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Montezuma County Resident named BLM Colorado's Volunteer of the Year

6/30/2022

Learn who has been named as the state volunteer of the year by the Bureau of Land Management, City of Cortez asks for voluntary water restrictions, and how would you change the accessory-dwelling-unit regulations? This story is sponsored by Ute Mountain Casino Hotel and Choice Building Supply Ace Hardware

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A Montezuma County resident, who has contributed more than 3,100 hours of volunteer time, has been named, The Bureau of Land Management State Volunteer of the Year. The City of Cortez wants to hear from you about accessory dwelling units. And the city reminds residents that voluntary watering restrictions are now in place, but they are not as voluntary as you'd think. You're watching The Local News Roundup, brought to you by the Ute Mountain Casino Hotel and Choice Building Supply, ACE Hardware. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. Larry Keller, A Montezuma County resident, who has contributed more than 3,100 volunteer hours at The Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, has been named, The Bureau of Land Management's Colorado Volunteer of the Year. A BLM news release cited Keller's work cataloging collections at the museum's visitor center and museum. His volunteer work was equivalent to a year and a half of full-time work, valued at more than $89,000. Keller has volunteered for the bureau since 2010. If you'd like to know more or want to become a BLM volunteer, visit blm.gov and search for 'volunteers.' The City of Cortez may change regulations for accessory dwelling units, but first the city wants your opinion. The city has posted a survey on its website to gauge resident's preferences regarding ADUs. Existing regulations limit ADUs to single family and residential estate neighborhoods. Lot sizes must be at least 20% larger than minimum. For single family residential neighborhoods, minimum lot size is 7,000 square feet. For residential estate neighborhoods, minimum lot size is 43,500 square feet. The accessory unit can add no more than 20% to the size of the existing house. That means, that if you have a 2,000 square foot house, the ADU can only be 400 square feet. The property owner must live in the existing home, and the property owner must provide two additional parking spaces for the ADU occupants. The survey asks in a series of questions, whether the regulations should be more restrictive or more generous than those on the books now. Accessory dwelling units allow many government agencies to increase supply of affordable housing without contributing to urban sprawl. To take the survey, visit Cortezco.gov. If you water your lawn during the day or on the wrong day, your water could be turned off, and you'll have to pay a reconnect fee to get your water flowing again. The City of Cortez reminds residents that water restrictions will be enforced through October 31st, although it seems a little contradictory that Cortez City Council last year, passed the following resolution for voluntary water restrictions: The restrictions will be enforced between April 1st and October 31st. Watering will not be allowed between the hours of 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM. Residences with even numbered addresses may water on even numbered days, and residences with odd number addresses may water on odd number days. No one may water on the 31st of the month. Although these are voluntary restrictions, the city ordinance adopted in 2004, unequivocally, bans watering between May 15th and September 15th, between the hours of 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM. The odd number, even numbered rule, also is in the ordinance. So what's the regulatory difference between the voluntary resolution and the ordinance restrictions? An ordinance is a formal law and a resolution is more like an expression of policy or intent. Watering before 10:00 AM and after 5:00 PM is a choice. Watering between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM is not allowed, period. Are you following us here? The bottom line, if you violate the city ordinance by watering during the day or on a day that you're not supposed to be watering, you'll receive a warning for the first violation. The city may choose to cut off your water supply on a second violation, and you'll have to pay a reconnect fee. However, under both the ordinance and the resolution, you may purchase a watering permit to water during restricted hours to start a new lawn. And now, the bottom, bottom line. Conserve water by following the voluntary restrictions. We're in a drought after all. Want to know more? Visit Cortezco.gov. Thanks for watching this edition of The Local News Network. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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