A full agenda brought a number of items before the Granby trustees at Tuesday night’s meeting. Following three separate General Improvement District meetings (Grand Elk Ranch, Grand Elk Ranch No. 2 and Granby West), the board heard from several citizens during unscheduled Public Comment. Topics presented included the Rodeo Apartment project, short-term rentals and compliance with town code.
2020 Budget approved
Finance Director Sharon Spurlin presented the trustees with the 2020 budget and three ordinances for their consideration and approval.
- Ordinance 922 summarizes expenditures and revenues for each fund and adopts the budget for the period January 1 – December 31, 2020. For 2020, revenues are estimated at $10,036,282 and expenditures, including reserves total the same amount.
- Ordinance 923 appropriates sums of money to the various funds and spending agencies for purposes set forth in the document.
- Ordinance 924 levies the general property taxes for 2019 to help defray the cost of government for the 2020 budget year. The town’s mill levy is 7.217 mills. Spurlin pointed out that it had not been changed since TABOR was enacted. Recent adjustments in property valuation saw the assessed valuation go from $48,965,030 to $62,107,640.
After discussion, the trustees approved all three ordinances.
Code Enforcement challenges
Granby resident John Rankin told the trustees he had spoken with the mayor, police chief and went on a ride along with Code Enforcement Officer Rich Carlin. It was during the ride along that Carlson confided that he found some of the town code related to rubbish/garbage to be subjective and thus unenforceable. “My request is let’s go through the codes, find what is and is not enforceable and augment them so they are,” said Rankin. He suggested having the town attorney interpret the codes to determine what is enforceable. “Either throw it out or augment it to make it enforceable to allow him (Officer Carlson) to enforce it to the letter.”
“I agree, some of the code is not clearly defined,” said Trustee Natascha O’Flaherty. “It does create a challenge down the road. I like the idea of it being reviewed.”
Trustee Becky Johnson said the intent is “to improve overall beautification of our town.” She observed the code enforcement position had been in place for 15 months. “I had a lady say ‘you’re barking not biting’ and I agree. Take some time, look at appearance and what is enforceable.” Johnson added the Town’s clean up days in May and September allow residents to dump almost everything for free.
Attorney Scott Krob stated, “If you’re going to have laws, enforce them. If not, change them or get rid of them. There are some areas that are more problematic. How do you define trash versus collectible? It’s a matter of priority for the board. I would be happy to look at the sections of the code you would like us to review.”
“We need to take Rich’s input on these,” said Trustee Josh Hardy. “I agree with Mr Rankin – one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. We have done a great job with the clean up, but it’s an uphill battle. We need to have the townspeople help, too. Spread the word better. As a whole, we have done far better than what it was. There is a learning curve.”
Mayor Paul Chavoustie said, “Since we have had a Code Enforcement Officer, I would like to know how many vehicles have been removed or registered. There has been lots of clean up. I don’t like the heavy handed approach. It’s a matter of improving as you go. I do feel our Code Enforcement Officer has made really good progress would like to continue with that.”
Police Chief Jim Kraker addressed the room, saying, “I agree, the code needs to be rewritten. We want something equitable and easy to enforce. I do believe in balance. We had vehicles identified early on. To date, we are approaching 250 vehicles moved, removed or registered.” He said that communication was key. “We want interaction face to face when problem solving.” Chief Kraker added, “I am a member of this community beyond being cop. It makes a difference. We get requests from other towns to share our programs. We have hit some bumps, corralled and refocused, giving great personal service and enforcement. It’s going to be ongoing, this doesn’t stop.” He said that he and Sergeant Amy Ryan Williams are always available to keep working on it at the discretion of the board. “Parts that don’t work, we will fix.”
The board requested the town attorney review the “refuse” code and amend it to make it more easily interpreted and enforceable.
Granby Ranch roads
Granby Ranch resident Matt Girard had requested the status of the Subdivision Improvement Agreements (SIA) with Granby Ranch be added as an agenda item. Girard explained, “the SIAs dated back to 2007. In 2018, it was very clear the roads needed massive repairs.” The amount of security bonds the developer had were not sufficient to fund the needed repairs. In late 2018, the town requested additional bonds be secured to adequately fund the repairs, and, to date the developer has not provided any additional proof of funding. In January 2019, the town found the developer, Granby Realty Holdings, LLC, to be in breach of the SIA. At the Board of Trustees meeting on May 14, the developer told the trustees that proof of funds would be presented at the last meeting of the year, which is December 10, 2019.
Girard urged the board to be prepared with an action plan, in the event the developer does not provide proof of funds. “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst,” said Girard. He asked the board to research their options prior to the December 10th meeting and have a plan in place on whether to attach a lien to the property, call in the bonds or consider other options.
The board agreed it would be a good idea to have a plan in place prior to the December 10th meeting and directed Attorney Krob to provide them with options at the next meeting.
Town to amend PDOD to conform with STR regulations
Upon discovering language related to short-term rentals in Article 18.05 of the Planned Development Overlay District (PDOD) Preliminary Plan for SolVista Golf & Ski Ranch appeared to be in conflict with the Town’s newly adopted Short-Term Rental regulations, Granby Ranch resident Colleen Hannon requested clarification from the Town.
The PDOD language in question reads:
“18.05 The Town shall not prohibit or restrict short-term rental of residential units, or timeshare, interval or fractional ownership of residential units.”
“The language needs to be clear, quantifiable, and not subject to interpretation from one year to the next,” wrote Hannon in a letter to the board.
On November 5, Marise Cipriani, Manager of Granby Realty Holdings LLC sent a letter to the town reinforcing GRH support for the new Short-Term Rental regulations. The letter states, “Our understanding and remembrance of the intent of the language was to allow short-term rentals, timeshare and fractional units without restricting the number or location within the overall approved density. We believe that the currently approved regulations are consistent with the PDOD and with the intent of the language therein.”
The trustees entered into an Executive Session to seek legal advice from the town attorney on the matter. When the board came out of Executive Session, it was decided the best course of action would be to draft a very short, simple amendment to the PDOD that specifically and expressly indicates permitting and regulating STRs as Ordinance 819 does.
Granby Board of Trustee meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesday of each month and are open to the public. To learn more, visit townofgranby.com.