Chaffee County commissioners unanimously approved a temporary policy to move all county public meetings to a fully virtual format through at least Jan. 4 at their regular meeting Tuesday.

The move comes as the COVID-19 case count in Chaffee County is rising rapidly. The case count for November has already surpassed the high set in December. 

The policy covers all county public meetings, including volunteer boards and commissions’ meetings.

A press release stated the county will rely primarily on the Zoom platform for conduct of meetings and for public participation. 

In-person, on-site participation will be limited only to staff, elected officials and board members who are unable to connect remotely.  

The commissioners agreed additional precautions are warranted to prevent worsening of the current surge, particularly leading into the holiday season. 

They plan to revisit the policy after the new year in consideration of the local COVID situation at that time.

The commissioners also emphasized the expectation that individuals wear face masks when in common areas inside county facilities, regardless of vaccination status.

In other business the commissioners approved submission of a HB21-1271: Department of Local Affairs Housing Strategies Grant Program application in collaboration with the county, Chaffee Housing Authority and Chaffee County Economic Development Corp.

The funds from the DOLA grant would be used to support defensible data-driven plans and policy recommendations to help update the county’s housing needs assessment, analyze and optimize the development review process to help support housing production goals and to conduct an impact assessment of short-term rentals and vacation homes’ impacts on housing and create recommendations for proposed policies and fees related to them.

A public hearing on the Morrison minor subdivision final plat at 15974 CR 306 was continued until Dec. 14.

The public hearing for the Elk Run conservation subdivision at 28505, 28495 and 28375 CR 340, Buena Vista, was continued until Dec. 7.

A request to subdivide outlot A of El Rancho Vaquero heritage water subdivision exemption, 28445 Los Nietos Drive, Buena Vista, consisting of 29.28 acres divided into three lots ranging in size from 9.6 to 9.85 acres, was unanimously approved.

Commissioners remanded to Planning and Zoning a request by Crabtree Group Inc. to subdivide parcel 6 of Timber Creek Ranch, 184.27 acres at 8268 CR 160, into 59 lots with the minimum being .86 acre and one additional outlot of 114.78 acres to be preserved in perpetuity as contiguous open space.

The commissioners concurred with staff that a request by Princeton Holdings LLC to replat lots 16-27 at The Estates at Mount Princeton would be considered a minor rather than a major change. The request would reduce the number of lots from 12 to seven, increasing the amount of land dedicated to open space, vacating a portion of unconstructed roadway, St. Elmo Court, and adding emergency ingress/egress.

Commissioners also:

• Approved  a letter of support for the Commitment to Veteran Support and Outreach Act encouraging federal support for local Veteran Service Office programs.

• Approved a transfer of entitlement for the transfer of $150,000 of fiscal year 2020 federal funds from Salida Airport at Harriet Alexander Field to Central Colorado Regional Airport and $150,000 of fiscal year 2020 to Spanish Peaks Airport.

• Accepted the county sheriff’s report

Zoom links to county public meetings are posted within the individual meeting notices on the calendar found at www.chaffeecounty.org/

Anyone with questions on virtual participation in public meetings or who thinks they need assistance with accessing Zoom is encouraged to contact the administrative office at 719-539-2218 or email chaffeeadmin@chaffeecounty.org for support.

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