Teller County commissioners unanimously approved restrictions on camping and temporary housing at Thursday's meeting. With the amended land-use regulations, a camping permit is required for camping on vacant property for 14 days or more. The permit fee is $25.

Property owners may camp on their property for up to 60 days in any continuous 12-month period. A camping unit is either a recreational vehicle, camp trailer, 5th wheel or tent.

The amended regulations stem, in part, from the number of people living in their vehicles who park illegally. The amendments require that trash be managed on-site and removed regularly during camping or completion of camping.

From the audience, Roger Coker, reported seeing RVs parked illegally on Shelf Road. Dan Williams, the county planner who presented the proposed changes to the commissioners, responded, “We have agencies to Teller County to help,” he said, referring to homeless populations living in their vehicles or in vacant rural land.

The commissioners also approved the request by the Colorado Outdoor Education center — Sanborn Western Camps — for improvements to the facility to include a health center, rebuilding staff houses and expanding the upstairs portion of the Nature Place, part of the COE.

As construction continues on what is known as “the gap” on I-25 between Monument and Castle Rock, drivers can expect to pay a toll. “We’ve been pushing for no tolls or low tolls ideally but yesterday the director of High Performance Transportation Enterprise said to expect a toll of $2 to $3, with a target of $2.25 each way,” Commissioner Norm Steen said. “It’s about keeping the lane clear enough to maintain reliability of speeds at 55 mph or greater.”

In a later clarification, Steen wrote: “The target price (it may change) is $2.25 for the entire one way trip on I-25 in the newly constructed third lane, which is the only tolled lane. One new tolled lane will be added in each direction —northbound and southbound. Drivers may still travel in the two current lanes which will remain un-tolled.”

In other news, Steen reported that Teller County will be featured in a blog about how broadband works in rural areas. The blog is hosted by the National Telecommunications Information Administration. According to estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau, from 2013-2017, an average of 88 percent of county households reported having an Internet subscription, 56 percent with wired broadband service such as cable, fiber or DSL. Steen provided the paperwork for the survey.

In the annual December function, commissioners Marc Dettenrieder, Dave Paul and Steen approved the 2019 budget of $32,879,674. Of that figure, $937,681 is grant-funded.

According to the budget message presented by Vicki Caldwell, budget officer, and Laurie Litwin, director of finance, the economic picture is positive due to growth in building permits and gaming revenues.

However, there’s a headwind coming with the anticipated statewide reduction in residential assessment rate under the Gallagher Amendment. The county’s biennial re-evaluation of taxable properties will provide more definite date in 2019, states the message.

The approvals were the last for Commissioner Dave Paul, who is term-limited and will hand over his seat to Bob Campbell in January. Paul served the county for eight years, two terms. 

Pikes Peak Courier Reporter

Pikes Peak Courier Reporter

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