La Plata County is working on the land use code revision project as a county-led effort that draws on internal resources, reviews of land use codes from similar counties in Colorado, and existing work products to craft a code that works for La Plata County. There are a number of policy issues that the Board of County Commissioners will give staff direction on how to address in the code revision process. The Board of County commissioners is considering these policy questions and will be providing staff direction after seeking public input on each of the issues, as well as considering best practices from a staff review of land use regulations in six other Colorado counties.
One of the most critical policy topics the Board of County Commissioners will consider is zoning, and we want your input to help guide the direction given to staff on how the revised land use code contemplates zoning. This survey is designed to capture opinions about zoning and land use in order to help inform the Board of County Commissioners decision-making on land use regulations.
The survey utilizes an Agriculture Plus zone district to demonstrate the potential uses and processes that could be implemented through zoning, and seek feedback on the concept. It is not intended to capture feedback on all potential zone districts - but to inform the Board of County Commissioners' direction to staff on how zoning and the associated approval processes should be addressed in the revised land use code. It is not intended to function as a ballot or referendum on zoning. 

Background documents
Agriculture Plus Zone District (memo)
Overlay Zone Districts (memo)
Euclidean Zoning Policy Considerations
(memo)
Zoning Comparison Exercise
Comparative Zoning Model
Potential Problems with Euclidean Zoning (memo)
Policy Consideration for Non-Conformities (memo)
Legal Overview of Zoning's Purpose & Implementation (memo)
Zoning Classification Implications on Tax Assessment (memo)

Please provide your fee
Click here to view survey results

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* 1. How important is it to you to know, PRIOR to applying for a land use permit, what types of uses are allowable on your property?
Under the current La Plata County Land Use Code, most proposed developments require an in-depth compatibility analysis, with input from neighbors, Planning staff, the Planning Commission, and ultimately a decision from the Board of County Commissioners - before the applicant knows whether a project is allowed. Euclidean Zoning would introduce allowable uses at the front end of the process and provide increased certainty.

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* 2. When considering La Plata County's role in land use planning, should the county be:

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* 3. How important is it to you that the uses around your property largely remain the same?

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* 4. How important is it to you to have input on the type and intensity of land use allowed on neighboring properties?

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* 5. Please help us understand your opinions about how property rights, preservation of agriculture, and economic development should be addressed by the La Plata County Land Use Code by evaluating the following statements:

  True False No opinion
Preservation of agriculture, even if it means restricting uses, is more important than maximizing the allowable land uses on agriculture properties
Expediting the land use permitting process is essential to economic development in La Plata County
Ensuring an agriculture family's right to maximize use of land is more important than preserving agriculture in La Plata County
It is important to ensure that there is available land to accommodate new or expanding businesses in unincorporated La Plata County
Designating land uses is appropriate, however calling it zoning is not
Protecting private property rights to the maximum extent possible should be the primary goal of land use regulation, even if it means agricultural uses are no longer preserved
It is appropriate to have mid- to high-intensity commercial or industrial uses adjacent to residential properties
The nature of agricultural production is changing and flexible growth management techniques must recognize and be proactive to these changes
Water, sewer and road access should influence the types and intensity of land uses for a property
Providing businesses with certainty about where they can locate or expand will help economic development in La Plata County
Agricultural land should be protected and preserved in large contiguous blocks in order to maintain a "critical mass" of farms and agricultural land

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* 6. Agricultural Plus District: Uses by right
La Plata County is considering a land use category referred to as "AgPlus," and offers the category as an example of both the uses and the processes associated with a land use designation.
Properties within this classification would have both "uses by right" and "accessory uses. Uses by right would include traditional agriculture activities as well as hybrid agricultural activities that are directly related to the principal traditional agricultural activity. Uses in this category are reasonably necessary to the principal agricultural use. 

"By right" refers to uses requiring a certificate of compliance, with no public hearing required.

Please indicate your opinion on the proposed uses allowable by right on agricultural property
Refer to the Agriculture Plus Zone District memo for definitions

  Suitable for agricultural properties Too intense for agricultural properties
Farm/ranch
Sod farm
Tree farm
Equine or llama activities
Grain storage facilities
Small-scale processing facilities
Greenhouse
Storage of motorized and non-motorized farm & ranching equipment
Farm machinery repair
Direct market business
Agricultural research facility
Home occupation

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* 7. What additional uses, commonly associated with agricultural properties, should be added to the AgPlus list?

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* 8. Which, if any, of uses listed above in AgPlus should be removed? 

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* 9. Given the uses listed above under Ag Plus, is the "by right" review process:

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* 10. Agricultural Plus District: Accessory uses - administrative review 
Those uses that would be considered “accessory” under the AgPlus category are uses that are secondary and subordinate to the principal ag use rather than an integral part of the ag use. All accessory uses/structure will be subject to some limitations and the underlying agricultural property must comprise at least 10 acres”

"Administrative Review" refers to a review and decision made by the director of planning or his/her designee

Please indicate your opinion on the proposed accessory uses allowable after administrative review agricultural property
Refer to the Agriculture Plus Zone District memo for definitions

  Suitable for agricultural properties of 10 acres or more Too intense for agricultural properties of 10 acres or more
Farm stand
Agritourism enterprise 
Bed and breakfast facilities
Wineries, cideries and distilleries
Tastings 
Sales rooms
Public livestock or farm implement auction/market
Farm machinery sales and rentals
Family child care home or State licensed child care center
State licensed group home
Assisted living residence
Veterans assistance program

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* 11. Which, if any, of uses listed above in AgPlus: Accessory Uses should be removed? 

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* 12. What additional uses, commonly associated with agricultural properties, should be added to the AgPlus: Accessory Uses list?

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* 13. Given the uses listed above under Ag Plus, is the "administrative" review process:

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* 14. Overlay Zones
Overlay zones address special land use circumstances or environmental safeguards (e.g., hillside, steep slope, and erosion control) and additional requirements are superimposed over the underlying zoning district The following overlay zone areas were developed at the request of the Board of County Commissioners to address specific and unique areas of concerns within the community. 


Cooperative Planning Area (CPA)
Floodplain Hazard Area (FHA)
Geologic Hazard Area (GHA)
Airport Safety Area (ASA)
Transportation Protection Area (TPA)
Mineral Resource Area (MRA)
Please refer to the Overlay Zones memo for definitions and applicability for these overlays.

Commissioners are considering two additional overlay zones:
Wildland Urban Interface (WUI)
The purpose of the WUI is for the safeguarding of life and property from the intrusion of fire from wildland fire exposures and fire exposures from adjacent structures, and to prevent structure fires from spreading to wildland fuels. This overlay would apply to lands that are identified as “higher risk” in the La Plata County Community Wildfire Protection Plan.

Gateway Preservation Area (GPA)
The purpose of the GPA is to maintain and protect significant view corridors by applying design standards that recognize and preserve unique scenic qualities. This overlay applies to properties along and adjacent to US 550 from the county line with San Juan, south to highway mile marker 36.7 (where the train tracks go under US 550).

Please provide your feedback on these two proposed overlay zones.

  Inappropriate or unnecessary to protect specific resources  Will have no affect on protecting specific resources Appropriate and/or necessary to protecting specific resources No opinion/don't know
Wildland Urban Interface (WUI)
Gateway Preservation Area (GPA)

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* 15. Contact information

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* 16. What Planning Area is your primary residence?
Unincorporated La Plata County is divided into 12 Planning Areas (Districts). Please identify which area is your primary residence. If you do not know your planning area, visit this page to find out: What's my area?

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* 17. How much land do you own or lease?

  Less than 1 acre 1-3 acres 3-10 acres 10-35 acres 35+ acres I don't own or lease land in La Plata County
One parcel
Two parcels
Three parcels
Four or more parcels

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* 18. What types of projects/uses have you brought through the La Plata County land use process in the past 10 years? (click all that apply)

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