Garfield County land-use codes to be reviewed by committee |

Garfield County land-use codes to be reviewed by committee

John Stroud
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Garfield County commissioners have formally appointed a new advisory committee to look at further revisions to the county land-use code, including whether it should be completely overhauled.

“The purpose I see here is for this group to evaluate the land-use code and recommend amendments to eliminate some of the unnecessary regulations,” Garfield Board of County Commissioners Chairman John Martin said at Monday’s regular BOCC meeting.

If a full rewrite of the code is what’s needed in their minds, so be it, he said.

“This is something I’ve struggled with going back to 1996 and up to 2008,” Martin said of his initial 12 years on the county board.

A set of code revisions adopted in 2008 were little more than a “band-aid,” he said.

“A lot of things weren’t reviewed in depth, and I think we’re at that point again,” Martin said. “Times have changed, [land] uses have changed.”

Commissioners adopted a 12-person advisory committee to make recommendations regarding the county’s land-use codes, as well as any other applicable codes.

The advisory group was appointed in follow-up to the recommendations made by a working group last year.

A consulting firm hired by the county, the Clarion Group, also made several short-term code amendment recommendations. Those changes are currently before the Garfield County Planning Commission for review.

The new committee is charged with looking at the bigger picture, as the county commissioners continue their effort to make the land-use application and review process more business friendly.

Commissioners also approved a set of bylaws to govern the advisory committee, including provisions related to purpose and authority, open meetings and records, and conflicts of interest.

The latter provision prevents elected officials or other “public officers” from being on the committee. Any member with land-use matters currently before the county would not be viewed as having a conflict, according to the provision.

The county is also putting out a request for proposals from consultants to help facilitate the committee’s work and put together the draft amendments.

In other business at the Feb. 6 BOCC meeting, the board:

• Unanimously approved a $50,000 funding request from the town of Carbondale to help fund improvements at the Gus Darien Riding Arena, including additional bleachers, a roof cover over the south bleachers, and improvements to the lighting at the rodeo grounds.

Total project cost is roughly $153,000, according to Carbondale officials. The county grant is contingent on the town putting up at least $10,000. The town also plans to pursue other grant funding for the project.

• Approved on a 2-1 vote a continued service agreement, in the amount of $53,700, with the Lower Valley (LoVa) Trails Group to support its efforts to build a bike/pedestrian trail link through South Canyon.

The group eventually hopes to establish a trail connection throughout western Garfield County along the Interstate 70/Colorado River corridor.

Commissioner Tom Jankovsky voted against the LoVa agreement.

“I’m a recreation guy myself, and I understand the importance of trails,” said Jankovsky, who is the general manager and part owner of Sunlight Mountain Resort.

“I’m just concerned about the county getting into the trails maintenance business,” he said.

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