Silt approves budget, ‘B/I zone,’ subdivision rewrite |

Silt approves budget, ‘B/I zone,’ subdivision rewrite

John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

SILT – The Silt Board of Trustees gave its blessing Monday to three significant proposals:

• Complete replacement of the town’s subdivision codes.

• Creation of an entirely new business-industrial zoning classification, in order to be ready to accommodate any new businesses that want to locate here.

• A proposed 2012 budget of approximately $3.8 million in revenues and expenses.

The zoning and subdivision matters were the subject of public hearings at the Monday meeting, but no one from the public appeared to offer comment for or against the ideas.

The 2012 budget was unanimously approved, with final, formal adoption scheduled for a board meeting on Dec. 12.

During discussion of the budget, town administrator Pamela Woods announced that starting next year, the town will get a break in terms of payment on its capital debts.

“Our debt service will be substantially lower,” she said, explaining that the town this year refinanced its existing debt of about $5.9 million in bonds and a Department of Local Affairs loan.

The bonds and the loan both were issued about a decade ago to finance a new water and wastewater treatment plant.

By refinancing the combined debt, Woods said, the town will save roughly $50,000 per year, starting in 2012.

During discussion of the new subdivision code, trustees debated over the section detailing the fees developers must pay to cover time spent by town staff and consultants on a project review.

Mayor Dave Moore said he worried that under the new code, a developer might find himself billed for an unapproved amount of time. Moore said this has happened in the past.

“That was prior staff,” remarked Woods. “This is present staff.”

She said that she, working with town planner Janet Aluise, will carefully monitor the amount of time that staff and consultants spend on projects to make sure the bills do not mount up unreasonably.

Moore also questioned a section of the new code that states, “No land use application shall be accepted by the town from an applicant that owes money to the town for any reason, including utility bills, traffic tickets, etc.”

After reading the section, Moore turned to the staff and declared, “I think that’s a little bit excessive.”

Woods replied that the provision was deemed necessary in light of the town’s past experiences with developers who owed the town money but continued to propose development projects.

Trustee Rick Aluise noted that the town faced just such a situation with the controversial Stillwater project two years ago. He said the developers owed the town $80,000 and were slow in paying.

“We just cut ’em off,” Aluise said, adding that no further work was done by town staff on the project until the debt was paid.

If developers faced speeding tickets and fines, Police Chief Levy Burris assured the mayor that they wouldn’t become an issue “unless you’re found guilty and fined.”

Moore conceded he was in the minority in his concerns, and the new subdivision codes were passed unanimously without revision.

There was scant discussion about the new business-industrial (B/I) zone district.

The new zoning classification does not actually designate any specific areas of town for the new district, but simply creates a legal framework for the town government to accept and review development applications for industrial uses.

The B/I zone district ordinance passed unanimously.

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