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County ‘Road Show’ to gather planning information

The Archuleta County Development Services Planning Department traveling “Road Show” will soon hit the road, featuring a number of community meetings sponsored by the department and the Archuleta County Planning Commission.

The department will use the meetings as a chance “to be proactive, instead of reactive” and to discuss issues pertaining to the various “communities.”

The department and commission have decided to hold a series of community-based work sessions around the county throughout 2010 to discuss zoning, land use and other enforcement and development issues, which Senior Planner Cindy Schultz said officials anticipate a quiet year in terms of the number of proposals brought before them.

The intent of the work session series is twofold, said Director of County Development Rick Bellis.

The first reason is that some areas of the county have more interest in specific sections of the Land Use Code than others; the second is to help the commission update the Community Plan and zoning map.

The commission hopes to receive community input for “neighborhood-based” plans that would be included in an updated, overall community plan and help guide future land use and zoning changes.

A press release notes: “There is a fine distinction between the vision itself (what may be expressed in the Community Plan, for example) and the tools with which to achieve those goals — typically through Official Zoning, Land Use Regulations and Building Codes.”

The commission also hopes including neighborhood plans in the community plan will allow for more customized zoning to accommodate varied neighborhood visions, Bellis said, comparing a more recreation-oriented community near Navajo Lake to an area such as the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association.

“It’s a very diverse county, more than most,” Bellis said.

All meetings are tentative and subject to change based on a number of factors, but are listed as follows with the location and areas affected:

• Jan. 28 — Arboles, County Road and Bridge facility, for property owners notified by postcard and south-central Archuleta County (time, date and location confirmed).

• Feb. 25 — Aspen Springs, for Aspen Springs subdivisions and Archuleta County west of Aspen Springs to the western county border.

• March 25 — Chromo, for the Chromo area and southeastern Archuleta County.

• April 22 — PLPOA, for PLPOA member subdivisions.

• May 27 — County Fairgrounds, for properties east of U.S. 84 and south midway to Chromo.

• June 24 — County Courthouse, for all other areas not covered by earlier meetings.

Following the community meetings, the commission will hold meetings to draft proposed changes deemed necessary at the meetings and present the proposed changes to the communities:

• July 26 — County courthouse, presentation and consideration of staff report, planning commission work session.

• Aug. 26 — County courthouse, public work session (optional).

• September — Weekly presentations by staff back to community groups of finding and draft community plans and any resulting proposed code and zoning recommendations.

• Oct. 28 — County courthouse, planning commission public hearing, final draft presentation and public comment.

Dec. 16 — County courthouse, special Board of County Commissioners’ meeting and public hearing to receive public, staff and planning commission recommendations.

Regular business meetings of the commission, to hear applications, will be held the second Thursday of each month.