At the Jan. 17 county planning commission meeting, Commissioner Randy Parker was saying a 2010 Board of County Commissioners resolution gave the OCPC 12 specific areas to address in revising visual impact regulations, and he felt the OCPC should explain to the BOCC how each one was completed.
"But this is a different BOCC," Commissioner Tim Currin said.
"Yes, but they didn't change the resolution," Chair Ken Lipton countered.
So there you have it. It's out in the open, stated in a public meeting—it's a different BOCC. The sentiment first appeared in a letter Currin wrote to the BOCC in October, along with alternate planning commissioner John Baskfield. The letter stated their opinion that neither the current BOCC nor the succeeding one would support the draft Section 9 advocated by the majority of the OCPC.
Just what role will the turnover on the Board of County Commissioners since 2010 play in the latest visual impact tug-of-war?
On Nov. 1, 2010, Resolution No. 2010-45, outlining the 12 visual impact issues the BOCC directed the Ouray County Planning Commission to address: expansion of visual impact regulations to more roads; whether the building permit point system achieves "blending"; mandatory setbacks from roads; skyline breakage rules; setbacks from ridgelines and escarpments; permit application submittal requirements; appeal process; difference between structures and buildings; historically accurate buildings; review of definitions; how to treat remodels and additions; and, provide input for a companion guide to VIR.
The resolution was passed by Commissioners Lynn Padgett, Keith Meinert and Heidi Albritton.
Since that time those and three more commissioners (Mike Fedel, Pat Willits and Don Batchelder) have held office at one time or another and none has attempted to repeal the resolution or to amend it to remove Section 9, Visual Impact Regulations from consideration.
Concurrently, the BOCC has since 2007 been revisiting a resolution that set land use priorities for staff and the planning commission. Every six months, when a new resolution re-prioritizing land use issues for OCPC came up, no one moved to send Section 9 to the bottom of the list or to take it off. Until February 2010, Section 9 was at the bottom or in the middle of the list.
In Resolution No. 2010-007, Section 9 shot up to second on the priorities list. For two resolutions in 2011 and one in 2012, it was number one. The latest resolution, passed Sept. 25, 2012, had some housekeeping sections at the top, all disposed of in December, and Section 9 was second.
After two years, the OCPC has a draft Section 9 ready for a public hearing. If it survives a vote, it will be sent to the BOCC for consideration.
Do current county commissioners have a responsibility, or not, to honor the will of prior commissioners and consider amendments to address the 12 issues? What if a current commissioner would not have been interested in voting for 2010-45?
As the last part of the visual impact series we have run for three weeks shows, it has often taken the OCPC a lengthy amount of time to revise a land use code section. The process needs to be faster, so that a subsequent BOCC isn't stuck with considering two years of work that they never asked for.