La Veta holds ‘lively’ public hearings

LA VETA — Prior to the regularly scheduled town board meeting on Tuesday night, several public hearings were held. Two of the hearings pertained to the redevelopment of the former Main Street Diner at 701 South Main (now called the Corners Diner), another focused on a fence variance request by the new Big R store. The Big R hearing, to expand their outside storage yard fenced area, revealed no concerns by adjacent neighbors or the town board. The same could not be said for the Corners project. Arguments between the developer and board members, which became heated at times, showed that several board members were concerned about building stability after cutting two corners off of the building so that it would no longer extend onto town property. Some board members felt strongly that the structure might need an engineer to sign off on the stability of the building once the corners were removed. Mayor Doug Brgoch summed up the Corners setback hearing by saying, “We had a lively hearing tonight,” as he deftly strived to

maintain decorum in the session. However, once the board went into regular session, all three requests passed. Big R, after showing confirmation of ownership, will be allowed to expand the outside yard. The Corners Diner received approval for their commercial redevelopment plan. The board also approved a zero setbacks request for the new diner. The last issue under old business was the hiring of a new municipal judge. Under a ballot vote, Rob St. Peter received five votes, Jonathan James and Joseph Hibpshman each received one vote. Under new business Ray Taylor, with SureSite Consulting Group, approached the board with an application to, “Modify AT&T Telecommunications Facility” at the La Veta Town Lakes/water treatment plant site. Taylor supplied the board with 10 sets of drawings for the modifications, which noted that although additional equipment would be added to the existing poles and three additional poles would be added, these modifications would not increase the height of the existing poles. No mention was made as to these modifications improving cell phone reception for AT&T users. This is primarily a technology upgrade. The issue was tabled until the November 4th board meeting, as the board needs time to review the application and to consider a competitor’s proposal. Taylor noted that SureSite is willing to meet and negotiate with the board adding that if his planned was approved by the end of the year, the work could be completed next spring. Rod Stambaugh, President of Sprout Homes out of La Junta, approached the board with a proposal to amend the town’s current zoning, which requires two lots to build a home, to only one lot for a smaller dwelling. Stambuagh describes his homes as “Eco-Homes” with a strong appeal to those in their mid-50s to early 60s desiring to downsize and live more simply. Discussion followed with questions about the effect on adjacent property values, the ability for the structures to meet the Uniform Building Code, and the possible impact on density. Stambaugh admitted that his industry is young and in a “grey area” when it comes to the UBC, but that his structures meet or surpass all other codes and requirements. The request was referred to committee for further review. On other topics: the board took no action on a request from the Spanish Peaks Community Foundation’s request for the town to buy a table for $500 at the organization’s October 18th gala; set budget meetings for December 2, at 6:30 pm; renewed the La Veta Fishing Club’s lease of the town lakes for another year; approved the mayor to pursue grants for additional funding for a new waste water treatment facility; the town’s burn pile will be open to La Veta residents, for yard waste only, on October 25 from 10 am to 2 pm.