A permit request by Green Table Farms of Mancos to host small agricultural events, fundraisers and weddings was recommended for denial by the Montezuma County Planning and Zoning Board on Thursday.
Applicant Tyler Hoyt is seeking a high-impact permit and special-events permit to hold the events on his farm on Colorado Highway 184, north of town. Events would not include concerts for profit, motorcycle rallies and other large disruptive events, according to the application.
In voting 4-0 against the application, planning board members said the plan was too broad. It was recommended that more specifics were needed to mitigate any potential impacts to neighbors.
“I can’t support a blanket high-impact permit for multiple events,” said planning commissioner Rob Pope. “Our system is designed to consider one event at a time.”
The final decision is up to the Montezuma County Commissioners.
Hoyt has a productive vegetable farm, and said he wants to tap into the agritourism market by hosting small farm-to-table meals, fundraisers, weddings, and agricultural educational events.
But at a hearing April 11, several neighbors spoke out against the plan, and said events exceeding threshold standards for traffic have been occurring without a county permit. They worried about noise, increased traffic, the number of events per year, and what time events would be required to end.
“Farm-type events are one thing I could support, but weddings have a bigger impact,” said one neighbor. “I don’t see what time they would be required to end or how many.”
No formal complaints about Green Table events have been made to the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office, planning officials said. But the planning office has received concerns.
Events that have more than 15 vehicles per day require county review and permit that addresses mitigation and safety, said planning director Don Haley. Pope said offering camping for a fee at the farm also needs to go through a review and approval process with the county.
Neighbors also worried that access to the farm and events is off Colorado 184 where the speed limit is 65 mph.
Hoyt said he is working to improve the farm’s access point based on pending permit requirements from the Colorado Department of Transportation, and would have traffic control measures during events.
Hoyt said he wants to build on his business of selling produce and supplying the Green Table Cafe.
“There is increasing demand for farm-based events, as people look for spaces to enjoy themselves that are outdoors, beautiful and productive,” Hoyt states in the application. “We wish to use an existing barn for these events, and feel that we have ample acreage and setback from neighbors to host these events without any disadvantage to them.”
In September 2017, Hoyt appeared before the planning board on a similar proposal to host events. The permit was not approved, and he was encouraged to resubmit the application with more detail. At the time, he was granted permission by county commissioners to host one community farm event that had been scheduled.