Outdoor TV raises ire of Basalt neighbors
September 11, 2013
The Basalt Town Council has been asked to intervene in a dispute where a resident has raised the ire of his neighbors by installing an outdoor television on his rooftop deck.
Garrett Reuss placed the TV on his outdoor deck at 303 E. Sopris Drive earlier this year. The town government received multiple complaints from residents of the neighborhood, and staff took up the matter on April 5. The Technical Review Committee, composed of town staff, ruled that an outdoor television violates the lighting code. There is a prohibition on lighting that "flashes, moves, flickers, changes color or involves intermittent electrical pulsation."
Reuss was informed of the decision, but the TV remained. Some of his neighbors submitted a petition to the town of Basalt on April 17 asking the staff to enforce the decision that the TV must be removed. The petition, signed by six couples and two individuals, said the noise and images bother people. It contends that a poor precedent would be set if Town Hall let the TV remain in place.
"The continued presence of this device is not only a violation of local ordinances and established norms and standards, if allowed to remain standing, it will undoubtedly lead to an (sic) proliferation of outdoor televisions throughout the town of Basalt, which prides itself on its small-town character, human interactions and high quality of neighborhood life," the petition said.
Reuss was issued a summons for the alleged zoning violation during the summer, and he was scheduled to appear Friday in Basalt Municipal Court. The court action isn't being pursued, according to town officials, because they are seeking an administrative settlement. Reuss appealed the Technical Review Committee's decision, so the matter is going before the Town Council at its regular meeting Tuesday night.
A memo from the planning staff to the council says the board has three options: uphold the decision and direct the staff to enforce it, find that the staff's interpretation regarding an outdoor TV was incorrect, or find the interpretation was not correct and amend the lighting code to make it clear outdoor TVs aren't prohibited.