By Mary Jo Coulehan| Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce
The Town of Pagosa Springs has been in the process of revising and updating its Land Use and Development Code (LUDC) and is in the final stages of getting input and proposing changes to the Pagosa Springs Town Council.
It is important that our business community weigh in on several issues. One such issue is the revision of the sign code. At the Chamber, we hear comments when businesses are opening a business or getting a new sign about the regulations they face. Here is an opportunity for you to weigh in on the revisions.
Here is a brief rundown of the changes. The changes will be in sync with the area of town. Downtown regulations will be different from west side or east side, and this is based on the density of the area or sign zones. The town’s objectives with the proposed sign code changes are intended to preserve and maintain our mountain town aesthetic while balancing business owners’ needs for effective and attractive signage. Primary changes include aligning sign heights and overall sizes with vehicle speeds.
Signs can be a powerful indicator for pedestrian-oriented areas versus auto-centric ones, which impact safety and create a sense of place. The proposed changes result in more, but smaller, sign districts. Specific standards for height and size are tailored to those districts and corresponding vehicle speeds. Keep in mind, the LUDC only applies to properties in the town boundary and not in unincorporated Archuleta County. The other objective is to ensure free speech rights are preserved and protected by eliminating any content-specific regulations. For example, in some sign areas, the signage proposal is to reduce the square footage in height and width. What may have been 25 square feet could be 20 or 16 square feet to better align with the character of the district. Verbiage on the sign is also specified to be “content neutral” to ensure freedom of speech.
The changes and a summary in each of the sign categories including banners, temporary signage and lighting of signs can be located in the proposed LUDC sign code, which can easily be found on the www.mypagosa.org/ludc-update.
On this website you can give your input on the sign changes as well as other topics through the draft, which is about 90 percent complete. You still have time to comment, and the town is seeking your input. Be a vested part of this change and give constructive feedback. Don’t wait until it is too late for you to give your input. This input does not have to be negative. It can certainly be positive input as to the changes that are being proposed. Please just take the time to look at your sign and the signs around your business and interpret how these changes might positively or negatively affect your business community.
QuickBooks classes update
Thanks to the great response, the Aug. 17 one-on-one QuickBooks Class with Nelly Burns is sold out.
Therefore, we will hold another free one-on-one consulting class with Burns on Thursday, Aug. 24. There is still time for you to sign up.
This class is not for beginners. It is for those business owners who have some knowledge of QuickBooks and have a question or two where they would like assistance.
Burns is a QuickBooks Pro Trainer and consultant with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
There are only four one-hour time slots available on this date. To register for a consultation, visit www.sbdcfortlewis.org and scroll down to the Consulting section. Enter either as a new client or, if you have received assistance before from the SBDC, sign on as an existing client. Click on the class and sign up for one of the available time slots. Take advantage of this opportunity to help you be a better business manager.
Don’t forget that we will also be hosting a free Business Tax Designation class on Aug. 30 at 4 p.m. This class is important for current or up-and-coming businesses to make sure that they are filing their business in the correct tax designation and protecting their personal and professional assets.
An attorney and a CPA will be on hand to give you some sound advice. This quick one-hour class is very important for self-employed or gig workers. Register for this free class through the Chamber’s website at www.pagosachamber.com/event-calendar and click on the Aug. 30 class date.