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Cloman cleanup pressed by CDC

Some property owners in Cloman Industrial Park will be receiving letters from the Pagosa Springs Community Development Corporation (CDC) alerting them that it is high time to clean up their acts.

Presenting a draft letter for Cloman Park residents to the CDC board during Monday’s meeting, Archuleta County Attorney Todd Starr said, “The worst case scenario is that the letter goes unanswered,” adding, “If that’s the case, we file some kind of injunctive relief, which could include reimbursement for attorney fees.”

Starr has been providing legal counsel for the CDC as part of the county’s contribution to the organization.

For several years, property owners in Cloman Park, as well as clients and officials at Stevens Field airport, have complained about the continued accumulation of junk at the industrial park.

“It definitely needs to have something done,” said Mike Short, former owner of a business located in Cloman, during the meeting. “It’s gotten worse after years and years.”

The matter of the appearance of Cloman Park came to the attention of the CDC when J.R. Ford, speaking to the board regarding his proposed Biomass Energy plant and its location in the industrial park, cited the need for action towards cleaning up the area, stating that the numerous derelict vehicles and piles of scrap concrete littering the park was hardly the impression he would like to present to state and federal officials when touring the plant.

In the letter, signed by CDC Board President Mike Alley, residents in violation of Cloman Park covenants and county nuisance ordinances were told, “Rather than assuming a (sic) adversarial posture right from the start, I have been instructed to write this letter and ask if you will voluntarily submit a plan to bring your property into compliance.”

While asking violators to submit a mitigation plan, the letter went on to say, “If we do not hear from you then we will assume that you would rather incur legal fees than complying with the covenants, investing in the improvement of your neighborhood and raising the value of your property and we will act accordingly.”

After reading the letter, Pagosa Springs Mayor (and CDC board member) Ross Aragon said, “This is to address the trashed out condition (of Cloman Park) and I want to underscore ‘trashed out.’”

While the board agreed to the wording of the letter, it decided to first investigate the park and, with plat maps provided, to identify the worst offenders for distribution of the notice. To those ends, the board agreed to a “field trip” to Cloman Park at 2 p.m. Monday, July 26, in order to more closely assess the conditions.

The CDC meets again Monday, June 26, at 3 p.m., in the CDC offices, located at 2800 Cornerstone Drive, upstairs in Suite B-1 (the office building across from Sears in Aspen Village). The public is welcome to attend all CDC meetings.