Winter Park Ranch water ‘leak’ baffles officials |

Winter Park Ranch water ‘leak’ baffles officials

A possible leak in Winter Park Ranch has caused homeowner distress.

A driveway has heaved nine inches from frozen water, and there are reports of leaks into basements from excess groundwater. One homeowner has his attorney involved.

Winter Park Ranch Water and Sanitation District manager Kirk Klancke says the district has been trying to define the leak since last fall.

Water is flowing slowly out of the hillside above Cranmer Road to a ditch, then down Cranmer to the east about 300 yards, making its way to the Winter Park Ranch home.

But the cause has not yet been established even after a multitude of tests.

County Manager Lurline Underbrink Curran briefed commissioners Tuesday about the latest testing, which needs to be redone due to procedural errors.

Tests are looking for traces of chlorine residue to determine whether the water is from the Winter Park Ranch water system. If it isn’t, the cause may point to development and drainage issues or to the natural state of today’s blue-stained landscape.

With so many trees no longer absorbing ground water due to the beetle-kill epidemic, Klancke suspects the increased flow in groundwater may be indicative of what people should expect all over the county from now on.

Klancke said no water has been detected with lines shut off, and the district’s tank level has not been dropping at night, so the location of the leak remains a mystery.

The district also has ruled out a sewer leak.

But he has not ruled out the possibility that it may be a slow leak, and further testing may indicate whether there is any trace of the chlorine byproduct trihalo methane.

“If we get a trace of that coming out of groundwater, then we know it’s a domestic water leak,” Klancke said.

” It’s a continuing saga,” he said. “We should know more after April 1st.”

Master plan update launched

Grand County entered into a contract Tuesday with Boulder consultants Shapins Belt Collins to update the Grand County Master Plan.

The previous master plan was completed in 1998.

Shapins Belt Collins is a firm that specializes in natural and cultural resource preservation, context-sensitive design and public lands planning.

The master plan process will involve several public meetings to seek input on land planning.

The master plan is defined as a guiding document on how the people would like to see development take place in unincorporated Grand County. The plan outlines goals and ideals, but is not a regulatory document, according to the planning department.

A citizens advisory committee will include members of the planning commission and the community.

The county master plan update is expected to take about one year.

County subdivision regulation changes

County commissioners heard the first round of a public hearing concerning changes to subdivision, outright exemption and minor subdivision regulations Tuesday.

Some were as obvious as removing language in reference to antiquated planning tools such as “Indian ink and tracing cloth” and “floppy discs” and adding other language of the day, such as including “cable” as a utility.

In subdivision regulation changes, commissioners agreed with staff on such points as reducing the number of preliminary sketch plan copies provided from 35 to 15 and changing the reference to multi-family units greater than two units to read four units to correspond to water uses. The Amended Final Plat section is to be rewritten to allow for changes that make a subdivision “better,” according to county planners.

Making these changes is not just a housekeeping exercise, but a way to streamline processes, said Lori Clement of the county Planning Department. Some changes, such as in the minor subdivision regulation changes that will be reviewed next Tuesday, should also reduce the amount of meetings required with planning commission.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail

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