Silverthorne permit violators to face new fines
SILVERTHORNE ” Conditional use permit holders in Silverthorne who fail to meet agreed-upon town requirements will now be subject to a formal enforcement policy.
Conditional use permits (CUPs) are often issued by local governments to grant more flexible use of property than existing zoning allows. A construction trade company, for example, seeking to locate in an area zoned strictly retail might obtain a CUP by agreeing to certain requirements, such as screening construction materials or limiting parking. Some CUPs are granted for specific time periods ” subject to renewal, while the Town grants others indefinitely.
There are about 36 active CUPs in Silverthorne today, said community development director Mark Leidal. And at any given time, about a third of them are in violation. Typical violations include problems such as inadequate upkeep of the property and storage of disallowed materials.
Up to now, the Town had little recourse for enforcement short of revoking the permits entirely. The new regulation, added to the Town Code by unanimous vote of the Council at its Wednesday meeting, will provide Silverthorne with less drastic steps to ensure compliance. The ordinance calls for a minimum fine for each violation, and after three offenses, it allows the Town to schedule a public hearing to consider revocation of the CUP.
“It’s just a midpoint,” Councilmember Kevin McDonald said. “Hopefully, the threat of a fine is all that’s necessary.”
Councilmember Bruce Butler supported the measure with one caveat.
“I share the concerns of the planning commission that we enforce this with common sense and not just whack people with a big fine,” he said.
Town planner Susan Lee reassured the Council that Town staff will continue to work with violators to encourage compliance before any referral to the municipal court system and resulting fines.
“This just gives us some teeth when we’ve exhausted all the possibilities,” Mayor Dave Koop emphasized.
Letters to all CUP holders outlining the new violation enforcement process will be sent to all CUP holders, Lee told the Council. To date, Silverthorne has yet to revoke an existing CUP.
Council votes to retire bonds
In other business, the Council approved a resolution to pay off nearly $2 million of the $3.67 million principal balance remaining on Revenue Excise Bonds issued by the Town in 1998 ” the proceeds of which were used to build the Town Pavilion and make other infrastructure improvements.
The Town’s current prosperity would allow for early pay-off of the entire outstanding balance, finance director Donna Braun told the Council, but the uncertain national economic situation dictates prudence.
“We’ll reevaluate (paying off the remained) later in the year,” she said.
According to Braun’s calculations, the partial early bond retirement approved by the Council Wednesday will save Silverthorne nearly $300,000 in future interest payments.
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