Huerfano Commissioners extend commercial pot moratorium for 30 days

by Eric Mullens
WALSENBURG —  On a request from Vicki Koepsel, director of the county land use department, the Huerfano County Commissioners Tuesday approved an extension for new commercial marijuana cultivation applications in the county.
With the new county marijuana regulations in draft format and a final call  for public input set, the board unanimously approved extending a 30-day moratorium through March 21, 2018.  The county land use department is seeking public input via email and written comments to Vicki Koepsel, Planning Director, Huerfano County Land Use Department, 400 Main St., Suite B, Walsenburg, CO 81089 or email to vkoepsel@huerfano.us.
Comments will be accepted until 4 pm Friday, March 2, 2018.  The draft regulation may be seen at Huerfano.us/uploads/land-use-office/regulations/DRAFT-Section 18.00.
The commissioners approved a Conditional Use Permit (CUP 18-001) for consolidation of two, quarter acre lots into one half acre lot for Ron and Marie Page.
The commissioners also approved CUP 18-004 for the master concept improvement and construction plans for the Aught Six Ranch (the southern portion of the old Wolf Springs Ranch) located west of Gardner for new owners David and Crystal Watts/ MBOGO Energy LLC of Boerne, TX.
The commissioners and others in the community learned much about plans for the ranch at a public informational meeting/ presentation Saturday, Feb. 17.
Information presented at the commissioners’ session this week indicate there are at least five designated construction sites on the property which will include a main ranch home, guest cabins, office facility and camping site improvements.  This is a major investment in the property and Aught Six representatives at the Feb. 17 meeting  said millions of dollars are budgeted for improvements over the next four years.  One example of the infrastructure improvement includes a six-mile-long driveway with two bridges and a number of culverts.
The area included within the scope of the CUP application was 32,240 acres, plus another 6,879 acre portion of the ranch.
The CUP was issued with conditions that all local/state/federal permits are legally in place; that the applicant files a weed control plan with the county and that the plan is approved by the board of county commissioners and planning and zoning.  It was reported all of the necessary state and federal archaeology investigations were completed in 2017 and no restrictions to the master plan were identified.
In other business;
• The commissioners postponed action on proposed Resolution 18-20 until the item may be reviewed by and comments received from the county planning and zoning commission.  The proposed resolution would require an existing single family dwelling be on or built on a piece of property before a building permit for any accessory or agricultural structures are issued.  This resolution deals with property located within the agricultural, rural residential and urbanizing residential zoning districts.
• Commissioners approved Resolution 18-19 which proclaims February 25, 2018 as Ronald Blattel Day for all of Huerfano County recognizing his military service in the U.S. Navy.  Blattel was a Petty Officer Third Class and was stationed in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Hawaii and San Diego, Calif.  During his enlistment he received the Good Conduct Medal.
Upon accepting the framed resolution, and the new Huerfano County veteran cap, Blattel said his military service was,  “the best thing I ever did.”