Vail to consider stream tract measure
VAIL — An ordinance that would provide an additional tool to enforce stream tract encroachments within the town will be considered for final approval by the Vail Town Council during its regular meeting Tuesday. Review of Ordinance No. 6, Series of 2015 is listed fifth on the meeting agenda which begins at 6 p.m. in the Town Council Chambers and will include a public hearing.
As drafted, Ordinance No. 6 would help facilitate the removal of a private encroachment on town-owned stream tract property at the town’s request. It would also grant the town authority to remove the encroachment if the property owner fails to comply upon request and to charge for cost recovery. The ordinance is similar to legislation adopted in 2007 that addresses abatement of dead trees. Ordinance 23, Series of 2007 requires property owners to remove dead or diseased trees within 30 days of notification or to have an acceptable mitigation plan in place.
Case by Case Basis
Currently, the town issues a trespass citation in Municipal Court as its enforcement action for stream tract encroachment. The additional tool would expand the town’s options to address encroachment situations on a case by case basis, according to George Ruther, Community Development Director.
Ordinance No. 6 was given preliminary approval by the Town Council at its June 2 meeting. Following further consideration, the town staff is recommending the Town Council modify the ordinance at second reading to increase the notice of violation period from seven days to 21 days, require written notice be sent via certified mail, to extend the compliance deadline from 30 days to 45 days, and establish a minimum penalty for first and second offenses at $500 and $750, respectively.
In addition, notification letters have been sent to approximately 700 potentially affected property owners describing the objectives of the ordinance and encouraging public input.
Degradation of Water Quality
The town has previously identified dozens of encroachments along the public stream tract, ranging from unauthorized landscaping to construction of permanent structures. The encroachments have subjected Gore Creek and other waterways to numerous disturbances including erosion and degradation of the water quality. A public awareness campaign has been underway since 2009 to communicate the importance of the riparian habitat on the health of Vail’s waterways.
To review the draft ordinance online, visit the town’s website at vailgov.com or to forward comments to the Town Council in advance of Tuesday’s meeting, email town email@example.com.