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8/10/2017 Planning Commission recommends a thumb’s-up on storage facility
On August 1, the Custer County Planning commissioners engaged themselves with two lingering matters from earlier summer conversations and deliberations. First up was the ongoing process of reviewing Glen Choate’s Special Use Permit (SUP) for the installation of shipping containers as Bubble Bee Storage on his property at 1400 County Road 243. Choate’s application has generated interest and opposition from nearby residents in the Shadow Ridge subdivision, and some element of concern from the Town of Westcliffe, in relation to traffic patterns likely to affect a residential area. Esthetics and appearance have also been raised as objectionable matters. Satisfied that Choate has addressed all those concerns, and attaching 15 conditions to the non-transferrable SUP, the commissioners voted 6 to 1 to recommend the SUP to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), which has the final say in the matter. In addition to the demand that the project comply with all local, state and federal regulations, the 15 conditions include annual administrative review, with written complaint basis review after two years; on site parking only; one million dollar liability insurance; a maximum of eighty shipping containers on site, which must be painted a neutral color; secured gate fencing with strips in the chain link to match the painted containers; prohibition of outside storage; and restoration of the property to its original condition should the business be terminated. Although not included in the 15 conditions, Choate assured the commissioners that the motion detection lighting system there in the 24/7/365 storage complex would be Dark Sky compliant. The second major matter addressed focused on the subject of tonight’s 7 p.m. gathering convened in the courthouse by the BOCC: the continuing discussion of a building and fire code for the unincorporated portions of the county. The Planning Commission, after hosting a public hearing on the matter, had previously recommended to the BOCC that such a code not be imposed. Now invited to tonight’s gathering by a letter addressed to them by the county attorney, the Planning commissioners were uncertain if they were invited as a commission or as members of the commission or as private citizens. In any event the commissioners rehashed the process they had gone through, speculated about the dynamics of who had showed up for their public hearing, the balance or imbalance of emotion and knowledge related to the matter, and wondered out loud about the probability of the matter being headed to a ballot initiative in November. With no further light to be shed on the subject, the meeting was adjourned. – W.A. Ewing