JOANN KALENAK, DCCR BLOGGER, 4-14-2022 — Planning Commissioners (PC) met last night to review a red-line draft of proposed changes to Delta County’s Land Use Code, and to discuss the process they will follow before presenting to County Commissioners, who have the final say.
The code, which was adopted a little more than a year ago, has seen more than its share of problems. Planning Director Carl Holm told PC members about the large number of variances that his department has had to deal with since the code’s adoption. In the planning world, variances are considered the exception rather than the rule but Delta County has had to grant many, signaling deficiencies with the code. There are also significant issues with language and terminology as identified by several area surveyors.
In a packet of information provided to PC members, Holm pointed to past issues with departmental adherence to process stating that “…current staff is more diligent about following the adopted process and taking good planning into consideration.”
Citizens offered comments to Planning Commissioners at the meeting, most via ZOOM. Several encouraged the PC to consider the benefits of solar development including the Executive Director for Colorado Solar and Storage Association (COSSA) Mike Kruger, Executive Director for Citizens for a Healthy Community Natasha Léger (CHC) and Empowered Energy Systems owner Brad Burritt.
Another community member commented strongly about the Level III traffic study used in the concrete patch plant application recently approved by County Commissioners. Delta resident Richard Lightfoot told PC members that the study was “pretty bad” and that he had received information that described the damage that aggregate trucks can have on an asphalt road (the recently approved project would put 50 such trucks on county roads, per day).
“The Asphalt Paving Association says the pavement damage from one 3,000-pound truck equals 6,000 cars,” said Lightfoot. “To repair 1900 road will cost $1 million a mile, roughly,” he added. Lightfoot says that the study did not reveal the true impact and subsequent costs that would be caused by the approved plant.
Probably the biggest surprise came at the end of the meeting when a PC member suggested that the Commission end Zoom access to its public meetings.
“We didn’t use to do Zoom before COVID . I think Zoom is a pain,” said PC member Tate Locke. “If it’s worth commenting on, then it’s worth being here,” he added. Other PC members complained that more people were attending via Zoom than in person implying that’s a bad thing, and some suggested that Zoom access should continue but without the ability for public comment.
PC Chair Tom Kay told fellow Commissioners that he would entertain a discussion on the topic at their next meeting.
Public meetings to discuss proposed LUC changes are planned for the near future and emailed comments are being accepted at firstname.lastname@example.org
See current proposal: http://www.citizenreport.info/…/04/Holm_presentation.pdf
See table drafts: http://www.citizenreport.info/…/04/LUC_changes_table.pdf