Grand Lake removes ‘dangerous’ Ravenwood sign after owner fails to respond |

Grand Lake removes ‘dangerous’ Ravenwood sign after owner fails to respond

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News

Grand Lake’s Pubic Works staff removed an intricate metal sign belonging to a new townhome development from its post Wednesday.

The town declared the pointy-edged “Ravenwood” sign a safety hazard and ordered the developer to either modify it or take it down, or at least contact the town with plans to remove it.

The sign was attached to a large rock where children could potentially climb, the town reasoned; they could hurt themselves on the sign’s prong-like edges.

The sign also was located along the town’s snowmobile trail.

But two weeks went by with no word from the developer, according to the town.

The midnight Jan. 29 deadline came and went.

The town plans to issue a summons to the developer, Charles Wahlen of Denver, in connection with the sign infraction.

The Ravenwood sign, which a Denver artist was commissioned to create, was secured to a large boulder with 16 bolts.

It went up touting a new townhome development months ago ” without a town sign permit.

Town trustees are required to review subdivision signs prior to permitting, so it went before the board in December, after-the-fact, at which time trustees declared the creation “dangerous.”

Wahlen proposed to alter the design and encase the artwork. Trustees agreed to the modification Jan. 14 and gave the developer two weeks to either take the sign down or enclose the design.

Yesterday, deadline day, “the guy that made the sign was going to come pick up the sign, but the pass was closed,” said Project Manager Steve Parry. “I’m hoping the town took some care when they took it out. It was a piece of art,” he said.

“It’s really too bad, don’t you think, that the town was so inflexible?” he said.

“It’s something we’ve never had to do before, so we’re trying to work through it,” said Grand Lake Town Manager Shane Hale. “We identified problems with the sign a long time ago.”

The town sent two certified letters to Wahlen concerning his sign; one in December that was returned unclaimed, another in January that was claimed. Wahlen also was contacted by phone to notify him of the circumstances, according to the town.

Since the town did not receive any correspondence or action within the two weeks, it was forced to take the sign down at the owner’s expense, the town said.

“”It certainly has nothing to do with how the sign looks, it fits in with the neighborhood and looks to be a well-made and well-designed sign,” Hale said. “But they’ve had plenty of time to correct the situation, which they have not. We have no other tool left in the box except removing the sign and issuing a summons.”

“Sounds like there was a comedy of mistakes,” Parry said, “and perhaps they can be rectified so that we can come up with something that will be acceptable to the town.”

” To reach Tonya Bina, e-mail or 970-887-3334 ext. 19603.

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