C’dale eyes residential occupancy limits
January 18, 2007
Aspen, CO ColoradoCARBONDALE Last July, the Carbondale trustees discussed occupancy issues and code enforcement under the lights of an NBC camera crew that recorded the meeting as part of a Dateline NBC feature on immigration issues in the Roaring Fork Valley.The footage didnt make the final cut. But the special that aired on national TV in December highlighted a group of illegal immigrants living in a single-family home at an undisclosed location in Carbondale. There were 18 people living in the house.The trustees are set to discuss and possibly adopt an ordinance on residential occupancy limits and enforcement at a public hearing scheduled for Jan. 23. The meeting starts at 6:30, and the occupancy issues will be discussed at around 7 p.m.At the July meeting, about 12 frustrated residents voiced concerns regarding parking, trash, noise and a general disruption of the neighborhood when so called man-camps house an inordinate number of people in one dwelling unit, or when families are occupying single rooms in houses.The trustees and the Planning and Zoning Commission have been discussing the touchy subject for several years. The board unanimously agreed at last summers meeting that something must be done to control rampant growth issues associated with the construction boom, immigration and the high cost of living.But, confronted with ethical issues of creating bedroom police and questions of what actually defines a family, as well as lack of resources for enforcement, the process stalled short of enacting a sweeping ordinance to regulate occupancy.The trustees will look at the latest draft ordinance on Tuesday, which has come out of work from the towns Planning and Zoning Commission, focusing on enforceable measures such as parking and trash issues.The town has instituted a parking permit program in a few neighborhoods that seem to be most affected by the parking issues, with some success.The P&Z unanimously approved the occupancy ordinance on Dec. 14.