County planning department schedules public education session

The Archuleta County Planning Department is holding a public education session at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, at the county courthouse.

The purpose of the session is to share the outcome of that past months’ work on the Urban Service Area (USA) project.

This project began as an attempt to identify potential areas for intensified development. This intensified development would entail increased residential density in potential infill areas and may include neighborhood level commercial uses similar to those currently allowed under the existing county Land Use Code.

The Archuleta County Planning Commission began work on this project in March 2008 and examined several layers of information to determine appropriateness of lands for consideration as infill-type development. These map layers highlighted availability of critical services such as water and sewer, and fire protection, access to arterial roads, and existing density.

Community participation is a key element in the land use planning process; public comment is taken into consideration.

A zoning plan that follows an aging Community Plan, makes an update of that Community Plan necessary. However, with current constraints, a full plan update is not feasible.

This Urban Service Area project would provide an additional tool to the planning commission for use in its work to make well-informed land use decisions.

The educational session will provide the public with information on the effects any changes would have in Archuleta County. The following week, a public hearing will be held to take public comment on the plan.

USA schedule/timetable

Completed items:

• Define criteria for inclusion in USA, define goal of USA.

• Identify and prioritize (Tier I, Tier II) potential development areas.

• Review, amend and accept staff progress report on USA, summarize decisions to date.

Established Tier III criteria.

• Approve draft report, schedule public hearing(s).

• Review and accept Final Draft; OK public dissemination.

• Stakeholders and experts input and comment session.

Upcoming items:

• Review and accept final draft following stakeholder input,

• Oct. 15, 2008 — public education session.

• Oct. 22, 2008 — Public hearing, public comment and input.

• Oct. 29, 2008 — Planning commission to direct staff to incorporate comments to final draft. Adopt final draft.

• Nov. 5, 2008 — Planning commission to review staff report, consider procedures and timetable for revised Community Plan, if needed. Provide further direction to staff.

For more information, contact the planning department at 731-3877, or