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La Plata County releases long-awaited updates to land-use codes

Codes have not been updated since the 1980s
Long-awaited updates that will significantly revise La Plata County’s land-use code have arrived.

Long-awaited updates that will significantly revise La Plata County’s land-use code have arrived.

The La Plata County Planning Department recently released the first draft module of the revised code, which is now open for public review and suggestions for improvement.

The county’s land-use codes have not been updated since the 1980s, said county spokeswoman Megan Graham. This update will introduce a completely new format and concepts.

“This gets at the notion of what land uses will be in the county in a lot more of a concrete way than our previous code does,” she said.

Most notably, the new codes introduce zoning in the county, which currently does not exist.

“By doing so, you offer folks a lot more certainty and straight-away options for what people can do with property,” Graham said. “Right now, there’s very little our code allows you to build without having to go through our process.”

Module 1 deals with land use. Module 2 is concerned with public process. And Module 3 will involve development standards.

Public meetings next week will address the code:

10 a.m. Tuesday, Board of County Commissioners meeting, 1101 East Second Ave.6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Durango Public Library, 1900 East Third Ave., public hearing.5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Durango Public Library, 1900 East Third Ave., public hearing.Suggestions can also be made by email to NewCode@co.laplata.co.us. The Planning Department is taking comments until Jan. 12.

“We really encourage people to read the code,” Graham said. “Look what’s in there and give us suggestions to make it better.”

The code is available for review here: http://bit.ly/2AILR5l.

jromeo@durangoherald.com

This article has been updated to correct comments made by La Plata County spokeswoman Megan Graham, who said existing land-use codes allow minimal building without going through an approval process.

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