New Granby trustees take oaths of office
Trustees approve funding for short-term rental study
Granby’s Board of Trustees meeting went nearly four hours Tuesday, Dec. 13, as it featured four separate meetings: the town Liquor Licensing Authority, the Grand Elk General Improvement District Board, the old board of trustees and the new board of trustees.
Two new trustees, Mike Mahoney and Sharon Silva, replaced Nick Raible and Nicole Schafer on the board, while Jeffrey Sneddon and Deborah Shaw retained their seats after winning reelection in November.
“It’s been a pleasure,” Raible said. “I’m gonna miss every one of you, and I’ll think of you on Tuesday nights.”
Town Clerk Deb Hess swore in the four newly-elected members as well as the municipal officers — town attorney Nathan Krob, treasurer Sharon Spurlin and police chief David Shaffer. Hess and town judge Ron Carlson will be sworn in during a municipal court session.
Silva, Mahoney and Shaw will serve four-year terms while Sneddon will serve a two-year term, Hess wrote in an email. Shaw previously served as mayor pro-tem and could retain that position if the board chooses her when they elect one at their meeting Jan. 10.
The new board’s agenda featured four discussion items, including one about a short-term rental nexus study. Town manager Ted Cherry explained that town staff knows of several ways to combat affordable housing issues, one of them being the creation of a new short-term rental fee.
“Some of those things have taken effect with the Fraser Valley Housing Partnership already, but there’s still more that we can do on a individual community basis,” Cherry said.
Other communities in Colorado have done nexus studies on short-term rentals that showed they impact the need for employees and housing in the community, Cherry said. A nexus study could provide the town with the rational basis for a yearly short-term rental fee dedicated to funing housing initiatives.
Granby’s current short-term rental fee covers software, code enforcement and administrative costs related to the program, but has no designation for what the money needs to be used for. The proposed contract with Economic & Planning Systems, Inc. would cost of $33,140.
Mayor Josh Hardy said he has heard of communities implementing similar fees without doing a nexus study, but he and Cherry both said doing so could open the town to litigation. Board members echoed the sentiment that the town should gather data to justify a fee.
Board members discussed the cost of the study, with Trustee Rebecca Quesada saying the price seemed too steep. Trustee Chris Michalowski, who helped look at proposals from companies for the study, said it wold pay for itself in its first year, but public commenters continued to question the price.
Resident Daniella Gosselova said she does not think the study would keep the town from being sued and suggested the town collect data to justify the fee on its own. Resident Autumn Bishop also suggested the town try to find an easier or less-expensive way to gather the data, and she asked the board to establish a working group related to the fee if they did approve the survey.
After further discussion, all of the trustees besides Quesada voted to approve the nexus study proposal.
- The board decided not to appoint anyone to an open seat on the planning commission. The only candidate was Jason Wilson, who had not applied for the position before Hess asked about his interest after he ran for the board of trustees in November. Wilson was not present at the board meeting.
- Trustees voted to extend the deadline for the Colorado Headwaters Land Trust to raise funds for a project that looks to create a conservation easement out of land the town owns at the old Shorefox property.
- The board approved amendments to the municipal code related to vandalism, theft, trespassing, parking restrictions and vehicles leaking hazardous substances on public property. It rejected an amendment that would have prohibited storage of vehicles, trailers, equipment and storage containers on vacant lots for more than 72 hours.
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