Center seeks Planning Commission candidates


CENTER — Center town administrators and the board of trustees are looking for residents who would like to serve on the Town of Center Planning Commission. According to an ordinance from 2011, members of the community can actively participate in the town’s land use planning.

Administrators printed copies of the Town of Center Planning Commission Guidelines for residents to review before they submit a letter of interest to become a member of the five-person volunteer board. The documents are available at Center Town Hall during business hours.

The deadline for submitting a letter of interest is Jan. 9, 2023, and the board will interview and appoint eligible candidates before Jan. 30. Among the five positions, a Youth Planning Board composed of five residents under the age of 19 will carry a collective voice for one vote in Planning Board decisions. Youth terms are one-year commitments.

Planning Commission members provide land-use advice for the mayor and trustees. They will meet in Town Hall at 5:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month. Interested residents should include their qualifications and skills in their one-page letters.

Planning commissions and similar groups administer land use and code issues at different levels of government across Saguache County. Following master plans and documented regulations, members are appointed to positions. They receive input and report findings and recommendations to elected officials.

The next regular meeting of the Saguache County Planning Commission is scheduled for Jan. 26, 2023. The 62-page Saguache County Planning Commission master plan document was last updated in October and was adopted on June 24, 2010. Updated in February of 2022 to comply with Code of Colorado Regulation updates, the On-site Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS) document is 115 pages long. The Saguache County Planning Commission is larger than similar groups for towns and property associations.

According to the Crestone town website, the “Planning Commission meets regularly on the first Monday of every month at 5 p.m. in the Alder Meeting Room (111 S. Alder St., located on the east side of Town Hall).” The Crestone Planning Commission includes a chairperson and four other commissioners. Documentation for the Crestone Municipal Code Zoning issues runs 70 pages.

The Town of Saguache website lists three members and notes that “Planning Commission Meetings [are] to be Determined.” The master plan for Saguache was adopted and approved by the Planning Commission and the Saguache Town Board of Trustees in May, 2010. Saguache town officials appointed the Planning Commission in 2006. The draft copy of the Saguache Zoning Regulations currently on the town website is dated Aug. 15, 2013. It identifies, for example, that detached Accessory Dwelling Unit buildings must have a separate sewer and water tap.

The leadership team for the Baca Grande Property Owners Association (POA) sent out emails to remind members that annual assessments are due before Jan. 1, 2023. Delivered on Dec. 19, the reminder praised the 400 POA members who already made full payments as of Dec. 20. They also thanked dozens of others who set up payment plans. Although some lots have been consolidated over the last five decades, many of the estimated 3,500 lots have been bought and resold. Fewer than half have been developed. Yet out of 121 construction projects initiated in 2022, 44 are residences.

In addition to a five-person board of directors for the POA, two committees address land use and planning issues for Baca Grande. Steered by three members each, these volunteer groups include the Environmental and Architectural Committee and the Violations Appeal Panel.

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