Ted Pilling: Short-term rentals, chain-up station and transportation issues have my focus | SummitDaily.com

Ted Pilling: Short-term rentals, chain-up station and transportation issues have my focus

Ted Pilling
Blue River Board of Trustees candidate
Ted Pilling

Occupation: Retired senior manager in the IT industry, work part-time seasonally

Years in Summit County: 16 in Blue River

Family: Wife, Cindi; three sons and their families, including four grandkids, five granddogs, two grandhampsters, one parakeet and a fish named Wanda

Civic involvement: Planning and Zoning member, Board of Trustees member, Summit County Board of Adjustments member, Summit Stage Transit Board member

If the voting residents of Blue River want and expect Blue River to be the residential community of choice in Summit County, all decisions made by the Board of Trustees should be in complete alignment and in full support of the town’s mission statement: “The Town of Blue River endeavors to nurture our serene mountain community by conserving our natural residential environment, promoting unity with our neighbors and surroundings, channeling the voice of our residents and enhancing the quality of life for all.”

Priority No. 1: Short-term rentals

The Board of Trustees will soon be wrestling with issues surrounding short-term rentals. To date, Blue River is one of only three towns in the county (including Heeney and Montezuma) that has not addressed the issue with some combination (depending on one’s view) of either protective or restrictive regulations in terms of property rights. A recent snapshot of short-term rental licenses within the town reveals a 24.5% growth curve in the number of licenses over the past 2.2 years (from December 2019 to February 2022).

With surrounding communities having implemented various short-term restrictions, I fear commercial real estate investors (both individuals and companies) will turn to buying or building property within Blue River to add to their investment portfolios, negatively impacting the residential fabric of our neighborhoods. As a present trustee, I am on record to have called for discussion of a possible moratorium on the issuance of new licenses until the board has a chance to review, monitor and assess the effects of the restrictions implemented by surrounding communities on their neighborhoods, property values, etc.

A moratorium would have no negative effect on present short-term rental licensees as approved licenses would remain in effect through the moratorium period while protecting the economic benefits of short-term rentals to both the property owners and the town as a result of the tax-based income stream enjoyed by and benefitting Blue River today. Any future changes to present regulations should be an outgrowth and a result of such reviews and assessments.

I want to continue on the board to represent residents across the town in those discussions.

Priority No. 2: Chain-up station

With support and advocacy from multiple truckers’ associations, the Colorado Department of Transportation is in the midst of developing plans to install a northbound chain-up station on the northern outskirts of Alma along Colorado Highway 9 and a southbound station in Blue River for commercial vehicle traffic traversing Hoosier Pass.

Town representatives have expressed numerous concerns about the selected southbound location, including encroachment into the wetland headwaters of the Blue River west of Town Hall, noise, lighting, fuel-spill containment, direct impedance of a known wildlife crossing, impact on property values, etc. I believe there are other alternatives, including other possible locations that could be utilized, eliminating many of the expressed concerns.

Further, in its present form, it is an incomplete plan as they have no plan for where a chain-down station would be built in a future phase. I want to stay involved in those discussions to influence their decisions.

Priority No. 3: Transportation

In our high-Alpine environment, roads throughout Blue River present unique challenges. If reelected, I will continue to advocate for the improvement of our roads, notably ongoing maintenance, possible paving of some sections where applicable and traffic/speed control along Highway 9 and within our residential neighborhoods.

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