Montezuma County officials and residents expressed concerns about activity on a parcel of private property south of Cortez during Tuesday’s commissioner meeting.
A recent drug bust and a fatal camper fire occurred at the location recently. Several citizens voiced concerns about the area during public comment, and several others provided written comments. The property on the corner of Sligo Street and East Seventh Street is just south of Montezuma-Cortez High School.
Sheriff Steve Nowlin reported the location is one of several in the county that has had an increase in calls for service in the last year.
After receiving numerous complaints, the county planning department investigated the property and sent a letter to the landowner outlining concerns about compliance with the land use code.
The 24-acre property has three occupied mobile home residences, and does not have a septic system as required by the county land use code, said planning director Don Haley.
The property is not permitted as a planned unit development, RV park or subdivision, he said.
County regulations allow properties in the county to have up to two residences with adequate water and septic systems. Any more requires a permit process that shows adequate utility infrastructure.
Landfill manager Mel Jarmon reported complaints about windblown garbage from the property landing on neighboring land.
In a letter to the landowner, Jarmon said the county land use code requires garbage to be managed responsibly including proof of disposal service. Garbage is not allowed to be transferred off site by natural forces, he said.
Haley said the landowners informed the planning office Wednesday that they are in the process of cleaning up the property, and are working to comply with the land use code.
“They came forward and are addressing the issues,” he said.
The commissioners expressed concerns about the Seventh Street property and a few others in the county that the sheriff said have a history of illegal activity, including drug offenses.
The commission is investigating whether areas with a pattern of criminal activity would violate state nuisance laws.