Three short-term vacation rental homes had site plans approved by the Palisade Planning Commission at their monthly meeting on Monday, April 6, 2015, at the Civic Center in Palisade.

Also approved was a sign variance, allowing CAVE to use the sign currently placed in the ground in front of their office at the corner of 2nd St. and Kluge, and suspend it above the awning spanning the front of their new office at 124 W. 3rd St., previous home of the Palisade Tribune.

The short term vacation rental homes are located at 419 W. 4th St., 561 S. Main St., and 339 S. Main St.

All three properties met the requirements of Section 3.3.14 of the Palisade Land Development Code, which had recently been updated to help regulate short term vacation rental properties. Reasons for the update include to make sure that the properties did not infringe upon their neighbors, that they comply with building and fire codes and that they contribute to the Lodging Occupation Tax, as do Palisade’s hotels and Bed-and-Breakfasts.

The site plans for each individual property were presented by Ron Quarles, Palisade’s Community Development Director. Neighbors of each property were also notified and invited to speak. A number of neighbors spoke on behalf the owners of each property; most stating that there had been no problems although the properties had been rented out prior to the new requirements of the Land Development Code.

Quarles stated that he had received one objection; that being to the property at 339 S. Main from an out-of-state owner of an adjacent property, and simply expressed concern that the property would now create noise and traffic. Other neighbors countered the objection with reports of a responsible rental history as operated by the Blatters.

Planning commissioners voted unanimously to accept the site plans of all three properties, based on the Findings of Fact presented by Quarles.

Sign variance approved

Also approved was a request for a signage variance by CAVE, the Colorado Association of Viticulture and Enology. CAVE is moving from their current location at the corner of 2nd St. and Kluge into the old Palisade Tribune building at 124 W. Main St. and would like to be able to take the sign that has been imbedded in the ground in front of the old office.

In order to suspend the sign above the awning that currently exists on the front of the building, the sign will need to project 48” from the building. Requirements of Section 4.9.5.A.2.e of the L.D.C. demand that signs not project farther than 3 feet from a building.

Using an informal survey provided by commissioner Ron Gearhart, commissioners compared the request from CAVE to signage currently in use by town businesses. It turns out that a good portion of the business signage downtown is actually projecting from buildings farther than the 3 feet allowed by the code.

The planning commission has been charged by the trustees with working to bring Palisade’s Land Development Code more into line with other towns of our size and demographic makeup, and this is an example of a section needing review.

CAVE requested the variance so they could continue to use their current signage without changing the size, and therefore, the design of their sign. The variance was approved unanimously.

With the resignation of Commissioner Roger Rawlings last month, the planning commission was left without a vice-chair. Nominations were requested, Lafe Wood volunteered to serve in the position of vice-chair and was approved unanimously.

Attending the meeting were commissioners Lafe Wood, Charlotte Wheeler, Betsy McLaughlin, Ron Gearhart, Ken Ruth, Trustee Robynn Sundermeier, Community Development Director Ron Quarles, and Administrative Asst. Keli Frasier.

There is currently a vacant seat on the planning commission and applications are being taken at Town Hall. Please call Lindsey Chitwood at 464-5602 for more information.

The next meeting of the Palisade Planning Commission will be Monday, May 4, 2015, in the Civic Center meeting room at 341 W. 7th Street in Palisade at 6:00 p.m.

In the interest of transparency, Betsy McLaughlin is currently serving on the Planning Commission, as well as writing for the Peach Town News. An audio recording of the meeting may be requested from Keli Frasier at Town Hall, 464-5602.