On August 16, 2016 the Colorado Department of Local Affairs invited the Town of Palisade to enter into a contract for a grant in the amount of $25,000 to complete an update of the Town’s Zoning (Land Development) Code in place since the summer of 2008. As a condition of the grant, the Town would match $25,000 of the cost to develop the new code. The contract was initiated by the State with the Town on September 9 with an expiration date of August 31, 2017. In August of 2017 the expiration date was extended 90 days to November 30, 2017. RFP A request for proposals was presented in October of 2016 seeking qualified land use and zoning consultants to develop a new “well-organized” Land Development Code. The request identified the major shortcomings of the existing code to include a general lack of organization; some conflicting language; and a general lack of clarity in the administration of the regulations.” The request was sent to twenty two professional firms in the State and was advertised on the National American Planning Association (APA) website and the Colorado APA website. Four proposals were received on the deadline of December 8, 2016. Interviews were conducted in January of this year and on January 11 a selection committee recommended the Town enter into a professional agreement with Greg Moberg to re-write the Land Development Code. Project: Work on the new Land Development Code was initiated at the February 6 Planning Commission meeting. The consultant presented the anticipated process and timeline for completing the project. The following month, the consultant presented a Community Evaluation Report to the Planning Commissioners. He clarified that the purpose of the report was to review trends and key issues affecting the Town before changes were made to the code. Specifically the report included an analysis of land use, zoning, transportation, demographics, building and construction, revenues, parks and recreation, community facilities and existing plans and studies. Between the spring and summer the Planning Commission worked with the consultant at five separate mid-month workshop sessions. At each session, changes were presented to the Planning Commission for consideration and discussion. A final draft was completed in August for public review and comments. The draft ordinance was available for review on the Town’s website for three months. It was also distributed to the Board of Trustees and the Planning Commissioners and was available for public review at the Town Hall. During the public review period, the draft was presented by the consultant at an Open House held at the Community Center on the night of Wednesday, September 27. The draft was again presented by the consultant at a joint meeting of the Planning Commission and Board of Trustees on the evening of October 30, 2017. Summary of Modifications: A summary of the Draft Land Development Code was prepared by the consultant at the October open house. The summary identified the following modifications between the 2008 Code and the 2017 Code: - Improvement of Formatting and Structure: - Articles, sections and illustrations are “better organized and easier to understand and much more user-friendly.” - Modification of Processes: - “Create, Clarify and streamline current process and procedures” by establishing more administrative approvals. - Clarification of Review Procedures: “Common review procedures that apply to all types of development applications have been identified.” - Addition of R.O.W. / Easement Vacation Process: Added a new process to allow the efficient processing of obsolete public right-of-way and easements. Source: Greg Moberg - Reduction of number of Zoning Districts: Removed unnecessary and redundant zoning districts. - Improvement of Dimensional Standards: Removed unnecessary building coverage and building separation requirements; Reduced Density for AFT zoning, Reduced Lot requirements for some residential districts to match density standards. - Improvement of Use Table: Incorporated use groups into use table. - Reduction of Dwelling Unit Sizes: Allows more variety of housing. - Improvement of Parking Standards: Reduced excessive aisle width requirements. - Simplification of bicycle storage standards: Modified language to make the standard easier to understand and manage. - Improvement of Landscaping Standards: Modified language to reflect landscape industry standards (caliper/canopy/container size). - Reduction of the number of Landscape Buffer classifications: Removed the third option as it was unnecessary leaving the three classifications. - Modification of Sign Regulations: Eliminated “content based” signage standards following judicial mandates (U.S. Supreme Court – Reed v Town of Gilbert). - Addition of digital brightness standards: Added standards that limit digital sign illumination at night. - Expansion of allowances for maintenance of non-conforming structures: Removed excessive language that prohibited the normal maintenance of non-conforming structures that could accelerate structure deterioration. PUBLIC HEARINGS: The new Land Development Code was formally considered by the Planning Commission during a public hearing at its regular meeting of November 6. The new Land Development Code and the Planning Commission’s recommendation for adoption will be considered by the Board of Trustees at the regular meeting of November 14. The Board may adopt the new land development code subject to incorporating any possible changes that are identified at that meeting or as recommended by the Planning Commission. The consultant will present the final draft at the hearings with some modifications that address recommendations from the Town Attorney. The Town Attorney’s review comments are included as an attachment to this report.
In an effort to be an unbiased source of information, all text in this summary comes directly from government resources.