Council Okays Patel’s Zoning Request


Peter Patel with Attorney, Mark Davis

Peter Patel with Attorney, Mark Davis


Following the recommendation made September 9th by the City of Lamar Planning and Zoning Commission, the Lamar City Council approved a zoning change for Lots 2 and 9 of Forest Park Place Subdivision. The vote was preceded by a public hearing on the business proposal for the acreage owned by local businessman, Peter Patel.  The council vote on October 13 had only one dissenting vote from Beverly Haggard.  “It doesn’t make sense to me to have businesses and residences bordering each other,” she stated, expressing concern if there would be alleyways separating the houses in the proposed residential community.

Fence along Holly Street in Lamar

Fence along Holly Street in Lamar

The property is open land, approximately 22 acres located behind the line of businesses west of North Main Street between the Lamar Canal, north to Holly Street, which is between McDonalds and the Hickory House Restaurant. The zoning request will change the current zoning which is Open Estates O-E, to R-1 Residential and C-2 Commercial.  Peter Patel and his business associates, Shree Madhavkishan Infra Housing Projects Private Limited, LLC, intend to divide the acreage between mid-priced housing, north from the Lamar Canal, and commercial properties including a motel and restaurant, south of Holly Street.  The hearing held by the Planning and Zoning Commission heard several business owners expressing concern over fencing erected by Patel which some believed cut across boundaries of several established businesses fronting North Main Street.

City Engineer, Wiley Work, explained during the Planning and Zoning meeting and Monday night’s public hearing, that he has taken measurements of the land and the latest boundaries vary from less than an inch in his survey.

The council approved the zoning change based on the staff recommendations which are contingent upon Patel’s compliance with several of the city zoning and code requirements. One states that because the land is located within a Special Flood Hazard Area in the floodplain which has a 1% chance of being equaled or exceeded during any given year, the applicant is required to perform additional studies.  Approval may be required in the form of hydrology and hydraulic studies and reports regarding alteration of the flood plain.  Approval may be required from the Colorado Water Conservancy Board to satisfy the Lamar Municipal Code Flood Damage Control regulations.

An Environmental Assessment is needed because the land had been used as a dumpsite for numerous years in the past. The quality of the environment may have been degraded over years of neglect.  The Assessment may provide evidence as to whether an Environmental Impact Statement is needed.  Darlene Lopez, whose property borders Patel’s land to the west, expressed concerns that the property is dotted with sink holes that can’t be filled.  She said on her own salvage yard property, “We have had some spots we’ve filled with crushed cars and blocks of concrete and years later those holes are back again.”

The City of Lamar owns a drainage easement on the property and future drainage planning will be based on the results of the E.A. The property owner has been advised that a preliminary and a final plat may be required to satisfy the Lamar Municipal Code Subdivision regulations and future property development will need to meet the adopted LMC Building Regulations for both residential and commercial uses of the land.

Council members had asked before the vote, that if they approve the zoning change, they will have the ability to stop any further developments if they find fault with what is taking place on the property. Patel’s attorney, Mark Davis, assured the council that the guidelines will be followed.  “We’re looking at the development taking place over a three to five year period, but if you vote no, the project stops right here.” he explained.  He added that the plans the council viewed at the public hearing were only a general outline of the development.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityEconomyEnvironmentFeaturedLamarProwers CountyUtilities


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