County revises land-use document
Pitkin County has spent the last year working on major revisions to its land-use code and will hold public hearings early this year. If all goes as planned, the county commissioners will adopt a revised code in April.The state of Colorado required counties to come up with countywide land-use master plans by 2004. Through a series of neighborhood specific meetings, Pitkin County came up with a master plan that seeks to preserve and protect the rural character of the area. This revised land use code contains changes that look to further that goal. “There’s a whole new toolbox to encourage someone to preserve their land,” said Cindy Houben, director of the community development department for Pitkin County. “This will make the pot sweeter for preservation.”One of the big differences in the revised code will be the way it is organized. The code has incorporated many of the changes adopted over the years in a less-than-user-friendly format. The new code should be easier to navigate.Another difference is with the transferable development rights program, which was implemented in 1994 to preserve the backcountry from development. Under the revisions proposed, many more properties will qualify for preservation through the TDR program, which allows land owners to sell their development rights on the free market. Whenever a TDR is sold, the property it comes from is preserved from development.”This code will allow people in any part of the county, with at least 160 acres, to transfer development rights,” Houben said.”The county should stay at a traditional, rural, residential scale.”Tentative public meeting schedule (location not set) for consideration of changes to the Pitkin County Land Use Code:- Jan 24, 25 and 26: joint special meetings with the planning and zoning commission with the board of county commissioners from 2-5 p.m. each day.- Feb 7: joint work session from 4-5 p.m. to review changes from January meeting.- Feb 21, 22, and 23: joint special meetings with the planning and zoning commission and the board of county commissioners from 2-5 p.m. each day.- Feb 28: joint work session from 4-5 p.m. to review changes from February meeting.- April 11, 12 and 13: joint public hearings from 4-5 p.m. The first, second and third reading of the land use code revision for adoption. Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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