At the most recent Grand County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) regular meeting, Commissioners made two committee appointments. At the request of the Grand County Fire Chiefs, they re-appointed Chief Todd Holzwarth of the East Grand Fire Protection District as the Fire Service Representative to the Grand County Emergency Telephone Service Authority.
Commissioner Rich Cimino then nominated Robert Gnuse of Fraser to the Planning Commission. Mr. Gnuse introduced himself as property owner in Grand County since 2002 and full-time resident since 2012, relocating from Atlanta, Georgia, via Denver. His letter of interest lists his qualifications as including “35 years in the engineering industry, having both technical and managerial responsibilities, and ten years teaching management courses as an adjunct faculty member at Kennesaw State University and The University of Denver.” Gnuse holds a Masters of Business Administration and a Masters of Science in Civil Engineering, and is a registered Professional Engineer in four states. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, hiking, biking, and golfing, and sharing time with his wife, Debbie, and two grown children.
In response to his appointment, Mr. Gnuse remarked on the growth he’s seen in Grand County since first coming to the area in 2002 and states that his “unique skills, combining engineering, business management, and working with developers and environmental concerns” give him a background in smart growth. He says he is “totally excited to be part of planning for Grand County’s future growth and excited to make it smart growth.” He will fill the District 1 vacancy left by Melanie Zwick. The appointment is immediate and followed a unanimous vote.
SHORT TERM RENTAL UPDATE
Commissioners also received an update to the Short Term Rental program from County Manager Lee Staab. As of last week, 285 properties had been approved and permitted as Short Term Rentals (STR) for 2018, with 16 applications pending.
The County’s contracted monitoring service, Bear Cloud, had identified an additional 375 never-registered properties that are actively advertising lodging services and 150 advertised listings with expired registrations. Letters are currently being mailed to those 525 businesses, giving 15 days to become compliant, a process which includes application on file for an annual permit in Grand County, a current sales tax license with the State of Colorado, and a $150 application fee. Businesses who do not become compliant or stop operation may be held in violation, a state that could be addressed with further fines.
Staav indicated that an additional 489 advertised properties require address verification, in order to confirm that they are in unincorporated Grand County and not a local municipality. He pointed out that that would bring the number of STRs requiring permits to over 1,000 properties, the revenue of which would exceed $150,000, an amount meant to cover program costs related to administrative, monitoring, and enforcement activities. Administrative costs and time have proven to be greater than anticipated for this initial start-up period and the County is advertising for a full-time, six-month, term-limited administrator to help with the implementation process. Ongoing staff and contract needs will be determined once a “norm” can be determined for the program.
For more information, visit co.grand.co.us/849/Short-Term-Rentals.
MARIJUANA FEE HEARINGS
Finally, County Attorney Alan Hassler updated the Commission on the upcoming Public Hearing for proposed Marijuana Licensing fees. Setting the fees will be the last step needed for the County to resume acceptance of new marijuana-related applications, following a moratorium put in place at the end of 2016.
The proposed fees are the same as those scheduled before the moratorium, with Retail new and renewal applications costing $3,000 and all other marijuana-related applications– such as Retail store, cultivation facility or products manufacturing; or Medical centers or infused-product manufacturing– requiring a $5,000 fee. Late renewal applications will incur an additional $2,000 fee. Additional proposed fees may be found at co.grand.co.us/719/Marijuana-Licenses.
The Public Hearing will be held at 10:30 a.m. on February 27, during the regular meeting of the BOCC.
The Sons of Norway of Grand County and other Colorado Lodges will host Barnelopet, a Kid’s Ski Race on Saturday, February 10th at the YMCA of the Rockies. Kids from ages 0 to 16 are invited to this non-competitive ski event modeled after similar ski events in Norway. Kids may sign up for 1K, 2.5K, or 5K. All skiers finish as winners in this free event open to boys and girls of all skill levels. Parents, Grandparents and other spectators can line up at the finish banner to cheer the skiers on with cowbells and flags, and all skiers receive a beautiful gold medal. Registration begins at 9:30 AM, WALK-INS WELCOME, with free ski lessons from 10:00 to 11:00 AM with the actual Barnelopet Race beginning at 11:15 AM. Cross Country ski rentals are available to Barnelopet racers at no charge for kids at Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center at 970-887-2152 or 303-443-4743.
After the race, skiers and their families are invited to a Barnelopet reception as the host lodges will serve Norwegian hot dogs and lefse, hot chocolate and other treats at no charge.