Tico Time River Resort owner will deliver presentation during County Commission meeting
Meeting also will feature speakers on 30x30 initiative
FARMINGTON — A presentation by the owner of a controversial live music venue and RV park in far northern San Juan County is planned when the San Juan County Commission meets Tuesday, March 15 in Aztec.
Rob Holmes, the owner of the Tico Time River Resort just south of the Colorado border on U.S. Highway 550, will talk about his business, a 74-acre venture that straddles the Animas River. Tico Time was the target of several dozen complaints last year from residents of the nearby Riverside neighborhood, who claimed that the noise and clientele from the resort had disrupted their quiet, rural lifestyle.
The County Commission was drawn into the fray when Riverside residents showed up at a May 2021 meeting to voice their displeasure. They also took their complaints to San Juan County Sheriff Shane Ferrari, claiming that amplified music from the resort often continued until 3 a.m.
Some also said that drunk, disorderly and nude patrons often ventured outside the park and on to their property, sometimes openly urinating or defecating in the river.
Holmes defended his park against the complaints to the commission and to The Daily Times, saying he had made good-faith efforts to mitigate the volume of the music and to eliminate the bad behavior by some guests that had drawn the ire of Riverside residents.
Holmes said he had eliminated the late-night fireworks shows that upset some neighbors, banned the use of drums after 11 p.m. and restricted the use of certain kinds of sound equipment. He said disruptive and law-breaking guests were being kicked out of the resort.
He also told The Daily Times he planned to only offer half as much music during the 2022 summer season as he had in 2021, when the park presented weekend-long live music festivals nearly every week in July, August and September. The live music calendar on the Tico Time website for this year shows that nine such multiple-day festivals have been planned between early May and late September.
County officials have acknowledged the complaints by residents but said their hands largely are tied from taking action against the resort. Ferrari said there is no noise ordinance under which he can cite Holmes and said his deputies cannot arrest park patrons for being nude or otherwise breaking the law unless they catch them in the act.
Ferrari told The Daily Times last year that his staff had been working with the District Attorney's Office explore how the state's public nuisance law might apply to some of the issues associated with Tico Time. And Stark suggested that one answer to the problem might be for the commission to adopt an ordinance requiring establishments such as Tico Time to obtain a special events license for their concerts that limit the volume of amplified sound between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
According to the commission agenda, no action will be taken by the commission on the issues related to Tico Time after Holmes completes his presentation.
State officials to discuss conservation
Tuesday's meeting also will feature presentations by Sarah Cottrell Propst, secretary of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, and State Forester Laura McCarthy in regard to the 30x30 initiative, a commitment to conserve 30% of U.S. land and water from development by the year 2030. President Biden has signed an executive order signaling his commitment to the initiative.
During the commission's March 1 meeting, Margaret Byfield, executive director of the American Stewards of Liberty, a Texas-based nonprofit organization that is described as being devoted to protecting private property rights, spoke against the initiative and asked the commission to adopt a measure expressing its opposition to the measure.
Commissioners also will enter into a closed session to evaluate the performance of Stark, the county manager.
The meeting is set for 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 15 in the Commission Chambers in the San Juan County Administration Building, 100 S. Oliver Drive in Aztec.
Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.