The Pagosa Springs Planning Commission has taken its mission more seriously in recent months.
The City’s Land Use Planning and Development Code (LUDC) defines the duties of the Commission and includes this obligation:
1. Develop and recommend to City Council new policies, ordinances, administrative procedures and other means to achieve expansion in a coordinated and efficient manner;
At times in Pagosa’s history, the Planning Commission may have shirked its responsibility to develop and recommend policies and ordinances that will allow Pagosa Springs to grow and prosper, not following the path of resorts. mountains such as Breckenridge, Vail, Aspen and Telluride – where now only the very wealthy can afford a home.
As a current member of the Planning Commission, I am pleased that my fellow Commissioners have been willing to push the envelope, on occasion, and recommend policies to City Council, even when those policies might create controversy.
Please note that this letter represents my own opinions, and not necessarily the opinions of the Planning Commission as a whole.
Last July, the Planning Commission recommended four policies to address the housing crisis in Archuleta County. Council subsequently adopted two of these recommended policies. One of the policies recommended by the Council do not adopting was a considerably higher fee collected from short-term rentals (STRs).
Following Council’s decision – or lack of it – a group of local citizens circulated a petition for the City to establish an increase in STR fees, very similar to the one our Planning Commission had recommended in July. The petitioners have collected a sufficient number of signatures and the proposed fee increase will appear on the City’s ballot on April 5, as Question A.
I urge the constituents of our city to do what council has been reluctant to do: ask the STR industry to help us solve the housing shortage they helped create. Vote YES to question A on the ballot.
It is only right that the industry partly responsible for the severe housing crisis in Archuleta County helps us alleviate the crisis.
Pagosa Springs, CO