January 14, 2011
Business people are worried about proposed rezoning of downtown Bailey, according to viewpoints expressed at the Platte Canyon Area Chamber of Commerce meeting on Jan. 11.
Bill Kulenburg, chamber president and co-owner of Lynwood Park B&B, Trout Pond & Store, said at the meeting that the proposed rezoning "changes what can be done in the Bailey area."
Meetings have been scheduled at various levels on Jan. 13, Jan. 20 and Feb. 8 to address the rezoning issues.
The proposed changes would redefine the boundaries of the Bailey Rural Center and change the zoning from a combination of residential, commercial and agricultural zoning to all mixed use zoning within the boundaries of the rural center. Those Bailey Rural Center boundaries would be reduced under the proposed changes to include 97 parcels with 179 acres instead of 155 parcels with 443 acres.
Kulenburg called the mixed use zoning "fairly restrictive."
Park County Planning Commission board member Jim Sapp prepared a chart comparing the uses for commercial versus mixed use for the chamber and Eisenman (see chart at right). He declined to comment on the issue.
Trout pond use
After the meeting, Kulenburg explained that, the way he reads the allowed uses under mixed use zoning, a bed and breakfast is allowed "but outdoor recreation is not. So we couldn't have the fishing pond." Lynwood Park currently allows people to fish in the stocked pond on the property and people pay by the inch for fish that are caught.
However, when asked about Kulenburg's remarks, Park County Development Services Coordinator and Planning Director Tom Eisenman told The Flume on Jan. 11 that he would view the fishing pond as part of the bed and breakfast and therefore would view it as allowed under the mixed use zoning. If it was a standalone fishing pond, he said, then it would not be a permitted use under mixed use zoning.
Michelle Abbott, manager of Sudz Laundromat in downtown Bailey, told The Flume after the meeting that she is also worried about the proposed rezoning. "They would grandfather in the laundromat," she said. But, she said, "we could never resell it."
That's because "we're not retail, we're services," she said.
The proposed changes would allow businesses to be grandfathered in, so that existing uses such as the laundromat would be allowed to continue for the current business owner. But that grandfather privilege would end if the business was sold. So that's why Abbott does not believe the business could be sold if mixed use zoning was implemented.
Eisenman told The Flume later that day that the laundromat would be categorized under "personal services" and personal services are not a permitted use under mixed use zoning but are permitted under the current commercial zoning.
However, he said, under a draft of the changes to the zoning definitions, he has moved "personal services" into mixed use, so a laundromat or a barbershop or other personal services would be allowed under mixed use. "I already moved that (personal services) to mixed use," he said.
Abbott's viewpoint on the issue is not just centered on the laundromat.
What's best for Bailey
"What we want is [what is] best for Bailey," she said. She thinks that means more uses should be allowed under mixed use, if that's what will be adopted for Bailey. "Right now the list [of what is allowed] is too restrictive," she said.
Marcel Flukiger, newly elected chamber board member and co-owner of Aspen Peak Cellars in Conifer, said that he opened his business in Conifer a year and a half ago and is now looking toward expanding the winery part of his business in downtown Bailey.
"We're looking to grow our wine production in a different space," he said.
Flukiger said he is looking at a commercial space, but his winery business is only allowed in a commercial zone and would not be allowed in a mixed use zone as currently defined.
The proposed mixed use zoning for the Bailey Rural Center "will eliminate some of the commercial uses on some of the buildings," he said.
"I think it's a very important issue" for the chamber, Flukiger said.
He stressed that now is the time to provide input. "Once it's done, it's done," he said.
Eisenman told The Flume that he thinks light manufacturing should be moved to be a permitted use under mixed use, which would solve Flukiger's problem if the Bailey Rural Center goes to mixed use. "I'm going to recommend that we move light manufacturing into mixed use," Eisenman said.
Indeed, Flukiger said at the chamber meeting that Eisenman will work with businesses.
Eisenman told The Flume in December that the proposed changes were to make the rural center more friendly to businesses and to residents and to make the rural center reminiscent of the original platted town of Bailey.
On Jan. 11, he elaborated on some of the issues.
First, he said, the move to rezone the Bailey Rural Center is an outgrowth of direction provided by the Strategic master Plan adopted in May 2001. While some rural centers, such as Pine Junction, have agreed with a rezoning, it's possible for Bailey to "say we don't want to be a rural center," Eisenman said.
Another option, which is being pursued, is to redefine what is allowed under the mixed use zoning of a rural center.
Mixed use flexibility
Plus, Eisenman noted that in some instances a mixed use zoning allows for more flexibility than commercial zoning.
For instance, a bed and breakfast is a permitted use under mixed use zoning but requires a conditional use permit (CUP) under commercial zoning. A CUP requires an applicant to go before the planning commission and commissioners and prove that the proposed use is compatible with the nearby uses (see Sapp chart, Page 2).
In addition, one idea of mixed use zoning is to allow for a store front and also for a person to live above it, he said.
For instance, the Bailey Country Store building, which is now empty, could not have someone living above it under commercial zoning but could have someone living above it under mixed use zoning, according to Eisenman.
Former Realtor Jerry Humphrey sounded unconvinced of the benefits of mixed use zoning at the chamber meeting on Jan. 11. "We do not want mixed use," he said.
Kulenburg requested that any businesses concerned about the proposed rezoning should send a letter to Eisenman. A sign-up sheet was also circulated for those interested in having a meeting about the proposed rezoning.
Will the chamber take a stand on the issue?
"We'll have to talk about it at the board meeting this month," said Kulenburg after the meeting.
There will be a meeting of business owners interested in discussing the Bailey rezoning issue at Lynwood Park on Thursday, Jan. 13, at 7 p.m. Kulenburg can be contacted about that meeting at 303-838-4243.
On Jan. 20, the Park County Planning Department will have public meetings about proposed revisions to Article V, Division 3 (Zone District Use Schedules) of the county land-use regulations. Division 3 covers definitions for commercial and rural center mixed use zoning.
Kulenburg said the Jan. 20 meeting was an outgrowth of the December meeting of the planning commission, in which the members of the board decided to table the Bailey rezoning issue until they took a closer look at definitions under Article V (see the Dec. 17 Flume). He said he expects the Jan. 20 meeting to affect Bailey because he expects it to deal with what uses should be permitted under mixed use zoning.
The Jan. 20 meetings will be from 1-3 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at the Park County Fair Barn, 880 Bogue St., Fairplay. For questions, contact John Deagan at 719-836-4258 or email@example.com.
Also, the next planning commission meeting will be at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 8, at the commissioners meeting room at 501 Main St. in Fairplay. On the agenda is discussion of Article V, Division 3, Sections 5-300 to 5-314. "Rural Center Mixed Use District" is Section 5-306 and "Commercial Zon District" is Section 5-309. So both of those are under the sections to be discussed.
Lynn Griffin, special events coordinator for the chamber, said that Bailey Day has been tentatively set for July 30 and that a chamber mixer that was in January of last year has been pushed into February of this year. The Bailey Hundo 100-plus mile mountain bike race has been set for June 18.
Griffin said she is going to have to cut back on her duties with the chamber this year.
Dues and Web site
Kulenburg noted that the chamber dues are now due and can be paid online. He also noted that a business can set up its own Web page at the chamber site. It could include an online store, using the chamber's Web site, and that page could be linked to the business's Web site.
Two new board members
Kulenburg introduced the two new board members for the chamber: Flukiger and Kenosha Auctions and Events co-owner Rick Arnold.
Flukiger said he was looking forward to helping the chamber to grow and he thinks there's lots of opportunity in the area.
Arnold said he was honored to be part of the board and that he has lived in Park County since 1981 and grew up in Evergreen.
He said he has two businesses, Kenosha Auctions, which has evolved almost on a daily basis for the past year as he has experimented with what works and what doesn't work.
Kenosha Auctions is instituting mini-auctions indoors starting this Saturday, Jan. 15, at 6 p.m., and they will be held at least into the spring on the first and third Saturdays of the month. The business is "pretty much paying its own bills," he said, but it had a setback when two all-terrain vehicles worth about $5,000 were stolen before Christmas. He is now looking at installing cameras.
The other business is RTA Construction, which, like other construction companies, is not nearly as busy as it was five years ago, he said.
Kenosha Auctions is looking at arranging for a good solid option on the building near Pine Junction before putting money into it to have events there, Arnold said.
The outdoor auctions are anticipated to continue every six weeks or so through the winter. "Our winter numbers are better than our summer numbers right now," said Kim Arnold, Rick Arnold's wife and a co-owner.
Rocky Mountain Computer Services
Vic Blatzer, owner of Buffalo Creek-based Rocky Mountain Computer Services, made a presentation about his business. He said it started as Rocky Mountain Web Services, but he changed the name about a year ago. He offers proactive services, while the typical computer repair shop offers reactive services. He tries to address issues before they erupt into serious problems and offers data protection, disaster recovery plans and contracts that enable businesses to avoid large lump-sum costs. He sends newsletters to clients warning of the latest viruses and e-mail scams, and he works on both personal computers and Macintosh computers. He's at 720-250-7792 and info@rocky mountaincomputerservices.com.
Boys and Girls Club
Mary Sasser, a board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Park County, noted that the club needs donations to raise $20,000 by a Feb. 28 deadline on a $10,000 matching grant that would help to reopen the Bailey branch of the Boys and Girls Club.
McGraw Memorial Park
Douglas Stephens, secretary of the Park County Historical Society, said that there will not be organized trail work on McGraw Memorial Park in downtown Bailey until March or April.
This chart shows what uses would be permitted under mixed use zoning verses commercial zoning. It also shows what uses could be allowed with a CUP (conditional use permit) under each zoning. A CUP process involves going before the planning commission and before Park County Commissioners. (Chart prepared by Jim Sapp)