Eagle County silent on parrots | AspenTimes.com

Eagle County silent on parrots

Scott Condon
Aspen Times Staff Writer

The fate of a parrot sanctuary in Emma won’t be decided until May at the earliest.

The Roaring Fork Planning Commission tabled a decision Thursday on whether to grant a special-use permit to the Gabriel Foundation until May 6. The delay is needed, the board determined, to give the Eagle County planning staff time to consider the Gabriel Foundation’s latest land-use plan and to give the foundation time to conduct a study on the noise coming from the parrots.

The foundation houses about 200 parrots of various sizes on a seven-acre property owned by the nonprofit’s founder and CEO, Julie Weiss Murad. Her land straddles the Eagle-Pitkin county line. Pitkin County won’t allow any part of the operation within its boundaries, so the foundation is trying to locate all its facilities on 1 1/2 acres in Eagle County.

The foundation currently has a 2,400-square-foot aviary, where the birds are housed, as well as sheds it uses for outside cages. It wants to build another aviary and shed. Foundation representatives said the facilities would be reconfigured and the new buildings designed in a way to reduce noise.

Neighbors have complained about the racket, particularly when the birds are outside during warm days. Eagle County cited Murad for a land-use violation last June. Eagle County planning staff members informed Murad Thursday she is facing fines of $100 per day for being out of compliance. Her land-use planner, Terrill Knight, said Murad will ask the county commissioners to waive the fine.

Murad agreed to the delay on a decision for a special-use permit, although she clearly wanted the issue resolved.