I am the retired New York attorney identified in the recent letter to the editor by the Bennett Group. It is disheartening that while professing to care about the facts, this letter not only misstates the facts, but omits several very important facts.
In my oral presentation to the BOCC I do not believe that I said, “ a homeowner can rebuild his home just as it was after a fire” and my written remarks which were submitted to the BOCC do not contain any such statement, however, specifically say that a legally non-conforming structure could be maintained, replaced and reconstructed in accordance with the provisions of the Ouray County Land Use Code. When questioned by Commission Batchelder about the right to re-build, I did respond that a home could be rebuilt in accordance with the fifty percent rule contained in Section 4 of the Land Use Code. Apparently the Bennett Group misheard my oral remarks, including my response to Commissioner Batchelder and, did not read my written remarks.
I was attempting to respond to concerns raised about non-conforming structures and to offer some possible ways to address these concerns. I was careful to point out that non-conforming structures are not merely a visual impact issue, but are an issue every time any provisions of the Land Use Code is changed.
It is interesting that while I was highlighting the need to address Section 4 of the Land Use Code, the Section of the Land Use Code which contains the rules governing non-conforming structures, the Bennett Group sought to connect my remarks to the proposed changes to the Visual Impact Regulations (Section 9), without disclosing that the fifty percent rule they cited in their letter is contained in Section 4 (Zoning Provisions, Non-Conforming Uses and Structures) and not in the current Section 9 or any of the proposed changes to Section 9 being considered by the BOCC.
Rather than dwelling on their misinterpretations, I want to invite Mr. Bennett and his friends, if they are concerned about the rules in Section 4 governing non-conforming structures, to ask the BOCC to direct the Planning Commission to review Section 4, including the 50% rule. If such a request is made and the BOCC directs the Planning Commission to review Section 4, I hope Mr. Bennett and his colleagues will actively participate in the process before the Planning Commission. The more ideas that are heard, the better the outcome.
– Randy Parker, Ridgway