Driving down the Summer Road, I contemplated my work day in front of me. Sometimes, I am so preoccupied with my thoughts, I don’t even take note of my surroundings. Suddenly, I spotted a truck with a trailer parked on the last switchback, and I snapped back to the present moment. Why was a truck parked on the Summer Road with a trailer full of two by fours?
Then when I realized where the truck was parked, I got angry, very angry. They are back at it again. Even after a Stop Work Order had been issued and posted prominently on the tree. They brazenly flaunted the regulations. They were not playing by the rules.
Building in Boulder County can be frustrating at times. When building in a wildfire zone, many requirements are made of property owners to build according to regulations and also in keeping with wildfire mitigation. But I’ve grown to appreciate a lot of those requirements in hind sight.
After the Black Tiger Fire of 1989, the county required new homes to have Class A ignition-resistant roofs constructed. Since ember showers can be a main source of setting a building on fire, and roofs on alpine homes have a lot of surface area, just this one requirement could save a home from possibly burning down. Our home, built in 1992, has such a roof.
Those of us who have dealt with the county on building additions or decks, know that attaining a building permit can be a somewhat long and exhaustive process. So when a tract of land was purchased along the Summer Road, and literally the next day, trees were being cut down and a road constructed, we knew something was terribly amiss.
Knowing they couldn’t possibly have gotten a permit that fast was one thing. But anyone who’s lived in Nederland knows you wouldn’t want to depend on building your driveway into the Summer Road. There’s a reason it’s called the Summer Road, because during winter when it snows, it becomes a crazy bobsled ride of sliding cars ending up in ditches. In fact, the Summer Road closed for weeks at a time, when a car flipped on it, blocking the entire road.
It’s also a private access road maintained by the HOA of St. Anton Highlands and is paid for by the residents. The aforementioned property, while adjacent to the road, is not part of the HOA, and therefore technically shouldn’t even be driving the road, much less causing damage to it by pulling heavy trailers up it.
After numerous phone calls to the county land use department by several residents, a Stop Work Order was issued for the violation of building a road without a permit. The work had presumably stopped for a couple of weeks, when I didn’t see any further activity. But today, there is the truck and the trailer. I fumed.
We had played by the rules, despite the headaches of waiting on a permit, constant inspections and extra cost. My neighbors and friends had played by the rules, even those whose homes burned down in a wildfire. These people (who presumably are from out of state) are not playing by the rules. It is not ok. It is definitely not ok.
If you’re reading this, please join me in calling the county land use department. Everyone should play by the rules.