moratorium of the submission, acceptance, or processing of applications for short term rentals that exceed 6 percent of the housing units available in unincorporated Chaffee County available on Jan. 1 of each calendar year using data from the Chaffee County assessor as determined by Aug. 1 each prior year or 310 licenses a year.

The moratorium went into effect Tuesday after the commissioners adopted the resolution and will remain in effect until the county decides on a set of ordinances to address short term rental issues or Jan. 16, 2022, whichever comes first.

The resolution stated county staff is currently receiving an average of 10 new short term rental applications a month and have issued licenses or receiver applications for 185 short term rental licenses in 2021, which is 4 percent of the 5,132 housing units currently available. 

Additionally there are 75 non-compliant short term rentals, which if compliant would total 260 short term rentals or 5 percent of available housing units.

The moratorium is an effort to defray the possible increase in applications in excess of the maximum percent limit proposed by the ordinance before a final decision can be made.

The creation of the ordinance is to “create an appropriate regulation to address adverse impacts that short term rentals have on neighboring residences and the community at large.” 

The resolution lists impacts such as:

• Establishing unsustainable real estate price pressure for present and future local area wage earners.

• A scarcity of affordable housing options within the unincorporated areas of Chaffee County.

• A reduction in the number of housing units available to present and future local area wage earners.

• Diminished neighborhoods and community character and desirability, all of which may damage the public health, safety and welfare.

The introduction and first reading of the proposed short term rental ordinance 2021-2 was continued to a future meeting by a unanimous vote.

In other business commissioners:

• Approved a grant funding match for a Economic Development Administration grant to fund a regional broadband coordinator position in the 13-county Southern Colorado Economic Development region.

• Approved the Sage Heights major subdivision sketch plan to subdivide parcel 2 of Bainbridge heritage water subdivision exemption of 32.9 acres at 12506 CR 190 E., into 15 lots ranging in size from 2 to 2.2 acres.

• Approved the Adams agricultural subdivision exemption No. 3 at 11460 CR 140, to subdivide 76.88 acres into two lots of 2.54 acres and 74.34 acres.

• Approved the Swift vacation of right of way at 22461 Jones St. to vacate the 20-foot wide alley lying between and adjacent to lots 21-30 on the north and lots 11 through 20 on the south in Block 13, townsite of Garfield.

• Continued a public hearing on the Darland heritage water subdivision exemption to subdivide 58.04 acres into two lots of 5 acres and 53.04 acres.

• Approved the renewal of a beer and wine on-premise license for Station 24 Café, 12867 U.S. 24/285, Buena Vista.

• Ratified their determination on the proposed Purdue Pharma bankruptcy.

Meeting as the Chaffee County Board of Health , approved a request from Fish Bridge LLC, Jon Donaldson River Runners and Kevin Meadows of Riverside Grill, 24070 CR 301, to allow a gray water holding tank for a handwashing station that will be pumped out on an as-needed basis. The station would be near the restaurant area.

• Meeting as the 1041 permitting authority, reviewed a draft permit for the 10-year extension of a 1041 permit for the Blue Triton Brands spring water production process and associated transmission pipeline and loading facility.


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