The waters started to churn this week for a new commercial laundry operation after planning officials sorted through numerous zoning concerns.
It’s been more than a year since the 1,300 residents of the small rural town east of Cortez had a commercial laundry business. The town’s former fluff and fold made its last spin closing in the fall of 2014. Today, the structure houses a marijuana dispensary.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve had a laundry mat,” said town administrator Andrea Phillips.
At a Mancos planning and zoning meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 16, P&Z commissioners granted a conditional recommendation to move forward with efforts to rezone portions of the Paquin-Albert minor subdivision. If the residential area north of U.S. 160 off Monte Street is ultimately approved for business use, the hope is to transition a current campground laundry facility into a commercial enterprise.
“This town needs a laundromat,” said P&Z chairperson Cindy Simpson.
According to Phillips, Jim Paquin and other business partners purchased the equipment formerly used in the town’s lone laundry mat. More than $20,000 has already been invested in the proposed business venture.
P&Z officials raised numerous concerns about the project, including whether the site was located too close to adjacent mobile homes and whether an existing private road would meet town specifications when transitioned for public use.
“I’ve told them that they can’t open yet,” Phillips advised P&Z officials on Wednesday.
The zoning question now heads to the town board for an official decision.
In other news, P&Z official John Barton requested a discussion at Wednesday’s meeting regarding what types of manufacturing facilities should be allowed along the town’s limited highway business district. He raised his concern after a marijuana production facility showed interest in opening near the P&D Grocery.
Barton indicated that he objected to manufacturing facilities that didn’t provide direct sales taxes to the city. Simpson said she didn’t care what type of manufacturing was allowed as long as the businesses followed design guidelines to ensure the town’s aesthetics.
P&Z officials ultimately punted the hot button topic to the town board. No official action is expected until after the town’s election in April.