SAGUACHE — The photo and news release were published to the Town of Moffat’s website recently announcing the completion of the town’s annexation of land owned by Potch, LLC, a designated marijuana cultivation site.
“On May 2, 2018, the Town of Moffat had a ground-breaking ceremony for the first annexation done in 113 years! There are many benefits to our community including tax revenue from the new businesses operating in town, a new Rec Center that will be put in with laundry and shower facilities, affordable housing, and many other things!
“This is all thanks to a great working relationship between Potch, LLC and the Town of Moffat. Earlier this month Potch, LLC also paid for a 20-yard dumpster in honor of Earth Day in an effort to support our community in its cleanup efforts which was more than successful! We welcome Potch, LLC and all new community members to the Town of Moffat with great excitement and anticipation for the future!”
Despite the excitement conveyed by the photo and described in the website article, the annexation of the property seems far from being a “sure thing,” according to comments made at a June 12 Saguache County Commissioners meeting.
At the meeting, the BOCC directed Moffat to complete their petition work, to contact the State of Colorado regarding dig permits, to regulate their utilities and to report back to the BOCC. The BOCC suggested it could take up to six months to complete the process.
Commissioners advised Potch, LLC that they should contact the Saguache County Land Use Office with any questions or information. Potch has not applied for a dig permit in Saguache County but has sent the annexation map to county officials. The clerk will finish certification and registration this week, a source close to the process said in an email.
The town of Moffat was made aware of citizen concerns and state law regarding the annexation earlier this year. Virgil and Sue Tafoya, as well as his brother Robert, have repeatedly notified the town of discrepancies in their procedures beginning last summer. The annexation was the subject of a letter sent to the town by Virgil Tafoya in March. Tafoya wrote:
“The Town of Moffat still has not provided a 2018 Master Land Use Plan, the Capitol Construction Budget and the updated zoning district map confirmed by a legal survey. I also request you send me the dates and times for the Town of Moffat meetings through July 1, 2018, including special meetings, land use/planning meetings, special district meetings or any electoral events.”
“Once again, for the current “annexation process, I want a copy of all ordinances or resolutions that initiated the action, copies of all pertinent requests from the interested citizens, coordination with all county, state, and federal agencies, copies of the Town of Moffat Master Planning Land Use Board, including copies of the meeting minutes, also the board members in attendance, town trustees involved at the meetings, copies of the revised city map to include the legal surveys, copies of the coordination with the appropriate subdistricts (utilities, water, State electrical, sewer, and telecommunications, and copies of meeting with the Saguache County Land Use Office and county commissioners.
“I am attaching a document from the web that outlines what must generally be considered when annexing is considered. This would allow the town trustees to tell the town residents, (the people involved), what (is the intent of the annexation and how it will affect the taxpayers), when (the reasons for a “rush” approval) why (there are so many outsider individuals pushing this action and how (the trustees are involved and how they will benefit from this action).”
The annexation information offered a detailed description of how the town should have proceeded according to law. Town of Moffat officials claim 100 percent of the landowners in the area to be annexed agreed to the annexation. In this case, the law says, the town may pass an ordinance to annex without putting the matter to a vote of the town residents provided the proper petitioning process by over 50 percent of the landowners has been fulfilled.
The legality of the vote cast to approve the annexation has not been confirmed by town documents