Apr 14 2011

Building Permits tied to Water Source

Published by at 8:13 am under General Information

Huerfano County Commissioners held a Public Comment meeting yesterday regarding a new proposed regulation to be adopted requiring proof of existing potable water source before obtaining a new Building Permit. Community systems and water-haulers would have their own criteria requirements. If a private well, it must be shown to produce a min. of 1 gpm (over 1,400 gal per day). Records are not readily available, but experience tells us that many domestic wells produce less than 1,000 gal/day and are deemed adequate to their users.  About a dozen public citizens were in attendance at the public meeting. I attended along with two other area Realtors. 
In response to questions, Commissioner Roger Cain explained that public restrictions were needed due to Health Dept. concerns regarding bulk-delivery water providers and due to abuses at the Malachite Spring near Gardner. Thus the broad sweeping county-wide proposal.  Several in the audience spoke out against the proposal. No one spoke in favor of the new proposal.
 The ramifications of the proposed Resolution seem quite extensive and appear to adversely restrict rather than protect the citizens. Realtors already provide a Source of Water disclosure. This resolution could also be seen as limiting construction or development and hindering efforts to conserve water or rely upon rainwater collection systems, etc.  Land values could be greatly affected one way or the other as would uses, building permits and taxes. Let me know your thoughts on this and whether you would like a copy of the complete Resolution. 

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Building Permits tied to Water Source”

  1. phiaon 16 Apr 2011 at 1:22 am

    So, if one bought a place and wanted to add a full bath and/or a room with a bathrub — would that fall under all this? What was remarked about existing houses where this would be a remodel or addition?

  2. Jerryon 16 Apr 2011 at 9:44 am

    Good question. It was not posed in that example. There was a brief reference to Certificate of Occupancy thereby maybe implying initial new new home construction, but no references about remodels or add-ons that need a build permit also.

  3. Charlie Barkson 17 Apr 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Hello Jerry, Thanks for referencing me on this topic. Many of our property owners in Las Animas and Huerfano County are happy to have water wells that produce a consistent 1/2 gallon a minute and used with a cistern for water storage they get by just fine.

    With the Counties allowing unrestricted removal and disposal of water by the Gas Drilling enterprises that surely have affected our water supply as many wells have gone dry from natural causes and this gross removal of millions of gallons of our precious water I don’t see how they can allow this and then turn around and penalize the property owners when they don’t get ground water.

    I am certainly opposed to this regulation. With the State now allowing rain water collection in many situations this eases some of the burden but it sounds like Huerfano County is not taking this into consideration. I have also had property owners that lived successfully with just rain water.

    I hope that the Counties would protect us from the Gas Company drilling practices as I know for sure that Las Animas County has no commercial approved water well or source other than City Water and when the county allows all the water to be removed by the Gas Companies who are drilling in the 500 ft to 2500 foot range, same range as our domestic water wells it will surely affect our available water. Same is true for many parts of Huerfano County.

    Got to be a better way! Thanks again for bringing this to my attention.


  4. Jerryon 17 Apr 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Some great comments have been posted above. Others have come in to me via emails and calls. Snippets of some are below.

    It’s the same ole story Jerry, the powers that be, stealing anything, especially water. Sort of ironic there is a water fight going on in the county and wells suddenly get considered for limitations. TG

    Wow!!! Hopefully we’re ok??? Remember I did get geologic survey and the young man said we should be ok??? JS

    I have no idea if the water source on the property is up to that level. I would not know how to go about getting the rate. DR

    I think that is great for a buyer. I wish it had been in place before I bought my land. I had no idea. GM

    What does this mean for me? There are 4 or more springs that I own on my land. EF

    It just makes it harder for ordinary folks to live in Huerfano County, but that’s the trend everywhere. Squeeze out the middle class (what’s left of it). DS

    Thx Jerry – I sent a note of concern to Steve Channel regarding this matter…. Maybe he’ll pass it along to commissioners SM