After a second reading yesterday and full posting in the Delta County Independent, Commissioners passed an updated ordinance prohibiting the accumulation of rubbish (junk) on property in the county.
The biggest change from the earlier ordinance comes in enforcement adding some “teeth” to the declaration. Officials may now ticket residents and force them to court to answer for infractions.
“Code Compliance Officer is authorized to present civil infractions in any court of applicable jurisdiction; that is, the Code Compliance Officer is authorized to serve as the complaining witness and offer evidence of facts concerning the alleged infraction, provide sworn testimony and shall answer questions as appropriate.”
There continues to be one big exemption in the new ordinance: Exemptions.
5.1 This Ordinance shall not apply to industrial tracts of ten (10) or more acres or to agricultural land, as such terms are defined by in this ordinance.
Ag land is defined in § 39-1-102(1.6), C.R.S. as:
(1.6)(a) “Agricultural land”, whether used by the owner of the land or a lessee, means one of the following:
(I)(A) A parcel of land, whether located in an incorporated or unincorporated area and regardless of the uses for which such land is zoned, that was used the previous two years and presently is used as a farm or ranch, as defined in subsections (3.5) and (13.5) of this section, or that is in the process of being restored through conservation practices. Such land must have been classified or eligible for classification as “agricultural land”, consistent with this subsection (1.6), during the ten years preceding the year of assessment. Such land must continue to have actual agricultural use. “Agricultural land” under this subparagraph (I) shall not include two acres or less of land on which a residential improvement is located unless the improvement is integral to an agricultural operation conducted on such land. “Agricultural land” also includes the land underlying other improvements if such improvements are an integral part of the farm or ranch and if such other improvements and the land area dedicated to such other improvements are typically used as an ancillary part of the operation. The use of a portion of such land for hunting, fishing, or other wildlife purposes, for monetary profit or otherwise, shall not affect the classification of agricultural land. For purposes of this subparagraph (I), a parcel of land shall be “in the process of being restored through conservation practices” if: The land has been placed in a conservation reserve program established by the natural resources conservation service pursuant to 7 U.S.C. secs. 1 to 5506; or a conservation plan approved by the appropriate conservation district has been implemented for the land for up to a period of ten crop years as if the land has been placed in such a conservation reserve program.
(B) A residential improvement shall be deemed to be “integral to an agricultural operation” for purposes of sub-subparagraph (A) of this subparagraph (I) if an individual occupying the residential improvement either regularly conducts, supervises, or administers material aspects of the agricultural operation or is the spouse or a parent, grandparent, sibling, or child of the individual.
(II) A parcel of land that consists of at least forty acres, that is forest land, that is used to produce tangible wood products that originate from the productivity of such land for the primary purpose of obtaining a monetary profit, that is subject to a forest management plan, and that is not a farm or ranch, as defined in subsections (3.5) and (13.5) of this section. “Agricultural land” under this subparagraph (II) includes land underlying any residential improvement located on such agricultural land.
(III) A parcel of land that consists of at least eighty acres, or of less than eighty acres if such parcel does not contain any residential improvements, and that is subject to a perpetual conservation easement, if such land was classified by the assessor as agricultural land under subparagraph (I) or (II) of this paragraph (a) at the time such easement was granted, if the grant of the easement was to a qualified organization, if the easement was granted exclusively for conservation purposes, and if all current and contemplated future uses of the land are described in the conservation easement. “Agricultural land” under this subparagraph (III) does not include any portion of such land that is actually used for nonagricultural commercial or nonagricultural residential purposes.
(IV) A parcel of land, whether located in an incorporated or unincorporated area and regardless of the uses for which such land is zoned, used as a farm or ranch, as defined in subsections (3.5) and (13.5) of this section, if the owner of the land has a decreed right to appropriated water granted in accordance with article 92 of title 37, C.R.S., or a final permit to appropriated groundwater granted in accordance with article 90 of title 37, C.R.S., for purposes other than residential purposes, and water appropriated under such right or permit shall be and is used for the production of agricultural or livestock products on such land;
(V) A parcel of land, whether located in an incorporated or unincorporated area and regardless of the uses for which such land is zoned, that has been reclassified from agricultural land to a classification other than agricultural land and that met the definition of agricultural land as set forth in subparagraphs (I) to (IV) of this paragraph (a) during the three years before the year of assessment. For purposes of this subparagraph (V), the parcel of land need not have been classified or eligible for classification as agricultural land during the ten years preceding the year of assessment as required by subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (a).
(b)(I) Except as provided in subparagraph (II) of this paragraph (b), all other agricultural property that does not meet the definition set forth in paragraph (a) of this subsection (1.6) shall be classified as all other property and shall be valued using appropriate consideration of the three approaches to appraisal based on its actual use on the assessment date.
(II) On and after January 1, 2015, “all other agricultural property” includes greenhouse and nursery production areas used to grow food products, agricultural products, or horticultural stock for wholesale purposes only that originate above the ground.
(c) An assessor must determine, based on sufficient evidence, that a parcel of land does not qualify as agricultural land, as defined in subparagraph (IV) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (1.6), before land may be changed from agricultural land to any other classification.
(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, property that is used solely for the cultivation of medical marijuana shall not be classified as agricultural land.
READ THE FULL ORDINANCE