A Jeffco couple is seeking a special use from the county that would allow them to add three cabins to a property they own in the Pike National Forest near Wellington Lake.
On Dec. 9, Jefferson County’s Planning Department held a virtual meeting where Josh Finkler and Terri Porter introduced the plans they are proposing for their property at 20950 S. Buffalo Creek Road.
According to their presentation, the property, which is located to the northeast of Wellington Lake and bisected by Buffalo Creek, is currently home to a 3,000-square-foot home that was built in the 1970s as well as two storage sheds and a photovoltaic solar panel.
The couple purchased the property 19 years ago with the goal of eventually moving there full-time upon retiring. They said they are now wanting to make plans to do so and seeking to make several improvements to the property, including adding two new structures that would be used for garage and workshop uses as well as a picnic pavilion, in addition to the three cabins.
The proposed cabins would be located in a wooded section of the property behind the house. Two of the cabins, which would be 800-square-feet each, would be two-story while a third would be one story in order to comply with ADA accessibility requirements.
Joey Pruitt, a Denver architect who is working with the couple on planning for the project, said the couple is considering options for what to use the cabins for. Those options include using them to house family and friends when they visit or possibly renting them for events or as short-term vacation rentals.
“I think it wouldn’t go beyond event or vacation rentals for a few days,” Pruitt said. “They would by no means be long term rentals where the owners are landlords to people living in their permanently.”
Porter said the couple has successfully hosted parties and events at the property over the past few years.
“When we think about anything other than letting friends stay in those cabins our primary intention would be to offer them for larger events like weddings and parties and things like that,” he said.
However, he said he would also like to keep open the possibility of renting them but did not know whether that would be feasible.
“I’m open to the possibility of looking at as a business but I haven’t really analyzed it to see if it is economically feasible yet,” said Pruitt.
The couple said they are planning to move forward with either applying for a special camp use that would allow the cabins to be constructed on the property. That process would ultimately involve two more public hearings with the county commissioners making the final decision.
According to a cover letter submitted to the county, the project would be completed over multiple phases between 2021 and 2022 “to minimize site impact and disturbance.”