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Public hearing will consider town’s three-mile plan

The Town of Pagosa Springs Planning Commission has scheduled a public hearing for Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 5:15 p.m., in Town Hall to discuss the adoption of a three-mile plan, and has requested that all written comments be submitted to the planning department before 5 p.m. on Aug. 30.

According to Colorado Revised Statutes section 31-12-105, the town must adopt a three-mile plan every year. It is intended as a long-range planning tool to prioritize areas for annexation within a three-mile radius of the town boundary.

According to the statute, the town council is supposed to discuss and update the three-mile plan every year, but in the past it has only come up when a property owner has requested annexation of his or her property.

The last time a three-mile plan amendment was discussed was 2010, when the owner of The Links, at Ace Court, just west of the Hillside Inn, requested annexation by the town. At that time, no changes were made to the three-mile plan, originally adopted in 2007. The plan adopted in 2007 is based on the town’s 2006 comprehensive plan.

Town Planner James Dickhoff confirmed there was no discussion on the three-mile plan last year, and said the last time any changes were made to the plan was in 2008.

The record shows there was quite a bit of public comment and controversy at a Feb. 26, 2008, planning commission meeting when Blue Sky Ranch LLC requested annexation by the town and staff recommended postponing the discussion until a three-mile plan could be drawn up.

Referring to the upcoming meeting, Dickhoff explained that this is simply a routine discussion.

“Colorado law requires us to do this every year. There are some minor areas in consideration for annexation, but no applications have been submitted.”

When asked for clarification, he explained that there is no plan to expand the actual town boundary, but there are some smaller, fill-in areas under consideration. For example, there will be discussion of how to handle areas where the town owns both sides of a road but not the road itself. Alpha Drive was mentioned.

Once all public comment has been reviewed and discussed, the planning commission will present its recommendation to the town council at a public hearing on Thursday, Sept. 20, at noon in Town Hall. The public will have until 5 p.m. on Sept. 12 to submit written comments for that meeting. Both the planning commission and town council meetings are open to the public and verbal comments are welcome.

Due to the volume of written comments sent to the planning commission concerning some hotly contested issues at previous meetings, the staff has adopted a change in their policy regarding the timeline for accepting written comments. According to Dickhoff, this two-week deadline is meant to allow staff enough time to properly review and consider all comments.

Anyone interested in more information is encouraged to contact the town planning department at 264-4151, Ext. 225.

ed.fincher@pagosasun.com

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