Administrator Update February 2017



February 2017


This Monthly Update is a supplemental report for inclusion in the Town Board of Trustees agenda packet, distributing to the community, and for posting on the Town website. It is for informational purposes. Items herein may or may not warrant Board of Trustees discussion, and do not require action unless noted on the meeting agenda.


Discussions are continuing regarding allowing accessory dwelling units in residentially-zoned districts throughout town. ADUs may take the form of a detached unit, attached unit or a unit within a single family home. Staff has proposed a process to bring existing, non-complying units up to code and to work with property owners to properly register them for the health, life and safety of the occupants. ADUs are serving as an alternative source of housing in many communities. For the past several months, the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Trustees have discussed how to regulate and permit these units in a way that is fair and safe and protects the character of neighborhoods. A draft ordinance has been proposed, which is being discussed in meetings before each body. Members of the public with concerns or questions about the proposed ordinance are encouraged to contact Town Hall or to attend a meeting.


Town staff and elected officials have been working closely with the Colorado Department of Transportation for the past two years on revisions to the existing Access Control Plan (ACP), which determines what accesses may be permitted and for what purposes on the 160 Corridor. The current ACP, which was completed and adopted in 2003, limited vehicular and pedestrian access onto the town’s street system from the highway. The goal with the original ACP was to move traffic through the town as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this has divided the town into two north-south sections and limited development along the corridor, as well as creating unsafe situations for pedestrians wishing to cross the highway. Public input was sought during the planning process and the town’s contracted engineering firm conducted analyses to study traffic impacts on town roads. The 2017 ACP, which will replace the 2003 ACP, proposes to open up access along the corridor to a few key new areas. The goal of the new ACP is make the corridor more inviting and safer for pedestrians, open up potential access points to town streets, and to eventually integrate this important corridor into the town’s street network. The Board of Trustees will be asked to adopt this new ACP along with an intergovernmental agreement with CDOT at its February 8 meeting.


A request for bids is currently being advertised for construction of an at-grade pedestrian crosswalk at the intersection of Beech Street and Highway 160. As there is only one signalized location for pedestrians to currently cross the highway, the town has been working with CDOT to design and construct a safe walkway further west on the corridor for this purpose. Once completed, pedestrians and cyclists will be able to signal the RRFB (rectangular rapid flashing beacon) at the north or south side of the highway. This flashing signal will alert motorists to stop. A pedestrian refuge located halfway through the crossing provides a safe place for temporary stopping. Construction bids are due by February 14. Funding for this project, which is estimated at $260,000, is being provided by grants through the Colorado Department of Transportation (through federal Transportation Alternatives Program funds) and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DoLA), as well as town matching funds. The town hopes to enter into contract with a construction company by the end of February and begin construction as soon as the weather permits.


The resurrected volunteer-led Mancos Days Association will be planning and organizing the annual Mancos Days festival this year. In January, the town Board of Trustees voted to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Association regarding the terms for the festival. Although the festival will be considered a town event and the town will utilize its staff for street closures, the event will be put on entirely by this organization. Residents who are interested in helping to organize the festival are encouraged to reach out to the Mancos Days Association for further details.


The Planning and Zoning Commission and town staff have been discussing upgrading the town’s adopted building codes to 2015 versions. Currently, the town is on 2006 Mechanical, Residential, Plumbing and other building codes. In addition, the town’s fee schedule for building permits has not changed in twenty years. This will be an item of discussion at the February 15th Planning and Zoning Commission meeting and will be an item of future discussion before the Board of Trustees. Many communities have adopted newer versions of the building codes, such as 2012 or 2015, in order to keep pace with changes in building materials and construction techniques. Sections of the code may be adopted in whole or in part, and the Board of Trustees may augment them with additional changes that are unique to the Mancos community.