Gypsum forms advisory group for code enforcement disputes over lock-off units
October 23, 2013
The town of Gypsum is forming a five-member committee to help sort out what Mayor Steve Carter referred to as a "rat's nest" of code enforcement issues.
In July, some residents complained to town council that there was a proliferation of homes being converted into lock-off apartments, or accessory dwelling units, which violated codes in certain neighborhoods. At the time, council members said it is very difficult to investigate those alleged violations, based on the limited evidence that may be visible from outside the home and also due to the fact that some homes were converted decades ago, long before they may have been bought by the current owners or before any zoning ordinances were in place. Nonetheless, the council agreed that when citizens bring a complaint to the town, the town is obligated to do what it can. So, in response to complaints about suspected illegal ADUs, the town sent letters to entire neighborhoods.
"What's happened is that one resident says, 'You're investigating me because of a complaint? Well, then I'll give you some other names to investigate,'" said Gypsum Town Manager Jeff Shroll said in September.
Council members acknowledged that some cases are very different from others.
“There is a grey area to everything and we need to work with people on this.”
"There's something wrong when you have a mobile home with 17 people living in it and you can't do anything about it (because of zoning) but grandma can't live in the basement," Carver said. "I don't want this to be a black-and-white town. There is a grey area to everything and we need to work with people on this. It's going to be a rat's nest but we have to work with everyone."
In that spirit, to sort through the cases, Gypsum Town Planner Lana Gallegos is forming the Accessory Dwelling Unit Committee. The advisory group will include a member from the town planning committee, a town council member, two town staff members and a citizen who has been involved from the beginning.
"Right now there are people in violation of the code but we are open to reviewing the issue to see if there are any changes that need to be done to the code to address the issue," Gallegos said.
In other action
In other action, Gypsum council members:
Approved a proclamation for Colorado Gives Day on Dec. 10.
Tabled a resolution to approve the amended final plat and condominium map for Longview Subdivision Lots 6A and 6B until Nov. 12.