Garco’s future on line
August 5, 2011
Aug. 15 will be an interesting day. It’s the day the Garfield County commissioners vote on a major change to the way we do business here.
Right now, Colorado law dictates that we have a comprehensive plan. In our county, all development must be consistent with that plan. It’s been that way since 1970.
The Garfield County Comprehensive Plan is a Planning and Zoning document that provides the foundation for policies that guide the physical, social, and economic development of the county. It addresses the subjects of future land use, housing, transportation, open space, economics, and natural resources, to name just a few. It identifies issues, establishes goals and policies, and suggests strategies and actions. It was approved by the Planning Commission on Nov. 10, 2010.
The commissioners have expressed a desire to preserve “flexibility” in the decision making process by removing any specific references to the Comprehensive Plan in the county code. This will kill the plan and make it an advisory document only. In their June meeting, the Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to reject this change.
As a citizen of Garfield County, I believe the Comprehensive Plan is essential to the welfare of this beautiful land. It is built from your input and extensive research that, I believe, reflects the wishes of the vast majority of residents. It is a powerful tool that prevents sub-standard development and refines our rules and regulations. It defines what business should expect. It is easily amended. It looks forward.
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In this spectacular county, we need more definition when working with development, not less. We need the plan for River Edge (Sanders Ranch), for open space and agriculture, to define how we look 20 years from now. It is an extremely valuable tool.
If you can, please attend the meeting at 1 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 15. If you can’t make it, Google Garfield County and e-mail the commissioners. Post it to your Facebook and Twitter friends. We need to let the commissioners know how important the Comprehensive Plan is to the future of this spectacular county.
Michael J. Sullivan