Crawford trustees voted at the March 2 regular session to approve multi-use designation for an existing water and sewer tap at the property formerly known as Bee Yard Gardens. The town will also allow the new owners to move the existing tap to a different location on the property.
Bee Yard Gardens was run by Jim Crook, former longtime Crawford mayor, and Donna Spencer. The business closed the summer of 2012. New owners Colin McGregor and April Poker came before council to talk about their plans for the property.
McGregor told trustees they plan to convert the former front office into their residence. The only tap on the property is connected to a small, roughly 10x12-square-foot bath house located below the office once used by BYG customers. The owners met earlier with public works director Bruce Bair, and attended the meeting to request permission to re-locate the sewer tap. All work would be paid for by the property owners.
They eventually want to turn that living space into a rental unit. McGregor and Poker plan to live in a 400-square-foot pre-constructed tiny home moved onto the property once the infrastructure work is complete.
"My bathroom's almost that big," said trustee Wanda Gofforth.
At some future point the couple also plans to open a small-scale greenhouse operation, said Poker. They want to keep open the option of using the bath house for future commercial use. Ultimately, they hope to construct more tiny homes as rental units and possibly use an RV-type setup rather than connect them to the town water and sewer. Renters would have access to the bath house. They agreed that if the situation warranted, they would
purchase the appropriate taps. For now they would like to save the $2,500 to $2,875 cost while they get established.
Bair suggested that since the proposal would result in low uses, the town could designate the existing taps as multiple use, as is the case with other in-town properties. The owners could be charged residential tap fees until their commercial operation is up and running, at which time they would pay both commercial and residential monthly tap fees. The town could install a shutoff valve between the bath house and the meter, and re-activate later as a commercial tap. "The decision is at the discretion of council," said Bair.
Mayor pro tem Mike Tiedeman recommended approval of the multi-use designation for existing taps. While the water and sewer tap ordinances are clear -- one structure, one tap -- the town doesn't want to start making adjustments for every tap. In addition, said Tiedeman, "The town also wants to encourage business."
That the small size of the tiny home and bath house would result in low use is also in the property owners' favor, said Tiedeman.
During the meeting trustees also voted unanimously to adopt a resolution allocating $20,000 from the general fund for the installation of broadband anchor points at Crawford Town Hall and at the North Fork Montessori School. The vote formally recognizes the allocation, which was approved last fall. The anchor points will ultimately be connected to fiber optic infrastructure being built by Delta-Montrose Electric Association through a Region 10 grant.
The town will also will include a reminder in its monthly bill for people to keep their dogs contained following an attack of a school-aged girl on Feb. 16 while riding her bike. The letter offers helpful hints for containing dogs and a copy of the town animal ordinance.
The town is also accepting bids through April 6 to replace 170 feet of active, eight-inch PVC sewer line. Potential bidders can contact the town for details.