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La Veta cannot consider Grandote proposal

by Carol Dunn

LA VETA- Dwight Harrison was back Tuesday night for the La Veta Town Board meeting, asking how the Board feels about the Grandote Golf Club settlement proposal. 

    As far as she could without endangering the current lawsuits against the Town, Mayor Pro-tem Dawn Blanken went through Harrison’s proposal list and spent extra time clarifying the offer of $150,000 for the Town.  Harrison characterized it as a deposit on future development filings at Grandote, while Blanken pointed out that the original intent of the deposit was that it would apply to upgrade the water/sewer system for the lots that already exist within Town limits, not future development.  Blanken said, “I just want to clarify that this is a departure from the 1987 agreement.”          The need for the extra-territorial water taps was also questioned.  “If that’s keeping us from making a deal, I say take it off the table,” Harrison said.  “I thought I was helping the Town to get more money.”

    After Harrison insisted about Grandote, “Every acre out there was annexed,” a perplexed Mayor Mickey Schmidt replied, “We attempted to annex it, but we couldn’t agree on the development, so you yourself sued the Town to prove that we didn’t annex it.”  Harrison prevailed in that suit in the late 1980s.  He did not prevail Tuesday night.  After an executive session, the Board announced that, under advice from counsel and relative to CRS Titles 31 and 24, the Board is unable to consider section 3 of the proposal without a petition for annexation.  Trustee Tracy Webb said, “We have laws, state statutes we have to follow” that govern annexation.  Mayor Schmidt added, “There are certain thresholds of concern that have to be met.”  He said, “The Town Board in no way is standing in the way of the development of Grandote.”  Blanken told Harrison, “Drop the lawsuits and bring an annexation proposal.” 

    Trustee Dale Davis said, “Several people asked me why the Town won’t drop the lawsuits against Grandote.  There is no lawsuit brought by the Town of La Veta against Grandote.”  Davis explained that the Town worked with Dr. Randy Briggs to replat the existing lots to accommodate more affordable housing.  “There must not be a need for more affordable homes,” Davis said.  “There are about 60 lots ready to put houses on, and they’re vacant.  Grandote is not actively selling or building out.”  He theorized that the owner may be trying to increase the development’s value for a future sale.

    In election business, the Board appointed Nancy Culbreath as Election Official for April 6.  Ordinance 253 transferred ownership of land to the La Veta FPD to build a new fire station.  Ordinance 254 replatted lots 35-41, block 14 into parcels A and B for Lowell Eddy.  The museum ordinance established a Francisco Fort Board and makes the Town the new operating authority for the Fort, replacing the Huerfano County Historical Society.

    The Board accepted a commercial development application from Carol Houk and Reed White and set a public hearing for March 2 at 6:45 pm.  The restaurant and microbrewery will be located at 1010 South Oak St.  Houk said the microbrewery would produce up to 5,000 gallons of ales per year.