Telluride Town Councilman Stu Fraser has filed an ethics violation complaint against Chance Leoff, the chairman of the Telluride Historic Architectural Review Commission, over his participation in a Clark's Market application hearings when he should have been recused.
At the HARC meeting of July 19, 2006, Leoff
"presided over the proceedings and did not recuse himself, and actually developed the motion used for the application's continuance," according to the complaint."The Chairperson created a motion and voted to continue the application to another meeting," the complaint states.It states Leoff
presided as HARC
chairman at the July 19 meeting when the Clark's project was discussed but he
lives within 150 feet of the grocery store applicant's property.The Town of Telluride's rules on ethics for public officials state, "a town official shall also be prohibited from voting on any motions directly arising out of the discussions on the matter."In addition, the complaint states, on Dec. 13, 2006, while Leoff
recused himself from the Clark's hearing "witnesses will testify that he
returned to the meeting in violation of the Ethics Code."The witnesses listed in the document include Leoff, Fraser, HARC boardmember Sonchia Jilek, Town Clerk Michelle Haynes and Town Planning Director Chris Hawkins.
...On the night that HARC denied the Clark's application based, for the most part, on issues related to "mass and scale," Leoff recused himself from the meeting, "but showed up during the meeting and was asked to leave by the Assistant Town Clerk Michelle Haynes and then by Town Attorney Kevin Geiger.
...In fact, Leoff is a former member of the Ethics Commission that created the revised code.
"Unethical behavior, those are big words for not having recused myself," Leoff
But Fraser denied asking Leoff
...asked HARC Chairman Chance Leoff, who also has been recused from the process because of his home's proximity to the project.He
said if the HARC
decision is reversed, then a ballot initiative may be launched."If we are going to stray this far from what's normally allowed, then the public should have a chance to weigh in on what this is going to be," he
...While recused HARC Chairman Chance Leoff waited outside the building as the rest of the commission deliberated, the appearance of community support to deny the project based on issues of "mass and scale" made it easy to overcome his main concern: That the remaining board members might succumb to the political pressure from the city fathers, or, the refusal of the project directors to reduce the scope and, especially, square footage, to reduce the impact.