County commissioners Doug Atchley, Don Suppes and Mark Roeber met with members of the Delta County Planning Commission Oct. 17 at the Maloney House in Hotchkiss in preparation for the land use code update and restructuring of the planning commission.
County planning commission members are: from District 1, Angela Mackey, vice chair, Steve Schrock and Steve Shea; from District 2, Layne Brones, Tate Locke, Lucinda Stanley; from District 3, Tony Prendergast, Kim Shay, Bob Stechert, chair.
In regard to the land use code update, Elyse Casselberry, county community and economic development director, reported that the two working groups formed after adoption of the Master Plan will be presenting their reports in the near future.
The Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) working group has completed its meetings and its report is being compiled.
The Oil and Gas Working Group will have its final formal meeting on Nov. 29.
Both working groups will participate in a joint meeting with county commissioners and planning commission members soon, at which time the land use process will begin.
Casselberry said the Master Plan and working group processes have provided tremendous GIS data. The county has not evaluated land use regulations since the 1970s.
The consultant RPI took the lead role in outreach and gathering data during the Master Plan process.
Commissioner Atchley said the county is very confident in having the current county staff lead the land use planning process, although the consultant attorney will play a major role.
Commissioner Suppes noted the commissioners and staff had an hour long conversation with the consultant attorney that morning and he has the needed base of knowledge and experience in drawing up land use regulations in counties similar to Delta County.
Tony Prendergast asked if the public will be involved in the process of drawing up the land use regulations. The commissioners and Casselberry said the public will be involved.
The need for a water working group was discussed by all present, including the complexity of identifying how many sources and providers of water are currently part of Delta County's efforts. Atchley said that was part of the discussion between the county and the consultant held that day. Suppes said it may come down to a regional map for water sources.
Regarding restructuring of the planning commission, area planning committees will no longer be part of the planning process. Instead, the planning commission will be restructured to include nine members and three associate members, beginning in January. Associate members will not vote except in the absence of a member.
Bob Stechert, planning commission chairman, noted benefits of having associate members: there will always be a quorum present, and the associate members will provide better continuity for the planning commission. All three county commissioners agreed.