Explosive growth, this time among proposed storage businesses, captured the focus of the Pueblo West Metro Board on Monday as board members wrangled with whether such developments should be allowed along major roadways.
The board discussed water tap sales for three storage businesses at Monday's meeting, and District Manager Brian Caserta said a similar fourth development could soon be coming before the board.
The board OK’d the sale of a water tap for the U-Haul development planned for the corner of East Industrial Boulevard and Aerospace Drive near the Big Bear Liquor Store and Baskin Robbins ice cream shop. The 7.62-acre development calls for RV storage, the rental of six relocatable storage units, and U-Haul moving truck and trailer rentals.
Pueblo West Operations Manager Bobby Banham also told the board he has received two requests for water taps for the Hidden Gem Self Storage at 390 E. Spaulding Ave. and the Hahn’s Peak Self Storage at West Hahn’s Peak and Del Norte avenues.
The Hahn’s Peak development is on 1.39 acres of land and calls for 127 self storage units. The Hidden Gem development calls for 371 mini storage units.
Board member Jami Baker-Orr suggested the board revisit the idea of where the self storage businesses will be allowed “before we continue to just keep passing these,” as she expressed concerns about how the businesses would look aesthetics-wise.
Board vice president Doug Proal said it was his recollection the board advised staff about a year and a half ago that the board wasn’t going to allow storage units along major corridors.
“I think there is a need. I don't think we want to have a moratorium, we just want to review where they are going to go,” Proal explained.
“I know there is definitely a need in Pueblo West. It’s really hard to find anything open” at established storage businesses, said Kim Swearingen, board president.
Caserta said he would clarify the board’s former wishes so the issue can be discussed when the Hahn’s Peak and Hidden Gem Self Storage water tap requests come up for a vote at the Oct. 10 board meeting.
At that meeting, the board is also expected to vote on a request for three 1.5-inch water taps for a new multifamily residential development planned for the 600 block of Clarion Drive. That plan calls for three six-plex buildings that will offer a total of 18 dwelling units.
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A one-stop shop for building applications is coming
In other business, the board unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Pueblo Regional Building Department to help pay for an online portal that will offer applications for residential and commercial development within “essentially a one-stop shop,” said Christian Heyn, public works director.
The agreement calls for Pueblo West to pay 25% of the start-up costs for the portal, not to exceed $20,000, as well as 25% of the maintenance costs.
The board also gave unanimous approval to an agreement with Ridgemark Homes that outlines costs for roadway improvements for a housing development on Snyder Drive. The metro district will pay $35,000 to fund construction of road improvements between Campbell and Purcell while the builder will pay an estimated $175,000 cost to construct roadway improvements in front of each of the 10 home lots to be built on.
As Pueblo West voters prepare to decide a 1% sales tax initiative to fund road maintenance, Pueblo West resident Melvin Manrose cautioned the board to make it clear how far those funds will go. He said one resident he talked to mentioned the dirt road where he lives has not been paved in the five years since he’s been there.
“Just because the county is taking over the roads doesn’t mean the roads are all going to be paved. This board will incur the wrath of the citizens about, ‘We didn’t get our road paved,’ unless you convey that is not what this measure is intended to do,” Manrose said.
The board also heard from Proal about his part in reviewing an ethics complaint filed against board member Nick Madero that was based on a social media post Madero made in late June concerning the cancelation of the district’s Fourth of July fireworks show.
Proal said he and Orr investigated the five-part complaint with the help of legal counsel and concluded “none of the allegations met the threshold” to warrant sanctions so the complaint has been dismissed.
“I want to thank the committee for their findings. My intent was never to imply there was any wrongdoing by the (fire) department and I certainly respect those who have worked so hard in the past to make sure Pueblo West has the best Fourth of July celebration,” Madero said. “I will find a better way to communicate with the community I love and appreciate so much."
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Chieftain reporter Tracy Harmon covers business news. She can be reached by email at email@example.com or via Twitter at twitter.com/tracywumps.
This article originally appeared on The Pueblo Chieftain: Pueblo West Metro Board mulls new storage facilities, where to put them