At the meeting Wednesday, January 22, the trustees heard the first reading of the Franchise Agreement with Mountain Parks Electric, Inc (MPEI). Town Attorney Rod McGowan explained that, up until now, MPEI had been operating without a franchise. “Statutorily, anyone operating this type of utility is supposed to have a franchise,” said McGowan.
In his memo to the trustees, McGowan explained that town staff had expressed concerns with the proposed agreement, primarily related to provisions that required the town to enforce National Electrical Safety Code requirements. The town had not adopted the Code as part of its building requirements and the state inspector performs electrical inspections for new construction. Since the town has no authority to enforce the electrical code, MPEI was asked to remove the provision, which they agreed to do the week prior to the meeting. With that amendment, staff found the proposed agreement to be acceptable.
The Franchise Agreement is for a period of twenty years and will provide a 2% fee of all revenue collected to the town during the term of the agreement. Town Manager Jeff Durbin estimated the 2% would garner around $60K in fees allocated to the town annually.
The first reading of Ordinance 475, Series 2020, was approved by the trustees. With several questions on agreement language, the trustees requested that a representative from MPEI be present at the second reading.
Extension granted for Village at Grand Park Final Plat
Trustee Andy Miller had requested the item be removed from the Consent Agenda and added to the primary agenda for discussion. Miller observed the request for extension was the third submitted by the developer and he questioned whether the plat would still accommodate sufficient access in and out.
Grand Park President, Clark Lipscomb, told the trustees the plans had not changed. “The buildings are the exact same buildings we have had designed for a long time,” he said. Lot 12C had recently sold to Kremmling Memorial Hospital District for the location of a new Middle Park Health medical center. Lipscomb said the parcel was originally slated for a limited service hotel, but he was glad to help KMHD achieve their goals.
Lipscomb said the roads had been designed and set up for phasing. “The reality of commercial is Grand County doesn’t support critical mass in one fell swoop,” he said. Access to Fraser streets was clear, but access to Winter Park town streets from Grand Park remains in question as the two entities work to resolve differences.
The trustees approved Resolution 2020-01-02, authorizing a five-year extension for the execution of final plat documents for the Village at Grand Park Filing 2.
Sign Code Request
The owner of High Country Autumn’s Nest, Autumn Bishop, appeared before the trustees. Bishop had written a letter to the trustees about her usage of a sandwich board sign placed on the sidewalk in front of her shop. Bishop had been informed that the use of the sign was a violation of the town’s side code.
Located at the corner of Eastom and US 40 in Frodo, Bishop stated that potential customers often miss her shop when the sign is not placed in a spot visible to US 40 traffic. Bishop suggested the town consider adding permanent signage that directs visitors to businesses located on the town’s side streets.
Town Manager Durbin and Planner Catherine Trotter agreed to meet with Bishop to talk about the sign code and find a solution to properly direct customers to her store.
Colorado Communities for Climate Action
The Town of Fraser recently joined forces with 28 other Colorado municipalities and county governments, becoming a member of Colorado Communities for Climate Action (CC4CA). Executive Director Jacob Smith presented an overview of the organization to the trustees and staff. “You all are doing great work,” said Smith. “The disposable bag fee, recycling center, a Level 3 EV station – those are going to help bring the rest of the county along, through your leadership.”
Smith explained CC4CA was about 4 years old and focuses on statewide policy. “It’s not possible to do a lot at the federal level,” Smith said. In 2019, of the 15 bills collectively passed in the legislative session, CC4CA was actively involved in 13. “A lot of what the bills did set into motion a lot of rulemaking,” said Smith,
A member-driven organization, CC4CA focuses on the issues the members determine to be most important. Reducing methane and greenhouse emissions, carbon, solar gardens are some of the concerns they address. A lobbyist also works for the group on a monthly retainer basis.
Community members are allowed to be as involved as they wish to be in ad hoc working groups, meetings and the annual retreat. Assistant Town Manager Michael Brack is the town’s representative to CC4CA.
Wapiti Quadplex gets approval for utility easements
Owner, Wapiti Homes LLC., requested Major Site Plan approval for the construction of a quadplex to be constructed on a vacant lot legally described as Amended Lot B3, Clayton Subdivision AKA 201 S Wapiti Drive.
Paul Dalton, Paramount Engineering, appeared before the trustees, representing the owner. The applicant had requested two utility easements from the Town of Fraser for a sewer service line and an electric service line. Dalton explained they were asking for two easements. Electrical across Wapiti Drive and the sewer utility, adjacent to the Holiday Inn Express and town property. “We are going to try to connect to it before it gets to Elk Creek. We are trying not to cross the creek,” said Dalton. The Town’s Public Works department is working with the developer on the best options for placement.
In exchange for the two easements, the applicant offered to grant the Town a 25’ access easement adjacent to the north property line for a future road connection.
Mayor Philip Vandernail said, “This could be a win: win, with the right of way.” The trustees told Dalton they would be amenable to granting the two requested easements.
RV Regulations in development
Assistant Town Manager Brack brought the matter regarding a complaint received in October 2019 of an individual found to be residing in a recreational vehicle (RV) within town limits before the Board.
Currently, the Town of Fraser has no ordinances regarding regulations pertaining to short-term or long-term occupation of recreational vehicles within town limits.
During a survey conducted in November 2019, approximately 20 recreational vehicles were observed on residential properties within Fraser town limits. Of the 20 observed, three recreational vehicles showed signs of residency.
Colorado Revised Statutes defines a recreational vehicle as “the category of vehicle primarily designed as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, or travel use, which either has its own motive power or is mounted on or drawn by another vehicle.”
For some residents, recreational vehicles provide an alternative to paying high rents commonly associated with the Fraser Valley. Permission to live in a recreational vehicle on private property is typically arranged through an informal agreement with the tenant. Recreational vehicles provide a means for occupancy, however, these living spaces still require utilities for water and sewer and, as a result, avoid paying utility fees while increasing utilization of town infrastructure.
Brack gave examples of the regulations other municipalities enforced on recreational vehicles.
Town of Granby: 1) Recreational vehicle camping is permitted on or adjacent to the public right-of-way in residential zone districts, provided the RV is located entirely outside the paved or traveled portions of the public right-of-way, the RV does not obstruct the view of vehicular traffic, and the campers have the consent of the owners or renters of the immediately adjacent residential lot(s); 2) RV camping in residential areas shall be limited to no more than 14 nights in a 90-day period of time and no more than three consecutive nights on commercial property with property owner’s consent. The three-night time limit shall not apply to commercial campgrounds; and, 3) Upon the destruction or temporary uninhabitability of a residential structure, or such other exceptional circumstances deemed appropriate by the town manager, the town manager may issue a permit allowing the owner of the property to overnight or RV camp on the property for such period of time as the town manager, in the reasonable exercise of his discretion, deems appropriate.
Town of Kremmling: A recreational vehicle may be used as a temporary living quarters when parked on private property, at a residence, for a term not to exceed fourteen days. No more than two recreational vehicles may be used as temporary living quarters at any residence at any one time.
Since this was the first complaint the town had received, Brack recommended the trustees have a discussion on whether the problem merited regulation,
Trustee Katie Soles said, “At this stage, it doesn’t seem to be a problem, so long as they are self contained.”
Trustee Herb Meyring asked, “What if we put in a dump station?”
Mayor Pro-Tem Eileen Waldow questioned whether it would be appropriate at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Trustee Parnell Quinn observed, “If they are not moving, they are dumping somewhere.”
“It’s considered hazardous waste,” said Soles.
Trustee Quinn added, “They’re not paying a fee for sewer.”
“Maybe in the future, when we have opportunities for people to live, housing is just desperate right now,” said Soles. “I don’t think we should consider regulating until maybe 5 years from now.”
“This is not a formal housing solution,” said Durbin. “The question we are presented with is ‘is this a problem?’ We have seen one complaint, and maybe three RVs are being occupied right now. That says to me this is not a problem.”
Trustee Quinn suggested, “Why not come up with something now, before we have 100 that have to follow the rules and regulations, so they are paying their way.”
“I would support something like that,” said Durbin. He agreed to draft proposed language and bring it to the Water & Wastewater Committee with his recommendation.
The Town of Fraser Board of Trustees meetings are held the first and third Wednesday of the month and are open to the public. To learn more, visit frasercolorado.com.