Grand County wants new master plan meetings that aren’t ‘leading’ |

Grand County wants new master plan meetings that aren’t ‘leading’

Tonya Bina
Grand County, Colorado

Grand County, Colorado, commissioners expressed dissatisfaction with the third and final set of master-plan public meetings, saying they felt they were “leading.”

In a visit with commissioners to address complaints, Mimi Mather, president of the consulting firm Shapins Belt Collins of Boulder in charge of compiling master-plan data, said the meeting facilitator from the firm who volunteered information during presentation of survey questions in the final set of meetings will no longer be working in that capacity. He is now “helping behind the scenes,” she said.

Recently, commissioners said they were concerned the facilitator’s presentations and the way he conducted meetings could have influenced citizen feedback.

The third set of master plan meetings, which took place in Winter Park, Granby and Kremmling Sept. 23-25, may not accurately reflect citizens’ perceptions because that facilitator set up questions with doses of conjecture, they said.

Commissioner Gary Bumgarner suggested the meetings be redone.

Mather said Monday that she and Justin Atherton-Wood henceforth are conducting Grand County’s master plan meetings.

“The county commissioners expressed concern that the public’s voice wasn’t being heard and wasn’t being incorporated into the plan,” Mather said. “We admit that there were some issues with facilitating the meetings. They maybe weren’t run as diplomatically or as smoothly as they could have been, but the plan still very much does incorporate public feedback.”

Mather pointed out that upwards of 60 percent of plan participants said they felt public input was reflected in what will be a draft county master plan.

“This is not a plan we as consultants are imposing on Grand County. It is growing organically from the people ” from public input,” Mather said.

To make up for any distrust in the process, the firm plans to invite Grand County citizens to another meeting, slated for December, which would include members of the Master Plan Citizens Advisory Committee.

Until then, the firm’s planning consultants will be meeting with town representatives to work on growth-area boundaries, outlining potential collaborations between towns and the county about where future development should be steered.

This 2008 update of the county master plan is treating Grand County as three distinct areas similar to commissioner districts.

Shapins Belt Collins will be developing a draft master plan to be completed by the first part of next year. After that, there will be master-plan workshops with the county planning commission, the governing body that assures that growth and development are consistent with the master plan.

The final draft will be presented to county planing commissioners for approval. All hearings on the master plan are public, and input for the plan can be conveyed to elected officials and the county planning staff throughout the process.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail

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