Silt considers residential annexation moratorium
Post Independent Staff
Faced with water and sewage plants at near capacity and the possibility of as many as 300 residential building permit applications this year, Silt trustees are considering a four-month moratorium on residential subdivision annexations.
Mayor Pro Tem Tod Tibbetts said he opposes the moratorium. “People get spooked by the word `moratorium,'” Tibbetts said.
Silt Trustee Randy Corry said he supports the moratorium. “I’m not comfortable we can handle more residential units,” Corry said.
The moratorium is proposed as an emergency ordinance, which requires a unanimous vote for passage, Tibbetts said. Trustees will consider the ordinance Monday, Jan. 27.
Silt annexed three large parcels and zoned them residential in 2002.
The town’s water delivery system has been slow at times because the treatment plant couldn’t cope with high turbidity in the Colorado River.
Tibbetts said the town is adding a pond to help muddy Colorado River water settle out before the plant filters it, which should help solve some problems in the short term. Long term, the town is planning to build new water treatment and sewer plants.
Tibbetts said it usually takes two years from the time a developer proposes an annexation until its final approval, so Silt’s water and sewer plant planning timelines are adequate.
“This ordinance isn’t necessary,” Tibbetts said. “We have the situation well under control.”
Corry said last year’s annexations and this year’s water plant upgrades have already put plenty on the town’s plate.
“A moratorium would give us time to iron everything out,” Corry said.
Corry said the town trustees could extend the moratorium beyond May 15 if it isn’t prepared to handle annexation applications beyond that date.
Silt could still deny annexation applications without a moratorium. “But we’re policing ourselves by putting a moratorium in place. We’re saying we’re not ready to annex anyone,” Corry said.
The moratorium ordinance applies only to residential proposals. Commercial projects and mixed-use projects with at least a 50 percent commercial component may seek annexation any time.
Tibbetts said commercial projects would be considered because they consume less water, and the town needs the sales tax revenues that commercial projects generate.
Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534
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