Update! – Delta County Land Use Plan

By Ben Katz 2 months agoNo Comments

UPDATE – Friday, August 28th

The whirlwind process of the Delta County Land Use Regulations is continuing. The third draft of the land use regulations is now available for public comment hereAlthough some important updates have been made, we believe more is needed.

ACTION ALERT– WHAT YOU CAN DO TO BE INVOLVED WITH THESE REGULATIONS

  1. Attend one or both of the upcoming Delta County Planning Commission meetings in September. On Wednesday, September 9th, the Planning Commission will be meeting at 5:30 PM at Hotchkiss Town Hall, 276 West Main St. Hotchkiss, CO 81419. On Wednesday, September 23rd, the Planning Commission will be meeting at 5:30 PM at the Delta County Courthouse, 501 Palmer St. Rm. 234, Delta, CO 81416
  2. Write a comment on the land use regulations. See WSCC’s comments below for help in what to draft. Share your own comments here. 
  3. Call/write the Delta County Commissioners and have a discussion with them about the issues that you are most concerned with. This is the most influential time to speak up!

Below are a couple of WSCC’s comments on the plan. Feel free to use our language to help with your own comments!

Process Concerns

WSCC is concerned that the County is rushing to complete the land use code revision process without adequate time for the public to thoroughly review the draft(s). The current draft isn’t complete. Two short public comment periods over the summer with a total of 33 days for the public to review this 172-page document is inadequate considering that late summer is an extremely busy time for many (especially those involved in agriculture) to review a document and engage in an important, complex process that may impact their properties or economic livelihoods. The comment periods are also happening while many are trying to get kids back to school during the uncertainty of a global pandemic.

Bowie Loadout Issues

In the plan, the Bowie Loadout property and several others at the entry to the North Fork and base of Garvin Mesa are proposed to be zoned as “Industrial/Commercial,” which would allow oil and gas support services and other heavy industry to develop these sites. There is a long history of residents opposing industrial development on that property. WSCC urges the County to include public input in the zoning process for these particular properties.

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

WSCC is concerned that there are not adequate requirements for assessing the site-based and cumulative impacts of CAFOs, and also that they are exempted from the current “Conditional Review” that requires public and neighbor input. CAFOs and other large or potentially controversial developments should be subject to the most stringent public scrutiny and process. CAFOs should not be exempted from the current “Conditional Review” that requires public and neighbor input.

Water Quality Issues

WSCC is concerned with the lack of specificity in the proposed regulations for stormwater control at intensive agricultural operations. We suggest that language be added to specify how erosion will be prevented and sediment controlled at sites during and after construction to protect nearby streams and properties. WSCC suggests perhaps a separate section to specifically deal with the unique set of challenges presented by chicken house operations addressing solid waste storage, setbacks from water bodies, and downslopes above such water bodies. WSCC suggests that the setback for chicken manure storage from water bodies and downsloping surfaces above water bodies be increased to 500 feet and include specific stormwater erosion control measures, consistent with the state policy that counties can adopt more stringent measures than state guidelines provide.

Click on the links below to read WSCC’s full comment letters:

Land Use in Delta County- A Background

As Delta County continues on its Land Use updates as defined in the Delta County Master Plan, we need you to be the voice for yourself and your neighbors. The goals for these regulations are “to improve our land use regulations by:

  • Ensuring due process with a simple, clear, fair, and predictable development process for property owners.
  • Providing clarity and assurances for residents and property owners about how land around them might develop.
  • Creating consistency between the vision and goals in the Master Plan with the development regulations.
  • Supporting decision making that better responds to unique infrastructure and needs around the county rather than one size fits all.
  • Fostering more coordination between the county and municipalities on accomplishing shared goals.”

These land-use codes will outline how certain development will occur throughout the county moving into the future. Depending on how parcels are designated, certain activities will require varying levels of public and county administrative input. It is critically important to have your voice heard.

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  News, Public Lands
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