County planning commission to meet with construction stakeholders

by Carolina King

The Ouray County Planning Commission is ready to meet with builders and other interested stakeholders to discuss new rules it will propose to the Board of County Commissioners for wildfire mitigation in new construction. The outreach meeting is scheduled for Jan. 22 at 5 p.m. in the Land Use Building.
Builders, architects and design professionals will have the opportunity to hear the science behind the proposed rules during a presentation by Jamie Gomez of West Region Wildfire Council, who has been working closely with the commission for months in the development of the proposed changes to Section 16 the Land Use Code concerning wildfire risk mitigation.
At its last meeting on Jan. 8, the commission did a final run-through of the element scoring sheet developed by Gomez so that it will be ready to email to those with ties to the construction industry, giving them time to review it and come prepared with questions.
The elemental scoring sheet scores new structures and the lots they occupy on wildfire resistance and gives points for the better choices in terms of protection. There are also some elements that will be required.
Class A roofs are one of the elements that would be mandatory for new construction.
Planning Director Mark Castrodale was able to obtain data on all roofs in the county from the county assessor and found that most roofs in the county are already Class A. Class A roofs include roofs made from metal, clay tile, composite and most asphalt shingle. Installation of cedar/wood shake roofs would no longer be permitted.
The commission also decided to recommend to the board that a building permit be required on all re-roof projects, due to the importance of having a Class A, fire-resistant roof to prevent wildfire consumption of a home.
“The BOCC, as soon as possible, (should) require a permit for a new roof, and as part of a new roof, we want to make sure there are not combustible gutters,” said Chair Sheelagh Williams.  
The planning commission will also meet on Jan. 30 with the board to discuss affordable housing.