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Garfield County Community Development
108 8th Street, Suite 401, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
0375 County Rd 352, Suite 2060, Rifle, CO 81650

PRESS RELEASE
July 16, 2013

Garfield County finalizes and adopts land use code revisions

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO - A newly polished land use code became regulation Monday and immediately went into effect in Garfield County, following a vote by the Garfield County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). The Garfield County Land Use and Development Code supersedes the Unified Land Use Resolution of 2008. Garfield County Planning Manager Tamra Allen pointed out to the BOCC in a May 7 memo that the two are different in that the new code is more than 200 pages lighter, and it has undergone a reduction of approximately 40% in code text.

Applications that have already been received by the Garfield County Community Development Department will be processed under the previous land use code. The Garfield County Land Use and Development Code in general will require less review for applicants, and creates more user-friendly tables for review procedures and submittal requests. It offers the provision of a minor subdivision process and there will no longer be a major or minor subdivision exemption process. It, in general, streamlines development standards. Though the code has undergone many changes, provisions such as affordable housing requirements, and the right-to-farm provision have been maintained and will continue to support the county’s ongoing rural character.

The new code is available online at this link: garfield-county.com/community-development/land-use-regulations.aspx. It is linked from the home page of the county website as well. "The changes allow the code to be easier to read, more user-friendly, and reduce redundancy," said Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky. "It refines definitions and standards and provides simplified tables that reduce the language in the code. When I ran for office, I campaigned on a promise to create jobs and that now is the time for government to reduce regulation and red tape for business, and we have done that."

These code improvements were originally initiated in 2011 in Phase One, when the BOCC directed county staff to consider revisions to the code that reflected the following objectives:

  • Eliminate unnecessary regulatory barriers that may discourage economic development;
  • Streamline development procedures
  • Make the overall code more efficient; and
  • Ensure the document is user-friendly

Phase Two of the Code changes began in April 2012, when the BOCC appointed an Advisory Committee on Land Use to identify additional areas of concern and suggestions for changes that built upon the work in Phase One. The Targeted Code changes were subsequently reviewed by the Garfield County Planning Commission over the course of eight months. Both boards consisted of volunteer board members. "We wish to offer a very large thank you to so many people, many of whom donated their time and gave a huge effort to producing a document that is not necessarily perfect, but is a great improvement to what we had," said Garfield County Commissioner Mike Samson. "We will refine, improve, and go forward from here with this new code, and we are pleased to have it in place."

The Planning Commission met 12 times to evaluate the code, and spent an estimated 35 hours in discussions and review. The BOCC met six times to review the code documents before approving them July 15, 2013. "We know how much time it took to commit to this project, and I also want to thank everyone involved," said Garfield County Commission Chair John Martin. "We will do our very best in serving the public with our new code, and when we need to address it further, we will in the future." In addition to the volunteer boards, the county wishes to thank and offer credit to Tamra Allen, as well as Garfield County Assistant County Attorney Carey Gagnon, and consultants Winston Associates, Clarion and Associates and Land Studio Inc.


Land use code hearings

UPDATED July 10, 2013 - At a Public Hearing July 10, the Planning Commission voted to re-certify the Targeted Code Improvements to the Board of County Commissioners with changes. The BOCC will review them July 15 at 1:00 p.m. at the Garfield County Administration Building, Glenwood Springs.
UPDATED
June 18, 2013 - Changes reviewed by the Board of County Commissioners to the Unified Land Use Resolution for Garfield County will be considered by the Garfield County Planning Commission July 10 at 6:00 p.m. The changes will impact a variety of projects and are planned to streamline the code.

UPDATED June 11, 2013 - Changes to the Unified Land Use Resolution for Garfield County will be considered in a public hearing June 17 at 1 p.m. The changes will impact a variety of projects and are designed to streamline the code.

UPDATED May 31, 2013 - Changes to the Unified Land Use Resolution for Garfield County will be considered in a Special Meeting June 11 at 10 a.m. The changes will impact a variety of projects and are designed to streamline the code.

UPDATED May 21, 2013 - Changes to the Unified Land Use Resolution for Garfield County will be considered in the 4th public hearing on the topic May 30 at 9 am. The changes will impact a variety of projects and are to streamline the code.

UPDATED
May 14, 2013 - Following the land use code hearing on May 13, the board continued consideration of the land use code revisions to May 20 at 2:30 pm.

UPDATED
May 9, 2013 -The land use revisions public hearing will be continued on May 13 at 1 p.m. in the Garfield County Administration Building in Glenwood.
County Commission proposed changes-|

UPDATED May 2, 2013 - Please note that the proposed changes are available at Community Development, 970-945-8212.
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Colorado River - June 2011
PRESS RELEASE
April 26, 2013

Planning Commission finalizes recommendation on Land Use Code improvements

Glenwood Springs, CO – On May 7, the Garfield County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) will review recent recommendations by the Garfield County Planning Commission for revisions to the Unified Land Use Resolution of 2008, the land use code that Garfield County Community Development utilizes for its review and decision-making process on applications for development. Anyone interested in pursuing a land use change permit within the county should be aware that the forthcoming changes may impact a variety of different types of projects, including subdivisions, within the county.

After the BOCC adopted code revisions in August of 2012, which reduced the land use code by 123 pages, the BOCC appointed a new advisory committee made up of citizens from the community. The advisory committee worked for six months, evaluating the land use code, and then turning the work over to the Planning Commission for review.

Following an estimated 30 hours and 11 meetings, the Planning Commission has fully drafted its recommendation document for the BOCC to review. "I think we have reached a consensus here," said Greg McKennis, Planning Commission board member. "We have all had some things we wanted and some things we that we didn't want, and I think it is great that we are all going to vote in favor of this. This is a remarkable accomplishment!"

The Planning Commission's recommendation includes a reduction of another 94 pages of code, which, combined with the Phase I improvements, proposes an overall 43% reduction in the length of the county's land use code. The recommended changes span the entire sixteen articles of the code, and range from modifying specific text to complete deletion of sections, and from procedural changes to structural reorganization.

These code improvements were initiated in 2011 when the BOCC directed county staff to consider revisions to the code that reflected the following objectives:

   • Eliminate unnecessary regulatory barriers that may discourage economic     development;
   • Streamline development procedures    
   • Make the overall code more efficient; and
   • Ensure the document is user-friendly

The red line and clean versions of the Planning Commission's recommendations are available at Community Development, 970-945-8212.

Changes are being considered to the current land use code.

Citizen input will be gathered in a Public Hearing scheduled May 7, at 8:00 a.m., in the BOCC meeting room in the Garfield County Administration Building. Residents and property owners are invited to attend, or to provide written comments in advance of the meeting.

Written comments may be sent to Garfield County Planning Manager, Tamra Allen, before the May 7 meeting. Please contact the Garfield County Community Development Department for additional information at (970) 945-8212.


Media contacts:

Renelle Lott
Chief Communications Officer
Garfield County
108 8th Street, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
970.384.3844
970.366.2275 cell
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Garfield County Administration
108 8th Street, Suite 101
Glenwood Springs, CO  81601

970-945-5004 | phone
970-945-7785 | fax

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