OURAY COUNTY: Land use code again is flashpoint for disagreement

By Beecher Threatt

Despite citizen complaints Tuesday morning to the Board of County Commissioners with regard to the county's ongoing clean-up of the land use code, the Ouray County Planning Commission met Tuesday night with just one member of the public (and the Plaindealer) in attendance. The PC took up review of the BOCC's recommended changes to three sections of the code and draft of a new section.

The planning commission has been reviewing proposed "housekeeping" changes to each section of the code at the direction of the BOCC, which forwarded its recommendations after work sessions with land use staff and the county attorney. The clean-up focuses mainly on clarifying provisions, making them consistent and improving organization of the code, although a few provisions would be substantively changed.
The PC conducted a comprehensive review of each section it received, proposed some changes to the drafts and held two public hearings on the proposed changes. The commission’s proposed changes to the drafts and other recommendations for 15 sections have now gone back to the BOCC for public hearing.
County Planner Mark Castrodale told planning commissioners Tuesday night that land use staff will "step back from active involvement in the process" as a direct result of criticism voiced at the BOCC meeting that morning. Until now, Castrodale has suggested time limits for OCPC to review each section, based on the BOCC's timetable for accomplishing the housekeeping changes, and has been successful in keeping the OCPC on track.
"We will answer questions and assist you in any way we can," Castrodale told the commission. "But the BOCC will give you direction and you can interpret it as you like. We are not here to drive the process. We need to stay out of the fray."
Land use code sections not yet forwarded by the BOCC to the OCPC for review include the controversial section 9, Visual Impact Regulations.
At the BOCC's Call to the Public on Tuesday, resident Scott Williams registered concern that...

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