Trustees annex property for possible marijuana cultivation
Annexation of an agricultural parcel north of current town limits, and upcoming summer events, shared the agenda of the June 10, 2014, meeting of the Palisade Board of Trustees at the Civic Center, 341 W. Seventh Street. All trustees were present except Cody Butters, whose absence was excused.
Leading off the meeting was the recognition of June as the Adult Protection Awareness Month. Cameron Ray from the Mesa County Adult Protection office received the proclamation, read by Trustee Susan L’Hommedieu, on behalf of the program. He thanked the trustees, town staff and police and EMS departments for their participation as well. The Adult Protection program has been a champion for protection of the elderly, fighting for mandatory reporting of abuse. They provide community outreach as well as volunteer training.
An annexation request was recommended to trustees by the Palisade Planning Commission for a 10.62 acre property located north of the Highline Canal on North River Road owned by Brian and Rebekah Cox. While currently in cultivation of peaches, the proposed eventual use would include cultivation of marijuana, a land use that is not yet legal in Palisade. Development of marijuana production on the property would be totally dependent on legislation still to come, and the current annexation request is not tied in any way to the proposed use. The property has also been put under the protection of the Mesa Land Trust, assuring agricultural use and only very limited future development of the land in perpetuity. The Planning Director, supported by the commission members, do not find any reason that the request for annexation should not be approved. Trustees voted unanimously in favor of the annexation request.
Trustees also approved a resolution authorizing the Town of Palisade to sign a contract with the Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation for delivery of 10,000 acre/ft. of water from the Green Mountain Reservoir in Summit County. Public Works director Frank Watt explained that the agreement does not actually put a call on the water, it is kind of a last-resort method to keep enough water in the river for the health and safety of the fish if circumstances were to demand it.
Approval was also given for repair work to be done on the Highway 6 sewer line. A significant ‘valley’ in the line has caused problems in the past, and since CDOT will be tearing up the highway for their own reasons, it is economically desirable to fix the sewer line at the same time.
A new schedule of fees was also approved, bringing Palisade more into line with other municipalities, and better covering the expenses associated with each type of fee.
Trustee L’Hommedieu reported on the latest meeting of the Palisade Chamber of Commerce, and especially on the publication of a 36-page marketing piece in the June issue of US Airways in-flight magazine. Palisade made use of about 7 pages, promoting agri-tourism and outdoor activities in particular.
The Chamber office will now be open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., and is announcing the launch of the Peach Town News, a new on-line ‘publication’ to keep us posted on town news and events. Since the demise of the Palisade Tribune, there has been no way to share local information and the Chamber is stepping up to fill the void. A notice was requested to be put on the outgoing water bills, and a link will be added to the Town website as well.
Advance ticket sales for the Palisade Bluegrass and Roots festival have surpassed all previous years’ sales, good weather is predicted, water levels in the Colorado River should be on the decline, and a great festival is anticipated. Such was the report of Public Works Director Frank Watt, a.k.a “Festival Frank”.
Mayor Roger Granat requested that all trustees join him onstage at the Bluegrass festival at 7 p.m. on Saturday evening to thank the crowd for coming, as they have been doing each year. He also put out the word – more floats are needed for this year’s Fourth of July parade. The theme will be Palisade’s Cen-Ten, our centennial plus ten years.
Park and Recreation Director Sarah Brooks announced that there were only two empty spaces for this year’s opening of the Sunday Market in downtown Palisade, scheduled for June 15, 2014. A good market season is anticipated.
New Community Development Director Ron Quarles reported that the Planning Commission will be discussing the AFT (Agricultural, Forest and Transitional) zoning designation and how it might apply to the property annexed into town limits earlier in the evening at the next planning commission meeting on July 7, 2014. Quarles also reported that Colorado National Bank is looking to replace their sign, and that there has been some interest in a space on Peach Street by a chiropractor. He also reported that the planning commission had approved a variance of the sign code for the new Sandy King Studio at 330 Main Street in Palisade.
In response to a previous request by Trustee Cody Butters for an open discussion on capital improvements needed, Administrator Sales had prepared a list of current projects either undertaken or planned for the near future. After looking over the list, it was decided to table the discussion for a few months. Currently under way are such projects as the Main Street Renewal planned for later this summer, completion of the new wastewater lift station, relocation of the Palisade Police Department into the Civic Center building alongside the Palisade Fire Department, construction of public restrooms opposite the Town Plaza, completion of repair to a water line running under the railroad tracks, and the Second Street Renewal. There is also an application in process for grant money to cover asbestos removal from the old Palisade High School building so that renewal beyond the gymnasium can continue. It could be said that “the plate is full.”
The Riverfront Commission presentation, originally scheduled for the June 24, 2014, meeting of the Board of Trustees, has been rescheduled for the July 22 meeting.
All meetings of the Board of Trustees and the Planning Commission are open to the public. The Planning Commission meets on the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m. and the Trustees meet on the second and fourth Tuesdays, also at 6 p.m. Meetings are held at the Civic Center meeting room, 341 W. Seventh Street in Palisade.