Report to the GCI Membership, February 5, 2014

Report to the GCI Membership of the Jan. 9th Apache County P&Z Meeting Regarding the Greer Commercial Resort (GCR) Designation Item
February 5, 2014

The Greer Coalition was represented by the GCI’s legal representative, Attorney David Martin and GCI Co-President, John Freeman who traveled from Loveland, CO.

Also present were Rob and Jane Shupak, Pat and Dick Bruneau, Doug Sandahl, Milton Ollerton, Director of Apache county Community Development, Connie Shreeve, Executive assistant -Community Development, Attorney Joe Young (telephonically) and Planning and Zoning Commissioners; Steve Smith, Corey Dobson, Jim Thornhill (acting chair), Steve Nicholl and Don Borg.

After working with the County Development Department since March 2013 we believed we were in complete agreement with Mr. Ollerton’s recommendations regarding the GCR issues. However, somewhat before the January 9th meeting Mr. Ollerton revised his recommendation to include approval of GCR for the 1A site North of the Cattle Kate’s restaurant with the foundations (parcel # 102-08-021B). Including that site with the existing 1.9 A Cattle Kate’s resort for a GCR zone appeared to be a position contradicted by the facts in the county records. In view of that, most of the meeting’s focus was on that single issue.

It appears that copies of the 27 letters from the Community were not given to the Commissioners prior to the meeting for them to read, they received copies at the meeting, including Tom Kirk’s timeline document.

The Meeting was called to order and we arrived at the GCR topic.

Mr. Ollerton stated that there was agreement for approval of all but 3 or 4 properties, and there was agreement to deny all of those but one and that one was the parcel 102-08-021B.

Mr. Ollerton then stated that the “County had long recognized…..” either the commercial status or the resort status of this parcel, and after review Joe Young, had recommended approval of GCR for #102-08-021B and given the county’s long recognition of this use – so did Mr. Ollerton —

The chair then recognized Doug Sandahl who spoke in favor of GCR zoning for parcel # 102-08-021B. Mr. Sandahl’s comments regarded the history of the parcel, his entitlement to GCR on this parcel, he remarked on a meeting that he, Dave Brown, Milton and Joe Young had regarding this, how he was “under attack” by those opposing GCR approval, that it was unfair and inequitable that the other resort properties and owners were attacking him when their densities were much greater that this proposal. He presented a site plan proposing a subdivision of 5 homes on the 3 acre site and suggested it was approved in the original CK CUP. He also spoke to the Commission regarding a $2M County liability if this GCR were denied.

Mr. Freeman then spoke to the fact that we had had complete agreement with Staff regarding this entire process which included a September 2013 recommendation by Mr. Ollerton to the Commission to deny GCR on this parcel.

The only factor that we were aware of that might have changed the recommendation was a “Timeline” document submitted by Mr. Sandahl which had been firmly rebutted by facts Mr. Kirk had provided to the Commissioners in his letter.

Mr. Freeman then called the Commissioners’ attention to the 4 county documents of record regarding what had been legally allowed for the original 1995 Cattle Kate’s Conditional Use Permit. Those included the CUP application documents, the Apache County Staff report for the P&Z Commission, Agenda and Minutes of the 1995 P& Z meeting and the Board of Supervisors Agenda and Minutes.

Mr. Freeman walked the commissioners through those documents, concluding with the observation that in the entire process from CUP Application to BOS approval there had been 12 mentions of the 1.9 acre parcel and zero mentions of 3 acres in the County documents regarding the 1995 Cattle Kate’s CUP. There were no questions from the commissioners.

GCI Attorney David Martin then referred to several legal points regarding the requirement to have the basic use permit declared abandoned after a period of time if there had not been due diligence in pursuing the construction. Mr. Martin also supported the fundamental lack of evidence for a 3 acre CUP and challenged several points Mr. Sandahl had presented. No questions were asked by the Commissioners.

The meeting was then closed to the public — The chair again asked for inputs from Milton and Joe Young

Mr. Ollerton again stated the County has long since recognized the site as Commercial Resort, granted building permits, and mentioned that people from CK had fished in the pond.
Other commissioners at this time began to discuss the issue –

Motion was made to approve all of the GCR items as recommended by Mr. Ollerton. Vote was 4 to 1 to approve with County Commissioner Don Borg in opposition. Mr. Borg stated there was no connection of the approved 1.9 acre CUP to the 3 acre site claimed.

In spite of this outcome there were some very positive events that took place in this process.

The bulk of the properties in Greer deserving of GCR were recommended to be approved that status, bringing to close a long and difficult 1st step of the process to establish hard zoning for Greer. Which, in of itself, is the 1st step in the development of a land use plan for the future of Greer. That is a major accomplishment.

Some folks who were not previously involved wrote letters of support for the GCI position, echoing the bulk of the Greer Community’s sentiment.

There were 27 letters from the Community, most, if not all, in opposition and many from resort owners’ also in opposition.

The GCI had very credible legal representation at the meeting.

The vote was split with the dissenting commissioner stating that he saw no evidence for a 3 acre site as opposed to the 1.9 acre site of record for Cattle Kate’s. This is also a first, and that Commissioner is to be applauded for his courage.

Two properties that GCI had opposed for GCR zoning were denied their request. We believe that our support of those properties granted GCR and our concerns regarding the 2 properties denied the zoning played a major role in this outcome.

The Board of Supervisor’s Meeting is the next step in this process. The GCI Board supports the fundamental approval of all of the P&Z recommendations except for the Cattle Kate’s parcel parcel # 102-08-021A for all the reasons previously stated. The date for this meeting is not yet decided, but we will advise the membership when we know.

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