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San Miguel County News

Posted on: August 2, 2023

County to issue refunds for some Aldasoro property owners

Photo of historic sheep ranch in Aldasoro with Wilson Peak in the background

County to issue refunds for some Aldasoro property owners

ADU buyouts, impact fee errors corrected


Media Contact: Rachel Allen, Assistant County Attorney, 970-728-3879,

(August 1, 2023) – San Miguel County, CO --- When San Miguel County officials were alerted to the fact that some Aldasoro Planned Unit Development property owners were assessed in error for already-mitigated impact fees, and for improperly-applied deed restrictions on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU), the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and staff moved swiftly to rectify the situation. The County received a letter from the Aldasoro Ranch Homeowners Company on April 5, 2023 notifying them of the irregularities.

The County announced that, following the BOCC meeting of June 7, it will issue refunds to affected property owners for the previous two years, consistent with State statute. Other property owners in the Aldasoro PUD who paid fees prior to April 5, 2021 and feel they may be due refunds can fill out an application on the county’s website. That link is live as of August 1, 2023.

Aldasoro PUD had already fulfilled its affordable housing mitigation requirements by designating a portion of the development to deed restricted “Local’s Lots” during its initial application process in 1991. That mitigation fulfillment also applied to ADUs, which were subsequently — and incorrectly — placed under deed restriction. Affected ADUs will be returned to the free market.

“After receiving a letter from representatives of Aldasoro property owners, our staff did some research and discovered that they were correct,” said BOCC Chair Lance Waring. “When we realized we made an error, we made it right. We feel we’ve arrived at a fair and equitable repayment within the statute of limitations.”

Waring noted that the current board and staff were not elected nor were they employed with the County at the time the error was made. 

Refunding the impact fees and rectifying the status of the ADUs will significantly impact the County’s Affordable Housing Fund. That fund has been tapped for a number of land purchases, including property Lawson Hill and the Pathfinder Gravel Pit property, payments to Habitat for Humanity, and for subsidies on affordable housing projects such as Sunnyside and Gold Run. So far, according to County staff, approximately six refunds have been issued and six ADUs are in the process of having their deed restrictions retired.

Per the BOCC direction last month, there will be refunds of impact fees collected in the last two years from date of discovery — between April 5, 2021 to April 5, 2023. Those will be issued with eight percent (8%) interest per annum compounded annually, pursuant to C.R.S. 5-12-102(1)(b). Refunds will be provided to the original owners who were the responsible parties at the time the fee was collected.

Property owners who may have paid mitigation fees, from 2007 to April 5, 2023, outside of those known through County documentation who would like to inquire as to whether they should be considered for any reimbursement, may submit an application to the County Attorney’s Office on the county’s website (link below). 

The termination of the remaining ADUs has begun with notification to current Property Owners with ADU deed restrictions clarifying that the Aldasoro 15 percent deed-restriction of “Local’s Lots” within the Aldasoro PUD was intended to be employee housing mitigation, exempting them from the ADU deed restriction. They are being provided with a corresponding document regarding terminating the ADU deed restrictions to be recorded on the respective property in their favor, upon approval by the Board of County Commissioners and recording with the Clerk and Recorder. 

The County aims to provide relief to property owners in a reasonable and fair manner. The County’s legal department further noted that a refund to one property owner who paid a fee in lieu of deed restriction will be made in the amount of $80,000, without interest. Also, after 2007, three known Property Owners paid impact fees upon termination of deed-restricted ADUs. Refunds will be provided to these original property owners who paid this fee, without interest.

 The refund application can be found here. 

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