Changes eyed in development process

By Hank Lohmeyer


The Board of County Commissioners is considering an ordinance that will apply to new residential or commercial construction in the county.

The ordinance would establish the Delta County Health Department as the office where application for a county septic system permit is made.

Currently, application for a county septic system permit takes place at the end of the county's four-step development application process and involves the planning department.

Delta County Environmental health director Ken Nordstrom explained that since the county planning department is closed on Fridays, people seeking septic system permit applications on that day will find that using the health department office is far easier.

The ordinance commissioners have scheduled for consideration on Oct. 3, Ordinance 2016-01, is otherwise a re-adoption of a 2012 ordinance that established the county's current development application process. The development application applies to new residential or commercial construction within the unincorporated area of Delta County.

Under the readopted ordinance to be considered on Oct. 3, the four-step development application process would still begin in the planning department with a site plan review. The site plan review has been in place as part of the county's development process since 2012. Its purpose is "to ensure compliance with the permitting process as set forth in the ordinance, and to encourage quality development reflective of the goals, policies and objectives of the Delta County development process." The site plan is taken under consideration by the county planning department.

Following "completion of an initial site plan review," the county development application process proceeds as follows: obtaining a county road access permit; obtaining a county address permit; and obtaining a county septic system permit, called an on-site wastewater treatment system (OWTS) permit.

The county's four-step development application process requires the site plan approval and permits for road access, address and septic in that specific order; however, the process "is not limited" to those requirements.

According to the ordinance, "An applicant may apply for any or all of the above county permits depending on the applicant's needs; however, proof of approved county permits must be provided in order to obtain the next permit."

If road access involves a state highway, CDOT approval may be necessary.

When the county's current development application permit process was adopted in 2012, one of its main provisions was a new requirement that all new septic systems installed in the unincorporated area be designed by a professional engineer. That requirement is carried forward

ward in the ordinance that commissioners will consider on Oct. 3.

Addition of a "site plan review" to the county development process requires that a site plan show the perimeter boundary with dimensions; total acreage; a north arrow; the location and number of all structures and proposed structures; distance to boundary from each structure and proposed structure; location of easements and their dimensions; location of any streams ditches, streams wells, rivers, or any waterway; name and location of all roads bordering; distances of existing and proposed accesses; building envelopes, location so existing or proposed septic systems. Complete requirements are available from the county planning department.

If adopted by the county commissioners as expected, the ordinance will take effect on Oct. 17.