Reprieve given on man’s junk problems

Mesa County commissioners unanimously agreed Monday to take legal action against a landowner if problems with junk that have persisted over the years re-emerge within the next year.

The board issued a reprieve to Michael Wagner, who owns properties at 3110, 3178, 3190 and 3196 North Interstate 70 Frontage Road, after county code-enforcement officers said Wagner was making progress in his efforts to resolve a number of land-use violations.

“It appears Mr. Wagner is moving to cure and correct these,” said Commissioner Craig Meis.

Tony Piotrowski, Code Compliance Services Division manager, told commissioners that Wagner has removed or screened junk that was on two of the four parcels after receiving a notice of violation last month.

The county’s land-development code forbids property owners from operating junkyards or keeping junk in residential areas.

Piotrowski said the county issued a notice of violation to Wagner rather than the less-stern request for voluntary compliance because of other land-use violations in recent years.

Wagner also has disposed of a series of septic tanks that were illegally placed on the properties and disbanded campgrounds that had been illegally established. Piotrowski said he didn’t know whether Wagner was charging people to stay on his land.

There are several issues that remain outstanding, however, including Wagner splitting a 40-acre parcel without applying to the county for a subdivision and illegally locating a series of mobile homes on his properties. The mobile homes aren’t approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Piotrowski said four of the five mobile homes are still on site, and he expressed concern that they could become junk. He also noted that the deadline for Wagner to remove the mobile homes is today, although he gave no indication that the county will pursue a court summons if the homes aren’t immediately removed.

Wagner asked commissioners to give him an additional month to get rid of the mobile homes, claiming it has taken extra time to schedule a company to tow them away.

He said one mobile home has been demolished and covered with a tarp, and that the remains will be hauled off.


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