New Land Use Code Project

The La Plata County Board of County Commissioners is pleased to present the draft land use code for community review and input. This draft code, written by La Plata County staff, incorporates the community input and policy guidance received over the past three years to achieve the Board of County Commissioners’ goals when initiating the code re-write effort in 2016.

Specifically, the Board of County Commissioners directed staff to:
Reconcile and clarify the land use code

  • Provide for predictability and improved certainty of the process and outcomes

  •  Facilitate and direct growth to appropriate areas

  •  Improve the review process

  •  Articulate clear development standards

  •  Streamline the development process

  •  Protect and respect the county’s most valued assets

  •  Minimize sprawl

New tools & concepts
This draft land use code aims to achieve those goals by introducing new tools such as:

Economic Development Areas
The draft land use code outlines a process that would apply specialized land use regulations to promote commercial, industrial, or mixed residential/commercial development in areas nominated by the county or individuals

The draft land use code includes a unique set of uses by right and types of administrative land use permits that are a companion to agriculture, offering a means to expand uses on agricultural land without an extensive review process so as to encourage, promote and foster agricultural enterprises and activities in the county.

Sketch plan review
The draft land use code introduces a “sketch plan” to evaluate and discuss the basic design, concept, and suitability of a project before the applicant spends time and money on a full application process. The sketch plan will move the compatibility analysis to the beginning of the review process, rather than at the end like it is under the existing code.

Development standards
The draft land use code includes clearly articulated development standards for a range of general and specific uses, giving applicants a concrete understanding of what will be required to gain approval for their project.

Public review & input

The Board of County Commissioners and Planning Commission are eager for community input and feedback on the draft land use code, and look forward to culminating this project by adopting a new land use code in fall of 2020.

View Outreach & Engagement Schedule.

La Plata County offers multiple mechanisms to submit input. All input received via these tools will be part of the Land Use Code adoption record:

General community workshops 
This series of workshops, which will be conducted via Zoom, will introduce the DRAFT new code contents by general topic including:

1) Day to day life and business
2) Support for agriculture business and housing
3) More significant development projects: Commercial, industrial, subdivisions
4) Special topics: long range planning tools, advisory & decision-making boards, etc.

View a complete schedule and Zoom access information.

Topic-focused workshops 
This series of workshops, which will be conducted via Zoom, will introduce and receive input on the DRAFT new code contents by specific topic including:
1) Development review process
2) Development standards
3) Road standards, drainage & erosion control standards

View a complete schedule and Zoom access information.

Additional comment options
1) Make comments directly in chapters and sections of the code using our Comment Portal (Currently being updated)

2) Use dedicated to submit comments

Public hearings of Planning Commission & Board of County Commissioners. During the formal adoption process, verbal and written public comment 

Joint PC/BOCC work sessions

The Board of County Commissioners and Planning Commission will hold a series of work sessions to review the public input received through the above mechanisms and further discuss the draft code. The public is welcome to attend work sessions, but there will be no time set aside for public comment like there will be during the workshops and public hearings.

All joint work sessions will take place from 6-8 p.m., via Zoom currently (links to follow):
May 28
June 4
June 11
June 18

Draft Land Use Code Documents

1) Draft La Plata County Land Use Code
2) Outreach & Engagement Schedule
General community workshop schedule & access information
4) Topic-focused workshop schedule & access information
5) Public comment portal

Thank you for your interest in the La Plata County Land Use Code revision process. Your input and participation is crucial to the effort. We will keep you informed of upcoming steps in the project and opportunities for you to be involved. Stay informed by signing up for the Newsletter!