Town vacates alley right of way


The Pagosa Springs Town Council voted last week to approve the second reading of an ordinance that will essentially vacate the town’s right of way (ROW) for the entire alley between 6th and 7th streets from Piedra Street to Navajo Street.

The vacation will only become effective, however, when the affected landowner submits official development plans or applies for a building permit to start building residences on his properties.

Peter Adams, who also happens to hold a seat on the town’s planning commission, owns a strip of property between the San Juan River and the top of the shale cliff between Navajo and Piedra Streets. South 6th Street cuts across this portion of his property. He also owns more than half of the lots on the east side of 7th Street in the same block, west of the top of the shale cliff.

While last week’s meeting was a public hearing, and Mayor Don Volger made a point of asking for comments, no one from the audience spoke up either for or against the proposal, and councilor Clint Alley was the only person on the other side of the bench to ask a question.

Alley pointed to the map projected up onto the council chamber’s screen and asked Town Planner James Dickhoff to explain why there was a line missing.

At the Sept. 18 council meeting, when Ordinance 814 passed the first reading, the map Dickhoff had shown council contained a dotted line that ran just to the west of 6th Street and parallel to the edge of the road as it followed the curve of the river.

“Everything seems just like before,” Alley pointed out, “but there’s not the line on there that shows the right of way that we were talking about in exchange for the vacation of the property.”