Land Use Code Revision Project

The La Plata County Board of County Commissioners is pleased to present VERSION 2 of the Draft Land Use Code the for community review and input. This version of the draft code, written by La Plata County staff, incorporates the community input and policy guidance received since VERSION 1 of the Draft Land Use code was released May 11. Please provide input using options below, or at upcoming public hearings by Aug. 14, 2020, for consideration in Version 3. 

Draft Land Use Code Documents
1) Draft La Plata County Land Use Code - Version 2
2) Draft La Plata County Land Use Code - Version 1
3) Land Use Code Crosswalk: From the old to the new
4) Outreach & Engagement Schedule
5) General community workshop schedule & access information
6) Topic-focused workshop schedule & access information
7) Public comment portal
8) NewCode@co.laplata.co.us
9) There are also paper copies of the Draft Land Use Code at the Bayfield, Ignacio, Fort Lewis Mesa and Sunnyside libraries

The draft land use code is intended to achieve the Board of County Commissioners’ goals when initiating the code re-write effort in 2016.  Specifically, the Board of County Commissioners directed staff to:

  • Reconcile and clarify the land use code
  • Provide for predictability and improved certainty of the process and outcomes
  •  Facilitate and direct growth to appropriate areas
  •  Improve the review process
  •  Articulate clear development standards
  •  Streamline the development process
  •  Protect and respect the county’s most valued assets
  •  Minimize sprawl

New tools & concepts
This draft land use code aims to achieve those goals by introducing new tools such as:

Economic Development Areas
The draft land use code outlines a process that would apply specialized land use regulations to promote commercial, industrial, or mixed residential/commercial development in areas nominated by the county or individuals

AgPlus
The draft land use code includes a unique set of uses by right and types of administrative land use permits that are a companion to agriculture, offering a means to expand uses on agricultural land without an extensive review process so as to encourage, promote and foster agricultural enterprises and activities in the county.

Sketch plan review
The draft land use code introduces a “sketch plan” to evaluate and discuss the basic design, concept, and suitability of a project before the applicant spends time and money on a full application process. The sketch plan will move the compatibility analysis to the beginning of the review process, rather than at the end like it is under the existing code.

Development standards
The draft land use code includes clearly articulated development standards for a range of general and specific uses, giving applicants a concrete understanding of what will be required to gain approval for their project.

Public Review & Input

The Board of County Commissioners and Planning Commission are eager for community input and feedback on this version of the draft land use code, and look forward to culminating this project by adopting a new land use code in fall of 2020. View Outreach & Engagement Schedule.

All public comments received by August 14, 2020 will be considered for Version 3 of the draft land use code.

La Plata County offers multiple mechanisms to submit input. All input received via these tools will be part of the Land Use Code adoption record:

Public Hearings
The Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners will each hold a series of public hearings to take comment on the draft Land Use Code. These hearings will be accessible by Zoom as well as in-person participation following La Plata County's meeting guidelines for social distancing, which include wearing a face covering. 

Planning Commission public hearings
Thursday, July 16, 6-8 p.m.
La Plata County Administration Building, Board Room
View Agenda for Zoom information

Thursday, July 23, 6-8 p.m.
La Plata County Administration Building, Board Room
View Agenda for Zoom information
Board of County Commissioner public hearings
Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2-4 p.m. & 6-8 p.m.
La Plata County Administration Building, Board Room
Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2-4 p.m. & 6-8 p.m.
La Plata County Administration Building, Board Room

General community workshops

This series of workshops, conducted via Zoom, introduced the DRAFT new code contents by general topic including:

1) Day to day life and businessVIEW PRESENTATION
Watch recording from 5/26/20
Watch recording from 5/27/20

2) Support for agriculture, business and housing - VIEW PRESENTATION
Watch recording from 6/2/20
Watch recording from 6/3/20

3) More significant development projects: Commercial, industrial, subdivisions - VIEW PRESENTATION
Watch recording from 6/9/20
Watch recording from 6/10/20

4) Special topics: long range planning tools, advisory & decision-making boards, etc. - VIEW PRESENTATION
Watch recording from 6/16/20
Watch recording from 6/17/20

View a complete schedule and Zoom access information.

Topic-focused workshops 
This series of workshops, conducted via Zoome, introduced and gatheredinput on the DRAFT new code contents by specific topic including:
1) Development review process - VIEW PRESENTATION
Watch recording from 5/29/20:
Part 1
Part 2

2) Development standards - VIEW PRESENTATION
Watch recording from 6/5/20

3) Road standards, drainage & erosion control standards - VIEW PRESENTATION
Watch recording from 6/12/20

4) Project Simulation - VIEW PRESENTATION
Watch recording from 6/19/20

View a complete schedule and Zoom access information.

Additional comment options
1) Make comments directly in chapters and sections of the code using our Comment Portal 
2) Use dedicated NewCode@co.laplata.co.us to submit comments
3) 
Public hearings of Planning Commission & Board of County Commissioners. During the formal adoption process, verbal and written public comment

Joint PC/BOCC Work Sessions

The Board of County Commissioners and Planning Commission held a series of work sessions to review the public input received through the above mechanisms and further discuss the draft code. 
May 28 - Agenda Packet (Updated with Presentation) 
June 4 - Agenda Packet - VIEW PRESENTATION 
June 11 - Agenda Packet - VIEW PRESENTATION
June 18 - Agenda Packet - VIEW PRESENTATION

Draft Land Use Code Documents

1) Draft La Plata County Land Use Code - Version 2
2) Draft La Plata County Land Use Code - Version 1
3) Land Use Code Crosswalk: From the old to the new
4) Outreach & Engagement Schedule
5) General community workshop schedule & access information
6) Topic-focused workshop schedule & access information
7) Public comment portal
8) NewCode@co.laplata.co.us
9) There are also paper copies of the Draft Land Use Code at the Bayfield, Ignacio, Fort Lewis Mesa and Sunnyside libraries

Thank you for your interest in the La Plata County Land Use Code revision process. Your input and participation is crucial to the effort. We will keep you informed of upcoming steps in the project and opportunities for you to be involved. Stay informed by signing up for the Newsletter!