County pushes back hearing on zoning amendments after concerns
Plans to amend zoning regulations related to private camping and storage in unincorporated Grand County hit a snag this week after several local residents raised concerns.
Under amendments proposed by the county, private camping would become a permitted use in all Grand County zoning districts, on parcels of land 35 acres or greater. The proposed amendments would also allow for indoor and outdoor storage facilities to be a use-by-right within the county’s business district zone.
County commissioners on Tuesday reviewed the proposed changes during a public hearing, as well as hearing input from residents.
Joan Lyons, planner with the Grand County Community Development Department, said that the proposed changes to the private camping regulations were prompted by an influx of calls and complaints to the county regarding private camping on private land.
Input from numerous county residents was heard during the meeting, with the majority of concerns related to the specific verbiage changes the county has proposed as amendments.
Local resident Stan Spencer, who submitted to the county a six-page letter of opposition to the proposed amendments prior to Tuesday’s hearing, voiced that he was concerned the county would adopt amendments that allow private camping, on parcels of land 35 acres or greater, within all zoning districts in the county, including residential districts, as a use-permitted, which doesn’t require review by the county, rather than as a use permitted by special review.
Lyons, in a response to Spencer’s concerns, noted that changes to the verbiage in the amendments are intended to separate the county’s regulation of camping areas from private camping and that private camping would be defined by supplementary regulations.
Further concerns raised by Spencer included the removal of several conditions the commissioners are compelled to consider when approving or denying special-use permits related to indoor storage facilities.
The proposed amendments, according to Spencer, would remove conditions covering proximity of the property to adjacent uses, visibility and the health, safety and welfare of Grand County citizens, along with several other conditions that were removed.
Lyons said the striking of that language was a recommendation from the Grand County Planning Commission, as the removed language was found to be redundant because it is covered by superseding regulations that require mandatory consideration of those same issues regarding all special-use applications.
“The planning commissioner and board of county commissioners will always consider these issues when reviewing a special-use permit,” Lyons indicated.
Local resident Mandy Hanifen added that she concurred with Spencer, and suggested to Lyons that the language should be “cleaned up.”
“There is some ambiguity there,” Hanifen commented.
The commissioners did not approve the amended regulations Tuesday, and instead continued the public hearing until April 23.
“I think we need to wait,” Grand County Commissioner Rich Cimino said. “I appreciate the effort and work. We are not voting at this time. We will reschedule this and there will be another opportunity to hear all comments.”
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