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Junkyard Near Indian Camp Ranch Sparks Dispute

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Dennis Skley
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Creative Commons

Concerned residents express discontent with a junkyard near Indian Camp Ranch and Crow Canyon Archeological Center, sparking disagreement about aesthetics and zoning.

A fledgling junkyard just across from the upscale Indian Camp Ranch subdivision drew a score of concerned residents to the Montezuma County Commission meeting Monday. Planning Director LeeAnn Milligan said the new business, which currently has fewer than 20 vehicles, had been allowed as a “use by right”, but neighbors’ concerns had prompted her to bring the matter to the commissioners. Indian Camp resident and former Planning and Zoning chair Jon Callender said he didn’t believe a junkyard qualified as a residential use by right but should be considered commercial. Noting that Indian Camp Ranch is adjacent to the Crow Canyon Archeological Center, which draws visitors from around the world, resident Hal Shepherd asked for the cars to be located where they can’t be seen from the road. However, yard owner Glenn Brace said he had already partially hidden the junkers with sagebrush and avoided placing any on the horizon, but still received harassing phone calls. He accused Indian Camp, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes Ancestral Puebloan sites on each plot, of exploiting the ruins for profit through excavations, and asked Commissioner Keenan Ertel how he would like to have his grave dug up. Ertel replied, “I don’t have one yet.” The  commissioners voted to send the matter to P&Z for more discussion.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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