Water issues stall cabin rental

CONEJOS – A special use review for overnight lodging in a small homestead cabin was turned down by the Conejos County Commissioners this past Thursday due to water issues.
Applicant Kimberley Owens told the commissioners her cabin is located along Colo. Highway 17 directly east of the Conejos Ranch lodge on one of six lots in a 6.6 acres subdivision, with small cabins managed as short-term rentals by the lodge staff. Seasonal use is from mid-May to mid-October.
The small land division was created in the last century and a well drilled in 1973 for domestic use serves five cabins, but the Owens cabin is not attached to it and needs a separate water plan with the management changing.
With denial recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission due to water concerns, County Attorney Nicolas Sarmiento said an augmentation plan is needed.
The commissioners continued any decision pending a legal source of water and Owens was told to go to the Division of Water Resources and work toward a legal water source, then obtain a permit. When all permits are in place, another public hearing will be scheduled.

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