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Local resident airs concern over land purchased by known polygamist

Seth Jeffs. Photo courtesy of the Pueblo County Sheriff's Department in Colorado
Seth Jeffs. Photo courtesy of the Pueblo County Sheriff's Department in Colorado

During the public comment period of a Cook County Board of Commissioners meeting April 23, local resident Jeremy Hanson expressed concerns he has over property purchased by Seth Jeffs on Pike Lake Road.

As reported previously by WTIP, Jeffs is a well-known member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS). He purchased 40 acres of land in Cook County in 2018 in a remote location off of Pike Lake Road.

Hanson told the county board he is concerned about Jeffs residing in Cook County for a variety of reasons. Hanson says his concerns about Jeffs are not focused on religious beliefs, but rather criminal behavior and a history of legal troubles associated with the Jeffs family.

Jeffs has allegedly been residing at least part time in Cook County since August 2018. Jeffs was staying in a cabin near Caribou Lake for a stretch of time, and has recently been identified by local residents at his property on Pike Lake Road.

Jeffs purchased 40 acres of property in August last year near Pike Lake Road. The property at 932 Pike Lake Road was purchased by Jeffs under the business name Emerald Industries, LLC.

A land use permit was approved in December 2018 for this property. The permit includes a driveway that is approximately 900 ft. in length and an approximately 6,000 sq. ft. building to be put on the property, according to the Cook County Land Services Department.

The large structure is considered, at least in part, an interior living unit. This classification means people can reside in at least part of the building.

Hanson raised a variety of questions about Jeffs and what local residents, elected officials and others can, or potentially should do regarding this situation.

Jeffs last known whereabouts were in rural South Dakota where he was a key figure in a compound operated by the FLDS chruch.

As recently as May 2018, the compound was garnering media attention for allegedly not recording births at the location. The structure of the compound itself collected an abundance of media attention in South Dakota, both for the way the structure looked and impact it had on the immediate neighborhood and surrounding community.

In related news, members of the local community are planning a town hall meeting to discuss the situation regarding Jeffs purchasing property in Cook County. This meeting will be open to the public and will likely take place in May. WTIP will share more information on this town hall meeting when it becomes available.   

Note: The original text of this story referenced Seth Jeffs as a member of "the polygamist branch of the Mormon church.” Jeffs is a member of the FLDS church, which is not recognized by the Mormon church.