TELLURIDE – To discourage bear-enticing open trash containers, the Telluride Town Council stepped up its fine schedule for those who violate the town’s trash ordinance at Tuesday’s meeting, approving approving on second reading an ordinance that escalates the town’s fines for open trash containers. First-time offenders will now be fined $250, second-time offenders (within one year) $500 and third- time offenders will receive a court summons and a maximum fine of $1,000.
The elevated fines come in response to the euthanization of a nuisance bear by Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officials last summer in Telluride.
While the ordinance was unanimously approved, Councilor Bob Saunders expressed concerns that someone could open a trashcan late in the night and not lock it, yet that resident would be fined for that mistake.
“I don’t know how we solve that,” Saunders said. “I hope the marshals and the court would be sensitive to that possibility.”
Councilor Chris Myers countered that one benefit of this ordinance may be that fewer people will leave their trash on the curb, where it’s easily accessible.
“The Marshal convinced me at the last meeting that he is a fair man and that he will use his judgment and discretion on each individual,” said Councilor Thom Carnevale. “This will hopefully go toward reducing the amount of bear sightings in this community.”
A similar measure was taken by the town last year, to cut down on dog-at-large problems, and the escalating fines solutions seemed to work.
Town Expects SMVC Road Access Permit Application This Summer
Following sketch plan approval for two Planned Unit Developments from the San Miguel Board of County Commissioners last month, the Town of Telluride can expect an access permit application from the San Miguel Valley Corporation sometime this summer.
SMVC attorney Tom Kennedy said SMVC must present preliminary plans to the San Miguel County Planning Commission within the next year, and a prerequisite for a town-granted access permit to the Telluride-owned Hwy. 145 Spur from its Mill Creek subdivision proposal, which contains a proposed affordable housing complex.
“We have a year to get the preliminary plan in,” Kennedy told councilmembers. “A prerequisite is the access permit, and my suspicion is that we will be working closely with you through the summer on that.”
Kennedy said SMVC hopes to present the county’s planning commission preliminary plans for both the Mill Creek and Deep Creek parcels by the fall.
According to Public Works Director Paul Ruud, possible challenges and benefits could come out of creating two new access points onto the Spur, but challenges include bus stops, especially on eastbound side of the Spur, future drainages crossing the Spur and how town utilities will be affected by the new access points.
As for benefits, Ruud pronounced himself relieved at the notion that the Mill Creek parcel won’t bring more traffic onto the Spur from Mill Creek road, and that adding two new access points could slow traffic.
“I don’t want to guess how the review will go but I am relieved that we are not seeing more traffic off Mill Creek,” Ruud said. “That intersection has sightline issues. To have less of the development coming off that road is a good thing.”
Traffic Calming Measures in the Works
New traffic calming measures may soon come to portions of east and west Colorado Avenue.
Following a work session discussion Tuesday, members of the Telluride Town Council directed Public Works Project Director Karen Guglielmone to present a list of traffic-calming recommendations for slowing drivers as they enter onto Telluride’s main street at the often-congested west end of main street, and at the east end of main street where drivers tend to speed up as they leave Telluride’s business district. The direction comes on the heels of the convening of a traffic-calming task force to discuss slowing options for drivers, who often travel faster than the posted 15 m.p.h. speed limit.
For the east end of Colorado Ave., from Maple Street to the Telluride Cemetery, chicaning the road by creating slight turns with planters and parking spots would be an option while on the west end of Colorado Ave., from Davis Street to the roundabout, rumble strips, painted speed limits on the road and more raised crosswalks were discussed as options.
For resident Chris Johnson, who was a part of the traffic calming task force, it’s important to get traffic calming measures in place, even if they are temporary.
“It’s just out of control,” Johnson told council. “We have to do something to show that we are serious about it.”