The Pagosa Springs Planning Commission has been taking its mission more seriously in recent months.

The Town’s Land Use and Development Code (LUDC) defines the duties of the Commission, and includes this obligation:

1. Develop and recommend to the Town Council new policies, ordinances, administrative procedures, and other means that allow expansion to be accomplished in a coordinated and efficient manner;

At times in Pagosa’s history, the Planning Commission may have shirked its responsibility to develop and recommend policies and ordinances that will allow Pagosa Springs to grow and prosper, without going the way of mountain resort towns like Breckenridge, Vail, Aspen and Telluride — where, now, only the very wealthy can afford a home.

As a current member of the Town Planning Commission, I’m pleased that my fellow commissioners have been willing to push the envelope, on occasion, and recommend policies to the Town Council, even when those policies might create controversy.

Please note that this letter represents my own opinions, and not necessarily the opinions of the Planning Commission as a whole.

Developer Dan Sanders makes a presentation to the Town Planning Commission, March 8, 2022.

Last July, the Planning Commission recommended four policies aimed at addressing the housing crisis in Archuleta County. The Council subsequently adopted two of those recommended policies. 

One of the recommended policies that the Council did not adopt was a substantially larger fee collected from Short-Term Rentals (STRs.) 

Following the Council decision — or lack of decision — a group of local citizens circulated a petition to have the Town establish an increased STR fee, very similar to the one our Planning Commission had recommended in July. The petitioners collected a sufficient number of signatures, and the increased fee proposal will appear on the Town’s April 5 ballot, as Ballot Question A.

I urge our Town voters to do what the Council was hesitant to do: to ask the STR industry to help us solve the housing shortage that they helped create. Vote YES on Ballot Question A.

It’s only fair that the industry partly responsible for Archuleta County’s serious housing crisis, help us to mitigate the crisis.

Mark Weiler
Pagosa Springs, CO

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OPINION: Town Planning Commission Takes Its Mission Seriously – Pagosa Daily Post

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