Monte Vista City Council denies approval of fence ordinance 

Photo by Marie Mccolm The Monte Vista City Council celebrated the work anniversary of two of its IT Technicians — Brandon Gallegos and Christian Batzer.

MONTE VISTA — The Monte Vista City Council met on July 15 and voted against approving the second reading of a fencing ordinance with a 4-0 vote. 

The fencing ordinance was first brought up in late May when Cynthia Baird, a resident of Monte Vista, was concerned over a 6-foot privacy fence that she said hindered visibility for residents and young children exiting or playing in nearby areas and driveways. 

Fencing guidelines in other cities allow for a 4-foot-high fence in front yards and 6 feet in the back.

Staff's original proposed ordinance included these height guidelines and a setback requirement of 18 inches. It was changed to 2 feet. Council approved the first reading of the ordinance on June 17 with the second reading on July 1, but it was moved to July 15.

On July 15, Councilmember Martha Lock moved to approve the ordinance’s second reading.

“No ordinance is ever going to be perfect, or please everybody, but I think we've put a lot of work into this to figure out the best way to make it safe and least invasive, so I would move to approve Ordinance 909,” Lock said. 

Mayor Dale Becker seconded the motion with the caveat that more discussion on the setback was coming.

“I think we are going to have a lot of discussion on the 2-foot setback, and yes, you are right you can't make an ordinance to make everybody happy, I second it,” Becker said.

Councilmember Larry Foster said after hearing from people, he was against the ordinance as written.

“I have put a lot of thought into this, as I have had other people contact me about this as well,” Foster said. “We built this thing based on a 6-foot fence which is what the issue was, and applying that to smaller fences, doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense. If you are going to build a 2-foot fence, now you are subject to setting this thing back 2 feet, even though that is not the issue we were trying to solve, the issue we were trying to solve was visibility.”

Councilor Foster added that he believes the power for the visibility should be put with the person who authorizes the fence. 

“The council should be able to recommend how visibility should be figured for fencing, but to take a one-size-fits-all approach to the visibility, he does not believe will be successful,” he said. 

After more discussion, the ordinance did not receive enough votes. The Council said it could be brought back and discussed at a later date.

Bob Richards of KSLV Radio made a special presentation on the Ski Hi Events Center.

Richards, who is planning a large event in the city in October, said he was concerned that the city had not hired an events manager for the center that was expected to be completed by this fall.

Richards had many questions about the venue during his lengthy presentation and explained that he has a background in event planning at all sizes of venues. Richards has a lot of knowledge of how event venues work as far as ticketing, security, and naming rights, just to name a few, and was willing to help the city with the venue.

Richards said his "goal is to help the new manager for the events center answer a lot of questions, that may need to be addressed in order to make the venue a success, and to also offer his expertise and ideas on events to the new Manager, and the City of Monte Vista.”

The city is looking at hiring an events manager and this was discussed later in the meeting. Interim City Manager and Monte Vista Police Department Police Chief George Dingfelder said they were working on the job description and planning to meet with local stakeholders to discuss much of what was brought up during Richards’ presentation.

In other City Council matters, Brandon Gallegos was awarded a five-year service award for his dedication and service as an IT Technician to the City of Monte Vista, and fellow IT Technician Christian Batzer was recognized for his 3 years of service.

The next regular City Council meeting is scheduled for Aug. 5. For more information, visit https://cityofmontevista.colorado.gov.

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