Crestone Eagle, December 2003:
Baca Grande POA approves community center
easement right-of-way upon vote of the membership
by David Nicholas, POA Affairs
At the monthly meeting of the POA Board on November
20, before a standing-room-only audience of members and friends,
Directors voted 2-0 to approve the easement right-of-way across
the greenbelt to link the Baca with the proposed site of the
Crestone/Baca Community Center. Director Michael Miller made
the motion and was seconded by Director Lee Mitchell.
Of the remaining five members of the Board, POA President
Robert Philleo was not present and both Vice President Clyde
Lovett and Director Anne Marie Lindsey recused themselves
from voting because of real or perceived conflicts of interest.
The motion came after much debate prior to the meeting and
during consideration of the issue and was passed with seven
The motion composed by Director Miller states:
We (the board) approve the easement as requested by the Community
Center Project subject to the following conditions:
1. That the ten acres proposed for the community (center)
site is deeded to the community center project;
2. The easement is revocable if the community center project
has not completed construction of a community center building
in ten years;
3. If the subdivision or zoning change request required for
the community center is not approved by the county;
4. That it is conditional to no transfer of the property to
any entity other than the Community Center Project.
5. That there is no net loss of open space, that a number
of lots or acreage equal to the acreage lost or dedicated
to the access road would be provided by the community center
6. This easement is subject to the approval of the membership;
7. In the event that the easement reverts to greenbelt, the
land is restored to its original condition.
After some discussion about proper wording to be made at
a later stage by Director Mitchell, and with members reminding
the board that they were voting on the wording now, Director
Miller put the motion and was carried to the acclamation of
“This is the town forum that I love,” said Director
Miller after the vote. “This is really a good session.”
Prior to the meeting at a get-together put on by the Board,
Vice President Lovett suggested that people with opinions
about the issue be called upon.
First to do so was David ‘Dee’ Laird of the Governance
Affairs Committee, who said that the Board has obviously tried
to pre-empt the covenants by bypassing this mandated procedure
of bringing the easement request before the Environmental
and Architectural Committee. But the most critical issue was
the obvious conflicts of interest, which apply to some board
members. Robert Philleo was an obvious conflict of interest
since he sits (on the board) as the President, and is offering
the land that brings up this easement request. Mr. Laird also
identified Ms. Lindsey and Mr. Lovett as having conflicts
of interest in the matter. That left two out of five board
members who could vote on the matter and Mr. Laird requested
Mr. Lovett replied as to his conflict of interest, that according
to his research there was no conflict where he was concerned,
because his wife sat on the Community Center Committee. Further,
Mr. Lovett responded that he had consulted the POA attorney,
who had replied that on a reading of the statute, he had no
conflict of interest, but that it gave the appearance of a
At the time of the vote Mr. Lovett chose to recuse himself
to avoid further concern.
Next, Kizzen Laki, the Mayor of Crestone, addressed the meeting.
Ms. Laki said that the Crestone Town Council had addressed
the issue at the Council’s last meeting. The proposed
Community Center’s boundary is in the town of Crestone,
she said. “There was discussion about having road access
from Crestone to the community center property.”
Ms. Laki said that “the cool thing about where this
community property is, is that it is the only piece of property
here which spans the Crestone borders with the Baca Grande
boundary. The county has jurisdiction over it. The POA has
no jurisdiction over it. It is the only bridge of land that
is there. And it is being offered to us as a community center.
I think this a incredible opportunity.”
Reflecting that access across the greenbelt would not be
a shortcut and that there would be some good speed bumps,
Ms. Laki made the point that “…if the POA is not
going to grant access, we (the town) do not want to grant
access. . . we have to meet halfway on this one.”
The Baca Grande Land Use Administrator, Lisa Cyriacks asked
whether there was a deed for the property being offered, prior
to an easement being granted? Tom Dessain of the Community
Center committee replied that it was in process. During the
formal meeting, attorney and POA member, Thomas Hall, advised
that he had been instructed by Robert Philleo to draw a warranty
deed for the property transfer.
Next up was Linda Eickhoff, a director of the Crestone/Baca
Land Trust, but speaking for herself, regarding members who
did not live here, but paid dues. “I think we need to
ask everybody’s opinion when we are making major changes
of this size.”
The final word before the meeting was from Mark Jacobi, a
former POA Director. He made the point that rights-of-way
had been granted if you could not access that piece of property.
“There is a precedent,” said Mr. Jacobi, “but
what we did was we encumbered those deeds. That’s something
to keep in mind during this entire discussion. You can make
sure that this property will always be zoned to be nothing
but a community center.”
The formal part of the meeting
At the agenda item on the Easement for the Community Center,
both Mr. Lovett and Ms. Lindsey recused themselves.
Tom Dessain, President of the Crestone Baca Community Performing
Arts Association and a member of the Community Center Steering
Committee presented the request for an easement for access
to the land across the greenbelt that is presently sited for
the Community Center.
Mr. Dessain assured the audience that the Community Center
would not be interested if Mr. Philleo had wanted to use the
access for something other than the use of the Community Center.
He also stated that the nearest property owners, four of the
five homes on the cul-de-sac to be affected by the right-of-way,
were in favor of it, while one was not sure.
The right-of-way from Camino Baca Grande to Mr. Philleo’s
property would go through the trees, said Mr. Dessain, and
would be largely out of sight.
The access from Crestone would be a continuation of Alder
Street south to a platted road, Lime Avenue, running east
to access the property.
The Baca Grande POA Land Use Administrator, Lisa Cyriacks,
asked again about the deed. Mr. Dessain replied that there
was no deed at present.
Mr. Dessain was asked about the land at the intersection
of Road T and the Baca entrance directly to the east and was
informed that the owner Joanne Boyce was not interested in
having Road T extended along her property line.
Dee Laird asked about the lack of a deed and wondered if
granting an easement was not putting the “cart before
the horse.” There should be land acquired before the
easement is granted, Mr. Laird said.
Mr. Dessain replied that while he agreed with Mr. Laird,
you have to get the ball rolling in every direction that you
can. If the board chose to grant the easement with stipulations,
such as attaining the land and the zoning, that would be their
The question about getting water to the property was raised.
Ms. Lindsey replied that she had checked into it with the
Colorado Division of Water Resources in Alamosa. The DWR said
that Saguache County would have to grant the subdivision application
before the DWR would grant a permit. If such an application
were granted, then a study would ensue for a Commercial-exempt
well permit to be granted for 108,000 gallons a year. “It
wouldn’t give us a swimming pool, but it will give us
a commercial kitchen, it will give us staff rooms, it will
give us those things we want in a community center,”
said Ms Lindsey.
Other speakers before the motion was considered included
Nancy Van Domelen, Rebecca Lovett, Mark Jacoby and Thomas
Director Miller then began composing the motion made up of
the seven points.
Back to Archives
to the Eagle!