Revisions to Garfield County codes may take more time |

Revisions to Garfield County codes may take more time

John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The ongoing revisions of Garfield County’s land use codes may take a little longer than expected, and may involve a little more in the way of money and county resources.

At least that’s what local attorney Walt Brown told the Garfield Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on Monday.

A group of 14 attorneys, developers, planners and others has been meeting for months with planning consultants Clarion Associates of Denver, to revise the code.

This “working group,” as it has been dubbed, was created last March by the BOCC to streamline and reorient the land use codes, in conjunction with the work done by Clarion.

The contract with Clarion is costing the county $48,000, according to Assistant County Manager Dale Hancock.

The goal, the county commissioners stated at the time, was to create a more business-friendly regulatory environment and spur economic development across the county.

Brown, representing the group, told the BOCC on Monday in Carbondale that Clarion is close to finishing its work and presenting its proposed revisions in December.

But, Brown said, the working group feels the revisions, to date, “did not go far enough to achieve what we want, which is a user-friendly code.”

Among other things, Brown said, the working group would like to see a further expansion of the “use-by-right” category of land uses, meaning those things developers could do without applying to the county for permission.

In addition, he said, the group hopes for greater reduction in the time it takes for development applications to go through the county’s review process.

He noted that, so far, Clarion has trimmed approximately 100 pages from the code, which stood at 488 pages or so in March when the group was formed.

More needs to be done, Brown said, and the group asked for up to 30 days of additional time and an undisclosed amount of county funds to hire a planner to carry on the task.

“We want somebody to write it up, to present it to you,” he told the BOCC, and suggested several planning consultants for the job.

Commissioner Mike Samson said he has no objections to the delay, declaring, “I want you to take the time that you need.”

And, added Commissioner Tom Jankovsky, “If it takes additional funds, we’re OK with that as well,” although no dollar amount was mentioned at the meeting.

The BOCC offered the county executive chamber, located adjacent to the regular BOCC meeting room in Glenwood Springs, as a site for continued meetings.

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