Residents want more say in Minturn development |

Residents want more say in Minturn development

Christine Ina Casillas
Minturn 10-15 MK

The push to change the zoning regulations began when residents raised concerns about a car wash that moved into town near their neighborhood, said Russ Martin, Minturn town planner.

Before any new policies are approved, the town wants to hear from the residents about any concerns or problems they have with the changes to commercial zoning, Martin said. Residents will be allowed to voice any problems at tonight’s planning and zoning commission meeting.

“We never really had categories for businesses before,” Martin said. “Our process was that we based commercial uses on size.”

Commercial uses were lumped into three categories: under 900 square feet; 901 square feet to 2,500 square feet’ and above 2,500 square feet, he said. The zoning changes also will affect town, residential, mixed-use, commercial and open space and recreation developments.

“We’re making changes in our philosophy for commercial uses in town,” he said. “We’re not changing a piece of property, but changing the textural zone of what we’ll allow or not allow.”

The proposal also is a result of residents requesting that commercial uses be more defined by town ordinances, he said.

“Before, we would have general categories for businesses,” he said. “A barber shop and a record store would fit into the same category. But with other businesses – like a car wash – there was no category.”

Businesses such as a dentist office might just go through a short process by getting a business licence, he said.

“A dentist office is easy,” he said. “But a car wash, there might be an additional process with what they can do, and that they take the neighbors concerns into consideration.”

Zoning changes also are being discussed because of a new business’ potential to be a nuisance to neighbors, he said.

“Certain uses might go through a more thorough process because of the impacts to the residents,” he said.

Zoning changes, however, will not affect plans to update the Town’s three-mile plan, Martin said.

The three-mile plan, which declares the town’s policy on annexation of areas up to three miles from the town boundary, hasn’t been updated for several years, he said.

“We’re concentrating on the south side of town with this plan,” he said. “The three-mile plan is a policy plan in case someone wants to come into and town and annex from here all the way to Leadville. The plan addresses it in advance.”

Minturn is surrounded by areas such as Two Elk, Maloit Park, Bolt’s Lake and the old town of Gilman, he said. The three-mile plan is not a proposal to annex these areas, but to prepare policies in the event that a proposal comes before the town in the future.

“It gives us an opportunity to have a thought-out process in advance before something like that happens,” he said. “It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s just in case someone from Gilman comes in and wants to develop certain property. How does it affect us?”

Christine Ina Casillas can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607 or at

The Minturn Planning and Zoning Commission will discuss zoning changes at a public hearing at 7 p.m., today, at the Minturn Town Hall.

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