Thursday, October 30, 2014

Proposed OHV Ordinance - GIS Map of Unincorporated Mesa County Roads

County roads in unincorporated areas of Mesa County may be viewed on our GIS mapping system link at http://emap.mesacounty.us/CountyRoads/countyRoads.html. Zoom in or out to navigate to your desired area.

Public comments regarding OHV proposed Ordinance may be made at any of the public hearings or sent to commissioners via email, phone or through social media. Please check the Mesa County webpage at http://www.mesacounty.us/BoCCagendas/ or contact Administration staff (970-244-1885) if you have questions about the public hearing dates.

Disclaimer: This map for viewing purposes only. Roads that are joint municipality and county roadways, as well as possible restricted access roads should be researched by individuals.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mesa County Budget - more opportunities to comment

Learn more about Mesa County's 2015 budget at Area Town Halls hosted by Commissioner Rose Pugliese.
  • October 30th (Clifton Starvin Arvin's-3247 F Road, 5:30-6:30 pm); 
  • November 5th (Old Courthouse-544 Rood Avenue, Public Hearing Room 2nd Floor, 5:30-6:30 pm); and 
  • November 6 (Fruita Recreation Center-324 N. Coulson Avenue, Cherry Meeting Room, 5:30-6:30 pm). 
If you can’t attend the Town Halls, view Mesa County's proposed 2015 budget at http://www.mesacounty.us/finance/.

Comments on the proposed budget are encouraged through December 8th through the following venues:
  • Facebook/mesacounty;
  • by email to mcadmin@mesacounty.us. If you email, please include the word “budget” in subject line;
  • or in person at Board of County Commissioner Hearings, generally held every Monday morning at 9 a.m. at 544 Rood Avenue, Grand Junction CO. (Currently hearings are set for October 27, November 10, November 17, November 24, December 8. Comments on budget may be made during ‘unscheduled business.’ Board of Commissioner Hearing agendas may be found at http://www.mesacounty.us/BoCCagendas/).

Commissioners Announce Finalist for Mesa County Attorney

The County Commissioners are pleased to announce the finalist for the position of Mesa County Attorney.
J. Patrick Coleman 
Denver, Colorado

The recruitment and review process associated with choosing the Mesa County Attorney has been underway since February, 2014. The Mesa County Commissioners thoroughly vetted Mr. Coleman over the last several months and reached a decision on October 28, 2014 during an executive session. Both Mr. Coleman and the Commissioners are thrilled with the mutual selection.

“We are delighted that we have found an attorney with an excellent combination of experience in both the public and private sectors, including years of experience as a County Attorney along with federal public lands issues and transparency and open government,” says Commissioner Rose Pugliese.

Commissioner Steve Acquafresca continues: "The Board of Commissioners is unanimous in our decision choosing Patrick Coleman as the finalist for the role of Mesa County Attorney. Patrick Coleman has many other experiences, and being raised a Colorado native on a ranch in Jefferson County, adds to our decision to select Patrick as the finalist to join the Mesa County organization.”

Commissioner John Justman explains that he finds Mr. Coleman’s degree in agricultural business from Colorado State University, before he obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver College of Law, a large positive. “Background in agriculture, as well as business, is something that will help Patrick advise us -- Mesa County needs to make decisions that take into consideration a balance of business interests and private property rights. We face this in our County on a regular basis. I think Patrick will be the right person to join us.”

Patrick Coleman has twenty-seven years of legal experience, including ten years representing local governments. After working for the past several years primarily as a sole practitioner for Coleman Law Firm, LLC, Patrick recently joined the Denver office of a national law firm, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP.

Working for Mesa County would mark a return to the Western Slope, where he practiced law for fifteen years, including serving as the Routt County Attorney and the Montrose County Attorney. The primary focus of Patrick’s private law practice has been on real estate transactions and related litigation, land use, local government law, federal public lands issues, agricultural matters, corporate law, and general civil litigation.

Patrick is a Colorado native and was raised on his family’s cattle ranch in Jefferson County. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business from Colorado State University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver College of Law. Patrick is the father of two teenaged children.

Mr. Coleman’s resume and photo follow this blog post.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Proposed Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Ordinance

First reading of proposed Off Highway Vehicle ordinance occurred at public hearing Monday, October 27, 2014.  This will be published in the Daily Sentinel in the next few days.  The second reading of the ordinance will occur on November 17, 2014.  Comments welcome.

PROPOSED OR 012 

ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMISSIONERS OF THE COUNTY OF MESA, STATE OF COLORADO 

ORDINANCE NO. 12 

AN ORDINANCE ALLOWING THE OPERATION OF OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLES ON ALL COUNTY ROADS LOCATED IN UNINCORPORATED AREAS OF MESA COUNTY, COLORADO AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION OF SUCH ORDINANCE

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MESA COUNTY COLORADO:

REFERENCES:

A. C.R.S. § 33-14.5-108(1)(f) authorizes the Board of Commissioners (the “Board”) to allow, through written resolution or ordinance, the establishment of off-highway vehicle (“OHV”) routes to permit the operation of OHVs on designated county roads which are not part of the state highway system.

B. C.R.S. § 33-14.5-110 authorizes the Board to regulate the operation of OHVs on County property and on streets and highways within its boundaries.

C. C.R.S. § 30-15-401(1)(h) authorizes the County to control and regulate the movement and parking of vehicles and motor vehicles on public property, except state highways.

D. Authorizing the operation of OHVs on certain additional county roads will assist in promoting economic development within Mesa County and the operation of OHVs on such designated roads can be undertaken in a safe and prudent manner.

ORDINANCE:

Section 1. Definition. The County hereby adopts the statutory definition of OHV from C.R.S. § 33-14.5-101(3) as: any self-propelled vehicle which is designed to travel on wheels or tracks in contact with the ground, which is designed primarily for use off of the public highways, and which is generally and commonly used to transport persons for recreational purposes. “OHV” does not include the following: (a) Vehicles designed and used primarily for travel on, over, or in the water; (b) Snowmobiles; (c) Military vehicles; (d) Golf carts; (e) Vehicles designed and used to carry disabled persons; (f) Vehicles designed and used specifically for agricultural, logging, or mining purposes; or (g) Vehicles registered pursuant to Article 3 of Title 42, C.R.S.

Section 2. Designation of Routes. OHV travel shall be allowed, subject to the restrictions listed in this Ordinance, on all county roads located in unincorporated Mesa County.

Restrictions and Prohibited Acts.

Section 2.01 Any person operating an OHV in the unincorporated areas of Mesa County shall comply with all rules and regulations applicable to such vehicles adopted by the State of Colorado and or the Federal Government, including but not limited to Article 14.5 of Title 33, C.R.S.

Section 2.02 Any person operating an OHV on a county road pursuant to this Ordinance shall be in possession of a valid motor vehicle operator’s license and be at least 16 years of age.

Section 2.03 OHVs operating on Mesa County roads shall be equipped with:
(a) a muffler in constant operation and properly maintained;
(b) a spark arrestor in good working order which has been approved by the U.S. Forest Service as evidenced by the bona fide permanent marking of “qualified” or “approved” on the spark arrestor;
(c) a braking system that may be operated by hand or foot, capable of producing deceleration of 14 feet per second on level ground at a speed of 20 miles per hour; and
(d) At least one lighted head lamp and one lighted tail lamp, each having the minimum candlepower prescribed by regulation of the Division of Parks and Wildlife while being operated between the hours of sunset and sunrise.

Section 2.04 It shall be unlawful to operate an OHV on Mesa County roads in any of the following manners:
(a) On any portion of any street except the far right portion of the street;
(b) To ride together in any pattern except in single file;
(c) On any public or private property or roads without express consent of the owner.

Section 2.05 OHVs operating on Mesa County roads shall be considered to be motor vehicles for purposes of maintaining at least the minimum liability insurance coverage required by the Colorado Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law, Title 42, Article 7, C.R.S.

Section 2.06 All ordinances and regulations pertaining to vehicles or motor vehicles, including without limitation the Model Traffic Code adopted in Mesa County, shall be applicable to the operation of OHVs on County roads, except to those which, by their nature, can have no application. In the event of a conflict between such ordinances and regulations and this Ordinance, this Ordinance shall govern.

Section 2.07 On county roads, OHVs shall not exceed 35 miles per hour or the posted speed limit, whichever is less.

Section 3. Limitations. This Ordinance does not authorize or designate the use of OHV’s on lands, roads or trails under the jurisdiction of municipalities or state or federal agencies or on other lands or roads not under the jurisdiction of Mesa County as set forth in Section 1. Nothing in this Ordinance shall prohibit the use of OHVs for agricultural purposes on any public road.

Section 4. Penalties. The following penalties shall apply to this ordinance:

Section 4.01. The provisions of C.R.S. §42-4-1701 are adopted by this reference (references to Article 4 of Title 42 shall refer to the corresponding part of the Model Traffic Code), except that any fine or penalty and the surcharge shall be paid to the County; the penalties and applicable Court surcharges and administrative fees shall be consistent with those applied under the Model Traffic Code adopted in Mesa County.

Section 4.02. With respect to violations of this Ordinance not covered by the Model Traffic Code, criminal prosecution may be brought against a violator in accordance with Sections 30-15-402 C.R.S. and under the penalty assessment procedure provided in Section 16-2-201 C.R.S. Such violations shall be a class 2 petty offense, and, upon conviction or confession of guilt thereof, shall by punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars for each separate violation, plus a surcharge of ten dollars ($10.00), under Section 30-15-402(2) C.R.S. and any applicable Court surcharges and administrative fees.

Section 4.03. Each violation of this Ordinance shall be deemed separate and distinct from any other violation of this Ordinance or of any other federal, state, or local law, rule, order or regulation.

Section 5. Application. The restrictions on operation of OHVs contained in this Ordinance shall apply to every street, alley, sidewalk area, driveway, park, and to every other public way or public place or public parking area, either within or outside the corporate limits of this County, the use of which this County has jurisdiction and authority to regulate. The provisions of Sections 1401, 1402, 1413, and part 16 of the adopted Model Traffic Code, respectively concerning reckless driving, careless driving, eluding a police officer, and accidents and accident reports shall apply not only to public places and ways but also throughout this County.

Section 6. Reevaluation. The Board will periodically re-evaluate this Ordinance to determine the propriety of the terms and conditions herein.

Section 7. Validity. If any part or parts of this Ordinance are for any reason held to be invalid such decision shall not affect the validity of remaining portions of this Ordinance. The Board hereby declares that it would have passed this Ordinance and each part or parts thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one part or parts be declared invalid.

Section 8. Repealer. All resolutions or ordinances, or parts thereof, in conflict with this Ordinance are hereby repealed, provided that this repealer shall not repeal the repealer clauses of such resolutions nor revive any resolution thereby.

Section 9. Safety. The adoption of this Ordinance is in the best interest, safety and welfare of the citizens of and visitors to Mesa County.

Section 10. Publication and Effective Date. The foregoing text is the authentic text of Ordinance No. 12. The first reading of said Ordinance took place on October 27, 2014 at a regular Board of County Commissioners Meeting. It was published in full in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel on October _, 2014. The Ordinance was adopted on second reading at a regular Board of County Commissioners Meeting on __ , 2014 and shall take effect on , 2014.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Concerning proposed Ordinance Allowing Operation of Off Highway Vehicles on County Roads

In an effort to clarify facts surrounding Mesa County’s proposed Ordinance allowing the operation of “Off Highway Vehicles” (OHVs) on County roads, the Mesa County Commissioners offer a summary of the procedural steps involved in considering the Ordinance, and the conduct the proposed Ordinance would allow. (Links to view the proposed Ordinance are found within this advisory.)

Definition of Off Highway Vehicle: Off-Highway Vehicles are defined as any self propelled vehicle designed to travel on wheels in contact with the ground, primarily off of public highways, and generally and commonly used to transport persons for recreational purposes.

Agricultural use: Operation of Off Highway Vehicles for agricultural purposes, including on County roads, is allowed under Colorado Statute and will not change with the adoption of this ordinance.

Why are the Commissioners considering such an Ordinance? Colorado statutes allow for the use of Off Highway Vehicles (OHVs) on county roads upon adoption of an ordinances and regulations. (C.R.S. §33-14.5-101 through -110.) Several rural counties in central and western Colorado have allowed OHVs on their county roads. Mesa County is well-suited for such an ordinance.

The Commissioners believe an ordinance allowing the use of these vehicles on County roads will benefit the residents of Mesa County by increasing recreation and travel options, easier access to public lands and increased economic development opportunities.

Proposed Ordinance would allow:
1. Use of OHVs on all Mesa County roads in unincorporated Mesa County.
2. A person with a valid driver’s license, who is at least 16 years of age and who possesses minimum liability insurance coverage on the subject vehicle, to operate an OHV as a vehicle on Mesa County roads.
3. Maximum speed the lesser of: posted limit or 35 miles per hour.
4. OHVs equipped with muffler, spark arrester, breaking system, headlamp and tail lamp.

Proposed Ordinance would NOT:
a. Require additional licensing or fees assessed for use on County roads by Mesa County.
b. Allow use of OHVs on the State Highway System.
c. Allow use of OHVs within Municipalities (such as Fruita, Grand Junction, Collbran or Palisade).

Procedural timeframe: Any ordinance that the Board of Commissioners considers must adhere to the requirements of C.R.S. §30-15-405 and -406.
1. Notice that the ordinance will be “read” at a public hearing (Oct. 22);
2. First reading at public hearing (Oct. 27);
3. Publication of the complete ordinance in the Daily Sentinel;
4. Second reading at public hearing (to be determined);
5. If changes made at second reading, publish changes;
6. Ordinance may take effect 30 days after publication.

Public comments may be made at any of the public hearings (i.e., First reading, or Second reading) or sent to commissioners via email, phone or through social media.

Please check the Mesa County webpage http://www.mesacounty.us/BoCCagendas/ or contact Administration staff (970-244-1885) if you have questions about the public hearing dates.

Text of the proposed Ordinance: Proposed Ordinance may be found below and within the October 27, 2014 hearing binder http://www.mesacounty.us/BoCCagendas/








New TV Channel for Local Government

MESA COUNTY, COLO October 22, 2014 - Mesa County's Government Cable Access Channel 12 will be Charter station #191 after October 28, 2014.

Programming on Channel 191 includes: 
  • Governmental Decision Making programs
    County Administrative Public Hearing broadcasts (live and pre-recorded), City Council Meetings, City Planning Commission Meetings, Mesa County Land Use Hearings (live and pre-recorded) and other special forums. 
  • Community information and community affairs
    Crime prevention, environmental, public safety and neighborhood information.
  • Cooperative/Community Programming
    School events/information, performing arts, recreation activities, family, senior citizen, health and educational programs that promote the mission of any Mesa County department. This also includes programs that would be of special interest during a particular time-frame, such as; ballot and voting information and community events.

Check us out on the web at 
or go to http://www.mesacounty.us/, and click on "I'm looking for...Channel 191"

Mesa County provides staff support of this channel with the goal of educating, supporting families, and encouraging community involvement. 

For further detail, see the attached summary of the history of Mesa County's Government Access Channel.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Commissioners' letters of support and request for action

Mesa County Commissioners’ letters of support and request for action this week:

Secretary Jewell, Department of the Interior, Washington DC: Roan Plateau, potential settlement of litigation involving Barrett Corporation, BLM and others.
“….On behalf of the citizens of Mesa County, the Board of County Commissioners respectfully request that the finalization of any legal settlement between plaintiffs and Bill Barrett Corporation, BLM and others includes specific provision that Mesa County, Colorado is held harmless for repaying any amounts that may be connected with the settlement of the above referenced litigation...”

Representative Tipton: Roan Plateau, potential settlement of litigation involving Barrett Corporation, BLM and others.
“…Mesa County supports settlement contingent upon the State legislature approving State payment and holding Mesa County, and other local jurisdictions, harmless.
We anticipate that you will include the above sentiments in your letters urging support of, and implementation of any agreement related to the Roan Plateau issue...”

Colorado Water Conservation Board: Comments on the draft State Water Plan.
“…On behalf of Mesa County residents, the Mesa County Commissioners thank you for your work and attention to the critical matter of preserving water for Colorado communities.
Mesa County sits in both the Gunnison Basin and the Colorado Basin….
The mainstem of the Colorado River, as it bisects Mesa County, is the lifeline of our community, our economy, our environment and our entire culture. The very senior water rights associated with the Colorado River diversions in Mesa County are legally established entitlements and must be recognized, respected and fully protected in the development of the Draft Colorado Water Plan…”

Colorado Tourism Office: Palisade Chamber of Commerce, Fruit & Wine Byway, grant application.
“…Mesa County Commissioners applaud the collaborative efforts of our community and fully support the Palisade Chamber of Commerce’s efforts on the Palisade Fruit & Wine Byway. We urge the Tourism Office to award the requested grant to Palisade Chamber of Commerce.”

Colorado Parks & Wildlife: Western Slope ATV Association, grant application.
“…We believe that supporting this type of grant request is not only important to the recreating public, but that the dollars generated by the recreationists help Mesa County’s economy.
We understand that a large portion of the grant funds would be used to provide annual maintenance to portions of the trail systems that experience erosion problems and resource damage, which then can become dangerous for the users. We appreciate and applaud WSATVA for taking time to care for and improve the areas it uses for recreation…”