It's picturesque, preserve it!


In the western Colorado resort town of Crested Butte, the debate over housing regulations centers more on the small stuff in people’s backyards — those picturesque sheds, old-time outhouses and even falling-down chicken coops. The town council recently passed a law protecting all of it — no matter how dilapidated — since many outbuildings in town date back to the olden days of the 1880s, when the town supplied nearby silver and coal mines. The requirement irks residents such as Elaine Weston, who told the Crested Butte News, “It galls me to have to support an old chicken coop when I can’t have a chicken.” Homeowner Karen Anderson agreed: “I think the town is asking a lot of my private property. I don’t have the inclination or the money to do this.” The new law offers landowners a small carrot: Stipends of $200 are available to help pay folks for keeping their historic outbuildings upright. No word, however, on whether residents also have to maintain old washing machines or those rusting vehicles up on cinderblocks out in the backyard.

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