Fornell: Don’t see that compliance officer was compliant |

Fornell: Don’t see that compliance officer was compliant

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

The Aspen Daily News reported on Friday that the Common Ground homeowners association changed their condominium declarations allowing home occupations like the one Mr. Mick Ireland operates. The story was a bit clouded, and I would like to clear the air.

Since its inception, their condo declarations were clear. They say, “Each unit shall be for residential purposes only, and none shall be used for any commercial or business purpose.”

Mr. Ireland stated that he had permission from the HOA in December; he did not. If Mr. Ireland had permission or was operating within their rules, why did the association hold a meeting on Jan. 23  to amend their declarations permitting such activities?   

The article states that on March 1, 2017, Mr. Ireland made an application for a building permit at the location. No description of his business activity was mentioned in the building permit granting two office spaces. Those spaces could have been for any purpose. No permission of Mr. Ireland’s activities exists anywhere in the application by the HOA. 

The Daily News article states that APCHA reviewed his use and deemed it to be permitted. Not true. APCHA actually said that they don’t govern or adjudicate over HOA matters. (Let’s see if that’s the case when you break your association’s rules.) 

The article says that he had all city of Aspen licenses. One of the requirements of a home occupation is to complete a home-occupation form and attach it to your business license. I made my concern known to the APCHA board on Nov. 16. Mr. Ireland completed his home-occupation form on Nov. 22 — two decades after he started conducting business there. That requirement was established in 2013 and signed by Mr. Ireland as mayor. 

The article states that Matthew Gillen said that Mr. Ireland provided proof that he was in good standing with his HOA. I don’t believe proof was ever provided. With the evidence stated above, that cannot be possible.

The compliance hearing officer for APCHA has a great deal of power. Shouldn’t we expect that person to be compliant themself? Please join me in encouraging APCHA to terminate Mr. Ireland’s contract with them and find another individual to act as hearing officer.

Peter Fornell