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Yet another parking problem

Brief by Central Staff

Local life – January 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

Two unofficial used-car lots have vanished in Central Colorado in recent months.

Leadville’s “Lemon Lot” got cleaned in November. The site, across from Safeway, often boasted several dozen vehicles in varying states of repair, many of them offered for sale.

It was part of the 47-acre Poverty Flats area owned by the railroad and sold in October to the Seven Saints Land Company. The county government asked Seven Saints to clean up the area; commissioner Jim Morrison said he had received many citizen complaints.

On Nov. 8, Seven Saints gave car owners 72 hours’ notice to remove their vehicles, and on Nov. 11, the remaining 17 cars were towed to a salvage yard.

Lake County Code Officer Dan Larkin said it was “an example to all residents of Lake County as a coƶperative effort to improve the looks of our county.”

John Booker, an occasional shopper at the lot, countered that “I like what Leadville stood for before. You can’t even have a project car in your driveway any more.”

In Salida, the informal car market was in the old Wal-Mart parking lot at E Street and Highway 50.

According to a Salida policeman, “one of Wal-Mart’s big honchos came through town, saw all the cars sitting for sale at the empty store’s parking lot, and told the local managers to get it cleaned up.”

Since it was private property, there was a limit to what the police could do, “but we worked with everybody involved to get the cars moved. And now they’re doing something with the store, so I don’t think it will be a problem in the future.”

We haven’t found the new informal Salida car market, but we’re looking. The car we found at the Wal-Mart parking lot in 1993 — an ’87 Chevy Cavalier — blew a head gasket last fall, and we need a replacement.

For the meantime, we’ve got the Old Reliable — a 1965 Dodge Dart, and the mechanic has assured us that it’s 100% Y2K compliant.