WALSENBURG — Following a short public hearing Tuesday night in which no objections were filed, the Walsenburg City Council voted unanimously to approve a zoning change that will allow development of a tiny homes community on the old football field located behind the Spanish Peaks Public Library. Rod Stambaugh, President of Sprout Tiny Homes of La Junta attended and testified at the public hearing noting that he has purchased the nearly three acre parcel of land and feels the project will bring affordable new housing to the city as well as promote economic development. Monica Birrer and Jan Tucker voiced questions regarding how the development would look from the library, but Walsenburg City Attorney Dan Hyatt said those kind of questions would be best saved as Stambaugh moves into the next phase of development; planning the subdivision. In this phase there will be additional information presented concerning the look and configuration of the subdivision. The action Tuesday night, approval of Ordinance 1070 on second reading, changed the zoning of the land from AO to R2. In response to a question by councilperson Silvana Lind, Stambaugh said he plans a single road running through the subdivision that
will have street lighting approved by the city. He answered a question about how the subdivision will be maintained by councilman Nick Vigil saying there will be covenants similar to a homeowner’s association to prevent junked cars and other eye sores from the property. “We look forward to being part of the community,” he added. In other business, Mayor Jim Eccher read a proclamation into the record designating Saturday, August 29, 2015 as Walsenburg Rolling for Freedom Day. Council approved a special events liquor license permit for Walsenburg Downtown Revitalization to have a beer garden on the Miners’ Plaza site at Sixth and Main for Mountain Mining Days September 5 from 9 am until 11:30 pm. Council passed Resolution 2015-R-20 that allows an expenditure of no more than $1,000 to build a dog run for the city’s new police dog. The item passed with councilman John Salazar, the police dog’s handler, abstaining. Council also passed Resolution 2015-R-21 adopting an amended gas operations and maintenance manual for the gas utility department. The financial report, with numbers only available through April of this year, showed a large deficit in the city sewer fund. Walsenburg Administrator David Johnston said the figures do not represent the earmarked portion of city sales tax for the fund, nor usage for the past three months. Vigil asked, “We’re not talking raising rates again are we”? “I hope not,” Johnston said, but added, “I wouldn’t rule anything out at this point.” Mayor Eccher said he and Johnston have prepared a letter to a real estate firm touting progress and economic development in the city in hopes of luring a big box store to the Northlands area. Johnston said Walsenburg Wild Waters will cease daily operation after Aug. 16, with lifeguard staff heading back to school. The water park hours will be on weekends through the end of August.