The Delta County master plan project came to Cedaredge on May 17.
Planners held two sessions at the Community (Civic) Center during which the public gave input on the process and issues.
The larger of the two gatherings involved use of small group sessions tasked with "visioning" their ideas for the county 15 years into the future.
That session was proceeded by individual interviews on specific planning issues where a top concern with people was the importance of agriculture to the county's economy and to quality of life for the open space it provides.
Other issues and themes the public raised during the "land owner drop-in events" included the following:
• Concerns about the "gentrification of the county" becoming a means of driving out "undesirables." People need freedom to do different things on their property in order to make a living. Selective enforcement of overly complex land use rules can be used to achieve sociopolitical ends. People need freedom to live life for themselves and their families while not harming others.
• Agriculture is vitally important to the county's economy and lifestyle and needs to stay strong. Delta County needs to stay a "right to farm" county. Multiple use on federal lands is essential.
• Zoning means telling neighbors how they can live. Zoning can also protect some types of property rights and uses.
• The county needs "well thought-out" zoning with prescribed uses. The county's specific development code has become a forum for conflict and not for mitigation as it was intended. Zoning will be a very complex issue. Building codes are needed.
• There is opposition to regulations that restrict agriculture. Delta County is one of the very few places in the country that currently is not overburdened with regulation and bureaucracy.
• The county's current system of APC and planning commission review works fine, but it fails when the county commissioners fail to follow the recommendations. Real estate agents need to inform their customers about the right to farm. County building codes are not needed because there are state codes for electrical and plumbing and county inspections for septics which must be engineered; people can have houses inspected before purchasing them.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.