County may sue campground near New Castle |

County may sue campground near New Castle

Phillip YatesGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Garfield County commissioners on Monday gave the go-ahead for county attorneys to file a civil or criminal lawsuit against the owner of a campground about two miles northwest of New Castle.The possible lawsuit against the current owner of the Elk Creek Campground stems from allegations that the campground has grown well beyond what it was when the county’s original zoning regulations came into effect.Once those zoning regulations were finalized, the number of campsites and the campground’s seasonal operations were grandfathered into compliance. However, any increase in the number of sites or a move to make the campground a year-long operation would require a special use permit from the county.

Recently, there have been several complaints from area residents that people have been living at the campground year-round, said Chris Chappelle, the county’s building and planning code enforcement officer. There were also complaints that the number of campsites was well above the number that had been grandfathered into compliance.Although the campground has reportedly expanded past its grandfathered status, the current owner, Miles Richards, has not sought a special use permit from the county that would have allowed expansion of the campground to go forward. Chappelle said Monday that the county sent Richards a letter outlining the allegations about a month ago. He spoke to Richards at that time, but has not heard back from him since, Chappelle said.

“It is a simple case of (Richards) ignoring everyone,” he said.Richards bought the campground from George Janes in late July for $3 million, according to county records. Chappelle said a sizable number of the campground’s residents are workers for the area’s natural gas industry.Attempts to reach Richards and Janes were not immediately successful late Monday.

Contact Phillip Yates: 384-9117pyates@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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