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Paonia trustees to consider three planning items July 9

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Paonia trustees will hold public hearings at the July 9 board meeting to consider three items that came before the planning commission in June.

Commissioners voted to recommend to the board of trustees that a variance request by Shane Smith to construct a 20-foot unattached garage for a residence on Delta Avenue be denied. The maximum height allowed under current R-2 zoning is 15 feet.

They recommended approval to the board for annexation and re-zoning of property located at 419 Stahl Rd. as a condition of receiving a town water and sewer tap. The existing lot, which fronts the west bank of the North Fork of the Gunnison River, is used for agricultural purposes and includes a single-family house with a secondary unit with kitchen.

Charris and Dulcie Ford plan limited agricultural use and "activities meeting the definition of neighborhood commercial use." Under annexation the property would be known as the "Greenbelt Addition." The Fords plan to allow a segment of a future public trail system on the property.

"It makes perfect sense to annex this property," said planning commissioner and Paonia mayor Charles Stewart. It's in the town's power, and the land is located in a planned growth area. However, he disagrees with the zoning request in that a better option exists for the owners. Given the owners' description of planned use for the property, said Stewart, he recommends they consider changing the zoning to Estate Residential District (ERD).

There was some confusion on how to proceed. Should the owners research their options and elect to change their zoning request to ERD, explained town administrator Ken Knight, they may ask the board to send the proposal back to planning and zoning or request a change in zoning designation at the board meeting. There would be no need to postpone a decision by the board, said Knight. "It's just a recommendation."

The commission will also recommend approval of an application for major subdivision by Lynn Mattingly for the South Clark Avenue Subdivision, a Planned Unit Development (PUD). Because the existing 1.3-acre parcel includes shares of Stewart Mesa Ditch water, commissioners ask that those rights be transferred to the covenants of a homeowners association as condition for approval.

The proposal would extend Clark Avenue as a cul-de-sac, with a proposed public pedestrian walkway.

Mattingly proposes splitting the parcel into seven residential housing units -- one single-family unit and three, two-unit town homes with shared lot lines.

In both written and verbal comments, Clark Avenue residents expressed concern over a lack of parking spaces in the development that would cause a "spill-over" of cars onto the narrow street. One resident called the proposal "out of proportion and balance with the (Clark Avenue) neighborhood."

The motion to recommend approval included a recommendation to town staff for proposals to mitigate traffic congestion and parking issues.

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