Garfield County taking Silt Mesa man to court for zoning violation
Post Independent staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Garfield County is accusing a Silt Mesa property owner of violating the county’s zoning codes by storing large piles of old tires and operating an illegal contractor’s yard on 11 acres along Ukele Lane (County Road 229).
The property owner, Carlos Salazar-Silva, was not present at a hearing on the charges before the Garfield Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on Monday.
Zoning enforcement officer Gale Carmoney told the BOCC that Salazar has hired an attorney and is working on an application for the permit needed to bring his operations into compliance with county codes.
Salazar, reached by telephone on Monday afternoon, said he did not yet have the permit.
He had little more to say beyond referring a reporter to his attorney, Amanda Maurer, who could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.
Carmoney said complaints were lodged with the county starting last March, and that Salazar at one point said the equipment would be moved to gas field jobs in North Dakota or South Dakota, or hauled to a salvage yard.
Successive site visits showed changes in the arrangement of equipment at the site, Carmoney explained in a memo to the BOCC.
“Various pieces of equipment and trucks remain on site, and a number of employees or equipment operators are always present,” his memo stated.
Following an additional complaint in mid-August, Carmoney wrote, he ordered Salazar to get all the equipment off the property by Aug. 26 or the case would be turned over to the county attorney’s office for prosecution in the 9th Judicial District court.
Carmoney said it appeared that most of the tires had been removed by a waste-tire hauler, but as of an inspection on Sept. 14, a new assortment of tires had appeared and equipment was still scattered around the property.
A neighbor, Ernst Schopp, complained to the BOCC that Salazar’s property had also been improperly used to store a locally mined substance called nahcolite, otherwise known as baking soda.
“Now they’re repairing and cleaning semis, tractors with 53-foot trailers,” Schopp said.
The BOCC directed the county attorney to begin civil proceedings against Salazar.
County attorney Andrew Gorgey said legal action could be the move that gives Salazar an added incentive to get the site cleaned up or file for a permit to make the operation legitimate.
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