News briefs

County delays adoption of Crested Butte South Special Area Regulations
Just when the Special Area Regulations for Crested Butte South were nearing approval by the Board of County Commissioners, county attorney David Baumgarten thought that by extending the process a little longer he could save the community managers time down the road.



The regulations had been five years in the making and seen 20 revisions at the Planning Commission level before having the recommendation for approval passed on to the commissioners after their meeting Friday, July 25. But upon review of the 59-page document, Baumgarten had concerns about the process of governance detailed in the document.
Crested Butte South is now unincorporated in Gunnison County, which requires both the subdivision’s Property Owners Association and the County to review and approve building plans.
“I want to make sure that the document says that the applications will get a consistent review by [the reviewing person in Crested Butte South] and that our document says that we will accept the application upon getting the signature of some body or person,” Baumgarten said to Crested Butte South Property Owner’s Association manager Chris Behan.
 Baumgarten also said he saw too many areas where decisions could be made on a case-by-case, which could lead to challenges later on.
“I’m a little disappointed that this involvement didn’t happen a little sooner in the process. We’re going to end up talking about some things that we’ve talked about over and over again and we’re going to waste some time. But we’re already there so I’m not going to belabor that point anymore,” said Behan.
The regulations will go again to the commissioners for possible approval at their regular meeting September 2.

Gunnison High School, Valley School gets new principal
Gunnison elementary school principal Andy Hanks will take over the reins at the Gunnison High School and Valley School, filling the vacancy left by the resignation of Mike Adams. Hanks was transferred on Tuesday, July 29.
“We chose him because of his background as a principal and as a teacher at an alternative school and because he is very knowledgeable about some of the things we’re working on in the district, like CSAP scores and ACT scores,” said superintendent Jon Nelson.
Hanks has been the elementary school principal for the past two years and before that was the principal of the high school in Olathe, Colo. He also had experience working as a teacher in an alternative high school in Pueblo, Colo.
“When I spoke to one of the teachers from the Valley School earlier about it, she was very excited about it,” said Nelson. “I think he’ll do a great job because of his communication skills and his enthusiasm for getting to know the valley school and its students.”
On Tuesday, August 5 the district announced that it had chosen Marta Smith to fill the vacancy at the Gunnison Elementary School. Smith has been working in the Education Department at Western State College, and has served in an administrative position in the Jefferson County School District. She was also the Assistant Principal at the Gunnison High School.
“I am pleased to be able to work with Marta once again at our district.  She brings a unique ability to be able to connect to students, staff and parents and that is a critical component to the success of students,” says Nelson.

Update on Community School renovation scheduled
A meeting has been scheduled for Monday, August 11 at noon in the multi-purpose room at the Crested Butte Community School to discuss the changes that have been made to the plans for the proposed expansion.
It will give members of the community another opportunity to present questions and concerns to the project manager, Roy Blythe, principal of Blythe & Co., as well as to members of the board of education.
After the last round of revisions, the school reshuffled some of the space to make room for more classrooms and eliminated the expanded track that had been proposed, altogether saving more than $1 million on the project.
“I expect people to be talking about the economy and the tax burden that people perceive to go along with the bond. There are going to be those people that are going to be concerned about the impact of the expansion on town property owners. But I hope we can get across the connection between good schools and a strong economy,” says school board president MJ Vosburg.
A second presentation will be given the same day at 5 p.m. at the Gunnison High School.

Asphalt plant gets go-ahead from county over objections

A portable asphalt plant being proposed by Hard Rock Paving and Redi-Mix, Inc. as an addition to the existing Hollenbeck Sand and Gravel Mine east of Gunnison, caused quite a stir at a regular meeting of the Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday, August 5.
Ultimately the commissioners chose to uphold the recommendations of the Gunnison County Planning Commission to approve the Minor Impact Project land use change needed for the plant.
In order to qualify as a Minor Impact Project, an operation must occupy less than 2 acres of space, operate less than 180 days a year and produce less than 10,000 tons of waste products annually, according to the Gunnison County Land Use Resolution.
Several homeowners living in the area attended the meeting, and two expressed concerns about the project’s impacts on property values and the integrity of the atmosphere. One resident, who was represented by an attorney, produced a surveyor’s assessment of the proposed area that showed the area to be more than the identified two acres.
“Well if we take away the berms that are part of the operation, and then just consider the 1.99 acres, then the neighbors aren’t going to be happy about [seeing the plant]. So we put the berms back in and use that as an argument that the operation is too big,” said commission chairman Hap Channell. “It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”
Gunnison County Director of Public Works, Marlene Crosby, told the commissioners that having a second asphalt plant in the county would be beneficial for road maintenance projects that are, at times, requiring asphalt to be shipped in from neighboring counties.
“Highway 135 is getting half of the project done right now because there is not enough asphalt for a full two-inch overlay,” she said.

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