The Pueblo West View

Pueblo West Inn faces rezone efforts

Members of the Pueblo West Metropolitan District Board of Directors had a lengthy discussion last week with a developer who is considering purchase and revamping of the Pueblo West Inn property at 210 E. McCulloch Boulevard.

Len Haffman, with Diamond Ridge Development from Castle Rock, spoke to board members, inquiring about what might be expected or desired from him, should he continue on with his possible project.

Previously the Pueblo West Inn, the former hotel property is now used as 71 converted apartments.

The restaurant on the property hasn’t been used in years, and there is additional acreage surrounding the restaurant and Inn, as well.

“My group is looking at it for a couple of potential uses,” Haffman told the Pueblo West Metropolitan District Board of Directors.

“In general, we’re talking about either senior living sorts of uses, or apartments.”

In possibly acquiring the property, Haffman said he was looking to bring the property into compliance with zoning requirements.

Although currently zoned B4, the property is being used as if it was zoned R5.

Haffman said he realizes there are differences in water and sewage usage and allowance between the two different zoning types.

He approached the Metro Board to find out if he might be approved for additional water and sewer taps at the property if it was rezoned, and if that would include additional requirements on his part.

“I wanted to get a better understanding of what your policy is for properties that are within the district — if you change the zoning, are the rights from your previous zoning wiped out and you start from scratch?” Haffman asked.

There was much discussion between board members and Haffman about changes in water and sewer usage on the property.

Board members questioned Scott Eilert, Director of Utilities, on whether Pueblo West’s systems could adequately handle an increased usage at the property.

“One of the issues I have is that there are a lot of individual owners of property out there (in Pueblo West),” Eilert said.

“Someone owns property and presumably they expect to have service available to them in the future, so we have to think about that here.”

District Manager Jack Johnston said, in the past, large projects have often been required to bring in water rights to the District, to help offset the proposed increased usage Eilert talked about that as well, noting that there are several alternatives for bringing water to the District, whether they be a variety of water rights or other possibilities.

Haffman told board members that in order to be considered for rezoning from B4 to R5, the county requires a “will serve” letter from Pueblo West, stating that the property would be adequately served with utilities, fire protection and more.

Board members agreed until they had more concrete numbers as to how much of an increase of use there would be, they could not provide such a letter or make any kind of motion.

“You can look at the difference between the current use (the full potential of B4 zoning, as the property currently is) and the full potential for R5, and what that delta would be between the two,” said Johnston.

“And the other question is, would you stick with the past thoughts of requiring them to bring in water? And what kind of water?” Pueblo West Metropolitan District Chair Christine McCarthy asked for Eilert and Johnston to work with Haffman in developing specific numbers for the difference in water and sewer, and said they will revisit the issue during the first meeting in August.

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