Commissioners deny Planning Commission’s certified Land Use Code update

JoAnn Kalenak, DCCR Senior Blogger — In a meeting attended by an estimated 500-plus citizens, County Commissioners denied suggested changes to the county’s certified Land Use Code. After more than 50 oral comments and dozens of written statements, Commissioners voted down the Planning Commission’s Certified Copy of the Land Use Code dated November 16, 2022, leaving the original 2021 code in place. They also voted down additional changes to the Nov. 16 version.

The meeting, held at the Delta Family Center, accommodated the largest group of citizens since 2004 when the county floated the idea of building codes, another hotly debated topic.


Commissioners agreed to a work session the following day to discuss next steps. Results from this meeting are expected to direct staff and the Planning Commission, all of which will come back to County Commissioners for review.

Delta County’s Public Relations office later released this notice to the press:


Press Release, County PR Department, March 10, 2023 — After much scrutiny of the 2021 Land Use Code (LUC), Delta County held a public hearing on February 28 to give citizens the opportunity to speak to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) about their support, concerns, and recommendations for the revised updates. The BOCC rejected the November 16, 2022, certified copy of the LUC revisions presented by the planning commission, but the 2021 LUC remains in effect. Following the public hearing, the BOCC directed staff to prepare a redline version of the 2021 LUC showing changes up to and including the February 27 BOCC work session. The BOCC and the planning department met in a work session on Wednesday, March 9 to consider the revisions based on the comments received, hoping to create a code that is fair to everyone and reflective of the direction the BOCC wants for Delta County.

The BOCC is developing a draft that will be submitted to the Delta County Planning Commission to review. The planning commission has up to 30 days to review the recommendations and either support, reject, or suggest changes. The ultimate goal is to adopt changes intended to encourage economic development and streamline the land use code by making the overall process more efficient and consistent.

“This is an important step toward removing bureaucratic impediments in our land-use processes,” said Wendell Koontz, chair of the Delta County Commissioners. “Our goal is to stimulate economic development and meet our responsibilities for health, safety, and welfare for our county, but in a way that says we are still a county fully dedicated to our agricultural landowners and all residents of Delta County.”

Delta County wants to be clear that the BOCC is not considering repealing the 2021 LUC. However, the county continues to listen to residents and encourages anyone concerned about specific aspects of the revision and how they might be affected to submit their comments to the planning department.

A public hearing on the Land Use Code revisions will be held at a later date to be determined and publicized to allow time for the commission and board to review any amendments to the 2021 Land Use Code. The next work session with the BOCC and the planning department will be Wednesday, March 15, from 1:30 to 3:00 pm. This is open to the public and will be held at 560 Dodge Street, Delta.

For information about the land use code and public meeting schedule, please visit our website at