OCPC prepares for Visual Impact public comments


By Alan Todd

The Ouray County Planning Commission honed its procedures Tuesday evening for its upcoming public hearing on Visual Impact Regulations, to be held Feb. 26 at 7:00 p.m. at the Ouray County 4-H Event Center in Ridgway.
Sign up for public comments will be held at the beginning of the Feb. 26 meeting. Public comments will conclude that evening unless there are more than the allotted time allows. The OCPC will cut off the public comment segment of the meeting at 10:00 p.m. that night and will continue them on Mar. 21 if necessary.

Groups will be allowed 15 minutes for one spokesperson to comment and individuals will get three minutes.
Planning Commissioner Tim Currin asked if groups or individuals could submit PowerPoint presentations to aid in their comments, and Bryan Sampson, Ouray County associate planner, agreed to try to make that work.
Only those who sign up for public comments on Feb. 26 and do not have a chance to speak that evening will be allowed to speak on Mar. 21. If the comment period is forced to continue, the public will be allowed to submit written comments by Mar. 14 and have them entered into the record for consideration on Mar. 21. However, no other public comment speakers will be added past the initial sign up on Feb. 26.
Planning Commissioner Sheelagh Williams presented a spreadsheet provided to her by the county assessor that demonstrated, she said, most property values along current view corridors from 2004-2012 had risen. Currin noted that most of the properties listed on the spreadsheet were in Fairway Pines. Currin said those properties cannot be seen because they are set back so far, and thus the list was not a good example of how properties would be affected. Planning Commissioner Karen Risch noted that most properties along view corridors are set back, so it didn’t matter if the example was predominantly filled with properties in Fairway Pines. The example listed showed property values in 2004 and then in 2012 but did not demonstrate year-to-year changes in valuations. Williams said she brought the data as information to the commissioners so they would be aware of it for upcoming proceedings.
The commission spent time polishing the wording in their report to the Board of County Commissioners and decided to replace a photo in their PowerPoint presentation of an historic mining building taken from an angle that made it appear to soar above the ridgeline behind it, distorting its true impact on the scene behind it.
Planning Commission Chair Ken Lipton stated that after VIR is complete, only housekeeping and requested refinements remain on the agenda for OCPC, and it can return to twice-monthly meetings.