Garfield County goes after landowners for illegally renting RVs on their land
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” The Garfield County Attorney’s Office has launched legal action in three separate cases against landowners who have been allegedly renting out RV trailers on their properties near New Castle.
The court complaints have been filed on behalf of the Garfield County commissioners and are seeking to block the landowners from continuing the practice, court records show.
In the complaints against the landowners, the county alleges that the placement and renting of the trailers is largely a violation of county zoning regulations. None of the landowners have received a county special use permit, which could allow the placement of the trailers, according to county officials.
The complaints against the landowners, which were all filed in late October, come at a time when many workers in the area face difficulties finding places to live, especially those working in the area oil and gas industry.
In a complaint filed on Oct. 23, the county charges that the owners of Elk Creek RV Park, located at 581 County Road 241 north of New Castle, have dozens of trailers on the property that house permanent residents. The county also alleges that people have built several structures on the property and conducted grading there without receiving appropriate building permits from the county.
That goes well above what the zoning regulations for the property currently allow. When the county adopted a new zoning code in 1978, the land’s seasonal use for tent camping was “grandfathered” into compliance.
However, any move to use the land beyond that use is not allowed by the county’s current zoning regulations, according to county officials.
Chris Chappelle, the county’s building and planning code enforcement officer, wrote in an affidavit that he had received several complaints about the alleged zoning violations in the spring.
At the time, he met with George Janes, the campground’s owner at the time, and informed him of the alleged zoning violations, according to the affidavit.
Janes later sold the campground in late July to Myles Richards for $3 million, according to county records.
Chappelle’s affidavit said that since Sept. 8, when he issued a written notice and warning of the alleged violation to owners of the campground, he has observed that the property has been used for “permanent housing for families and individuals.”
“More than 50 recreational vehicles are parked with insulated skirts, connected to water, sewer, electrical and other facilities on the property,” Chappelle wrote in the affidavit. “In addition to the recreational vehicles, I observed more than 20 cabins located on the property, at least 13 of which have running water and bathroom facilities.”
Chappelle, in his affidavit, wrote that conversations he had with Richards indicated that tenants of the RV park anticipated living there year-round and that the owners “have contracted with several employers to rent the park year-round for employee housing.”
Besides Elk Creek, the county has filed two other complaints in district court seeking to stop two couples from using their New Castle properties as a location to rent out trailers as permanent residences.
Those complaints have targeted the owners of land at 6072 County Road 214 and 6134 County Road 214 in New Castle, court records show.
Contact Phillip Yates: 384-9117
Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
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