What is the Land Use Code?
Land - the places we live, work, and play across unincorporated Chaffee County.
Use - allowable parameters for what can be done with and on land based on how it's characterized.
Code - the policies and regulations that guide how property is and guides its future uses and development
Technically, a land use code is a planning implementation tool of the community’s comprehensive plan. The land use code can include zoning regulations, subdivision regulations, annexation policy, impact fees, public hearing processes, fence and sign permitting, and more. Practically, the Land Use Code is a resource for local governments to set a standard policy that meets their community's vision, goals, and objectives.
The 2020 Together Chaffee County Comprehensive Plan is a guide for future development of both private and public lands in Chaffe County for the next 20+ years. The Land Use Code (LUC) is the primary regulatory document that the County uses to implement the plan and to ensure quality development. The LUC includes regulations and standards that address zoning, land uses, setbacks, parking, landscaping, neighborhood character, and application and review procedures.
The Colorado Revised Statutes at Title 29, Section 20-104 grants local governments the authority to plan for and regulate the use of lands in its jurisdictions. This is done through the Land Use Code.
Our Opportunity: Updated Chaffee County Land Use Code
Chaffee County's Land Use Code was last updated in 2014. In the years since its update, a lot has changed in our region. Yet during this period we've also affirmed that many of our long-standing historical values still resonate with the community. Updating Chaffee County's Land Use Code bring alignment between these guiding principles and priorities and the development and land management needs now and into the foreseeable future.
The Chaffee County Comprehensive Plan adopted in December 2020 identifies updating the County Land Use Code as a key strategy. Holistic future land use planning has not been a significant tool for leaders and decision makers in the past and is intended to be adapted and amended to ensure flexibility and compatibility with future conditions.
Project Timeline ~ Jan 2022-Dec 2023:
The Land Use Code Update Project kicks off in January, 2022 and is expected to actively involve the community over a span of ~24 months to create, review, and ultimately adopt overhauled Land Use Code regulations.
Chaffee County will update its Land Use Code through a combination of technical analysis, current code diagnosis, community engagement, collaborative drafting, and public adoption process.
Updated Code will aim to be:
Reflective of best practices;
Progressive to support sustainability goals, smart growth, and emerging trends in the community;
Simplified, graphically formatted, and user friendly;
Consistent with other relevant standards and policies within the County.
The County has engaged Logan Simpson to lead the project and be the primary author for the code documents, with White & Smith, LLC as the legal advisor.
Logan Simpson will work with the County leadership and wide-reaching organizations, stakeholder groups, and members of the public, both formally and informally. Community will be engaged through an established advisory committee, small focus groups, interviews, surveys, planning commission work sessions, and adoption hearings, as well as presence at various community gatherings to solicit input. The code update will be addressed in modules. Modules will include selections of code topics that are logically organized and grouped. Each module will have its own series of analysis, community engagement, and public hearings.
The LUC Update will be accomplished through a process of diagnosis, collaborative drafting, and public outreach. Logan Simpson and the County will begin the process by talking to the community about what is working well and what is not work well with the current regulations and pair those conversations with detailed review of existing master plan documents, such as the 2020 Comprehensive Plan, and the current zoning and subdivision regulations. This analysis will result in an assessment report that will serve as a roadmap for the update process moving forward.
Based on the results of the assessment report, we will break the code into four modules to effectively draft updated sections that can be reviewed in bite sized pieces. We plan to adopt each module individually and then tie the code together into a complete package for adoption of module four.
At each step, we will engage the public, key community stakeholders, County staff, and the County’s ultimate decision makers - the Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners.
Follow Along and Engage: