Alpine Public Hearing tomorrow, Tuesday ~ 7/19/16

The Ouray County Planning Commission has completed a draft proposal for regulations in the High Country, and it now moves to a public hearing on Tuesday July 19 7:00pm at the 4-H Center. This hearing will determine the proposed regulations that will be forwarded to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). The BOCC will then schedule their own public hearing in late August when a final decision will be made.

Should you wish to say something, here are a couple of key points:

  • Any development in the alpine tundra ecosystem is unacceptable both visually and ecologically.
  • Tourism is the cornerstone of our economy and the high country is the unique asset that brings tourists to our county. Marring our alpine vistas with significant development would jeopardize that tourist draw, especially since our neighboring counties have enacted fairly strong regulations.
  • In some areas, the proposed 5 acre minimum parcel size could result in the kind of density present in Log Hill Village but with less tree cover. We should be advocating for a larger minimum, say, 10+ acres.
  • Pay close attention to the square footage allowance and the bonus allowances and decide how you feel about those numbers. (24.3 D2 & D3 in the proposed regs). Development rights retired for greater square footage should be “buildable” parcels.

You can read the entire Planning Commission’s Draft – Clean Version of Section 24 proposal by clicking here. (Scroll through to about page 16 or 17.) Here are some highlights that are included in the Planning Commission’s draft proposal to the BOCC:

  • No residential building in the delicate tundra ecosystem.
  • Minimum parcel size is 5 acres above 9500ft.
  • Maximum height of 25 ft.
  • Maximum residence size is 1000 sq ft with the possibility of increasing the size up to 2500 ft by meeting certain criteria. ie: An additional 500 square feet of floor area may be allowed for each development right retired in perpetuity on a contiguous developable (5 acres or more) parcel(s) in the High Alpine Area.
  • There is no guarantee of public services, emergency services or any county services to these isolated areas.
  • No accessory dwelling units are allowed.
  • Mining is a use by right and will be preserved with this proposal.
  • Restates that access to existing public trails must not be obstructed.
  • The PC proposal is as stringent as San Juan County and San Miguel regulations.


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