Master plan update to begin

By Hank Lohmeyer


The first steps are being taken toward updating the county's master plan.

At their July 20 meeting, Delta County Planning Commission members reviewed the draft of a request for proposals (RFP) which, when finalized, will be sent to professional consultants and planning firms which can lead and coordinate the process of updating the county's master plan.

"The purpose of this [RFP] is to receive competitive proposals from qualified planning individuals and consultant teams who are interested in carrying out an update to the Delta County Master Plan which was last updated 1996," states the introduction.

At the planning commission meeting last week, discussion focused on having an open, inclusive, broadbased, and grassroots process that will involve citizens from all areas of the county who have input they want to offer.

"The county of Delta puts strong emphasis on ensuring participation of citizens at every stage of the decision making," states the RFP. It advises that broad participation "is paramount to the success of the plan update."

A number of problems with the county's current master plan and the planning process came to light during the Powell Mesa chicken barn controversy that was finally settled by the Colorado Supreme Court. A district court decision revealed confusion over whether the master plan is an advisory document or a statement of county planning regulation.

According to the tentative schedule, the county is aiming to issue its RFP early in August. The process for selecting a consultant to coordinate the update is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 21.

The RFP describes the selection process as "a group of county staff and planning commission members [that] will be assembled to serve as the plan update selection committee and review the submitted RFPs based on predetermined evaluation criteria." The selection committee will evaluate proposals received from planning consultants and planning firms using established evaluation criteria. The evaluation criteria used by the selection committee to evaluate proposals are based on a points system as follows: project team qualifications and experience 20 points; proposed methodology and approach, 20 points; understanding Delta County, 20 points; time frame and completion date, 20 points; and proposed fees and costs, 20 points.