Rail car residents can stay, for now
The inhabitants of two old rail cars that sit on a RFTA right-of-way in Woody Creek can stay in their nonpa-“rail” homes.
The decision to continue to allow the unique use of the railroad line was passed down by Roaring Fork Transportation Authority Operations and Performance Oversight Committee at their meeting in Glenwood Springs Thursday.
Two train cars have been temporarily sitting on a portion of the track near Woody Creek for 24 years. In that time, the cars have been converted into “affordable housing” by their owners and rented out to tenants.
Complaints from neighbors prompted RFTA to take a closer look at the lease to see if it complies with building, zoning and health laws.
The train cars’ owners have been contending that the train cars can’t be moved and should be able to stay because the use has been ongoing for 24 years.
“Pitkin County’s concern is in kicking people out of housing, which is in short supply in Pitkin County,” Pitkin County Commissioner Dorothea Farris said.
Ed Larsh, the owner of one of the cars, was represented by his daughter Skye Larsh – who traveled from California to attend the meeting – and their attorney at the meeting.
“It is not a car we can just put into a shed because it will rapidly deteriorate,” Skye Larsh said.
Although the cars’ owners were looking for a long-term lease, they didn’t get it. Instead, the board said the residents can continue to live there, but RFTA will continue to offer a lease that grants just 30 days notice for eviction.
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Amid hundreds of cleat-footed little leaguers casually gathered along the first baseline, the glare of parents’ sunglasses deflecting the early morning sun, coach Troy Phillips began a trip down memory lane.