Ridgway Councilmember Paul Hebert, who sits on the multi-jurisdictional Ouray County Housing Authority, said that local governments in Ouray County have little money in their budgets to fund affordable housing projects, but there are some things the Town of Ridgway can do in its building code to increase the number of affordable housing units in town.
“Since no one has funding, we should consider doing some things policy-wise,” Hebert said. “One of the things we can do is increase the size of accessory dwelling units to 800 square feet. That would allow for two people to live in a unit instead of one.”
Hebert added that by increasing the size, it would also allow for some already-built nonconforming dwellings to be brought into compliance with the town’s building code.
Members of town council generally agreed that increasing the size of accessory dwelling units was a fairly simple code change, and that it could consider the revision at its next meeting on Aug. 11.
Mayor Pat Willits suggested sending the proposed revision to the Ridgway Planning Commission for its comments before the August meeting.
Opposition to Ballot Initiatives Could Go Before Council in August
With three citizen-initiated ballot questions slated for the Nov. 2 election that, if passed, could dramatically effect the level of services the state and local governments provide, the Ridgway Town Council could, by resolution, declare its support or opposition to the ballot questions at its next meeting on Aug. 11.
Proposition 101, also titled The Colorado Motor Vehicle, Income and Telecom ballot initiative, would require all motor vehicle registration, license and title changes be reduced to a total of $10 per year, per vehicle. The initiative would also lower the state income tax rate to 4.5 percent and phase in a further reduction in to 3.5 percent. Amendment 60 proposes to limit how property taxes are raised and reverse recent tax laws that have increased taxes. It also proposes cutting mil levies in half by 2020 as well as applying a 10-year limit on future property tax increases. Amendment 61 would prohibit any borrowing by the state or local governments and require voter approval for future loans.
Councilmembers generally agreed that they would likely support a resolution that states the council’s opposition to the ballot initiatives and directed staff to draft a resolution and develop background information on exactly how the initiatives would affect the town’s services should they pass.
“I don’t think we need to be educated more on why they are bad,” Councilmember Rich Durnan said, “but it would be nice to have some factual information available so we can have some numbers that mean something.”
Council also gave town staff the go ahead to draft two budgets for the 2011 fiscal year, one based on no initiatives passing and one with all initiatives passing. Other local governments, including Ouray County, are doing the same.
Ridgway Approves Voluntary Watering Restrictions
The first reading of a resolution that sets voluntary watering restrictions for residents in the Town of Ridgway was approved by the Ridgway Town Council at its meeting on July 14.
The voluntary watering restrictions will apply each year between May 15 and Oct. 15. Properties located on the south side of State Hwy. 62 (and the south side of Hunter Parkway) should only irrigate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Those properties located on the north side of Hwy. 62 should only irrigate on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
The resolution states that there should be no irrigation occurring on Mondays and that irrigation on designated days should not occur between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to minimize evaporation. These restrictions do not apply to drip systems and the use of hand-watering containers.
Before approving the resolution, council briefly considered making the restrictions mandatory but decided that it wasn’t interested in being “water cops” and decided to make it voluntary. Members of council did say that should a serious drought occur, similar to what occurred in 2002, they could make it mandatory if needed.