Boulder County commissioners directed the county staff on Tuesday to seek court authorization for county contractors to have access to two privately owned properties in order to remove flood-deposited debris from streams running through or alongside those properties. According to the county, those properties are:
15690 N. 83rd St., property owned by Michael J. Sclafani, where woody debris on either side of the Little Thompson River threatens a temporary low-flow crossing and bridge downstream.
7311 Fourmile Canyon Drive, property owned by Jeannie Lavelle, where fallen trees and other piles of woody debris piles and masses of vegetative material threaten to create debris dams in the Fourmile Creek basin.
Boulder County commissioners on Tuesday approved court authorizations to remove flood debris from two more private properties where the materials threaten to cause renewed flooding or downstream damages during spring runoff or heavy thunderstorms.
Later Tuesday, though, Jeannie Lavelle, the owner of one of those two properties, told the Times-Call that she and her husband, Michael, would welcome the county's assistance in cleaning the piles of woody debris last fall's floods deposited on several places on their land at 7311 Fourmile Canyon Drive.
The county can enter the property "and do whatever they want, whenever they want to," to remove the debris there, Lavelle said in a telephone interview from her home in Phoenix, Ariz.
The other property on the county commissioners' Tuesday agenda for possibly "involuntary high-hazard debris abatement" is owned by Michael J. Sclafani and lies on either side of the Little Thompson River, behind a home at 15690 N. 83rd St.
County staffers told the commissioners on Tuesday morning that they hadn't been able to contact either Sclafani or Lavelle after sending them hazard-notification letters on April 1 as well as two subsequent letters.
Neither Sclafani nor Lavelle or representatives of either property owner appeared at a Tuesday morning public hearing on the county's intent to get court authorization to remove what county officials said, in their letters to the owners, "presents a hazard to the public."
The Times-Call could not reach Sclafani by telephone after the commissioners' meeting.
But Lavelle said her family had gotten a telephone message from a county official on Monday night and has told the county to "do what you need to do" to remove the debris from the Fourmile Creek area where they have a cabin — and where they intend to spend at least part of this summer.
Last Thursday, the commissioners OK'd going to court to get authorization to enter and remove debris from six other private properties that hadn't responded to notices the county mailed in late March. One of the six was another of Lavelle's properties, at 7315 Fourmile Canyon Drive, which Lavelle told the Times-Call on Tuesday that the family will allow the county and its contractor to enter.
"It's beautiful country, and we want to keep it that way," Lavelle said.
Assistant Boulder County attorney Kathy Parker said last week's six-properties list had been trimmed to four, after the county was able to contact two of those owners who have either consented to the county entering their properties or to doing the debris removal themselves.
Boulder County sent its March 26 and April 1 high-hazard debris letters to owners of 265 properties, Land Use Department director Dale Case said.
Almost all of the owners of those properties have either agreed to remove the debris themselves or to allow the county to do it, or the county has ascertained upon re-examination of the properties that the potential hazards aren't imminent enough to require the work to be done now.
Contact Times-Call staff writer John Fryar at 303-684-5211 or firstname.lastname@example.org