Planning commission suggests town board approve new land-use, development codes
A resolution recommending an overhaul of the town of Fraser’s land use and development codes was unanimously approved by the Fraser Planning Commission Wednesday during a joint hearing with the Fraser Board of Trustees.
The purpose of the revision is to create new regulations that are easy to understand and reference, and reduce the regulatory barriers to development, according to the town.
The process began in late September with joint work sessions between the planning commission and town board, as well as a series of stakeholder interviews.
“A couple things stood out from those interviews,” said Colleen Hannon, a consultant from West Slope Recourse Development who is working on the project. “One was just confusion, and a lack of understanding for applicants. … There should be some strength in the regulations that allow any person to understand them.”
Hannon admitted understanding the regulations are probably easy for an engineer, developer or surveyor, but for a homeowner, or someone wanting to start a new business, they’re not always sure where to start.
The new code would consolidate all land-use related regulations — annexation, zoning, subdivisions, building regulations — into one document for the ease of use. The new code would also add a number of graphics and pictures to help with comprehension.
The proposed update would repeal chapters 15, 16 and 17, along with Article 4 of chapter 18 from the Fraser Municipal Code, and replace them with a new Chapter 19 and four appendices.
Martin Landers, the project lead from Plan Tools, LLC in Loveland, gave a presentation at the meeting Wednesday evening regarding the planned changes to content. He emphasized that the consulting team made every effort to avoid complexity, and dove into a myriad of altercations.
Changes to the code ranged from relatively minor altercations like consolidation of regulations, removal of redundancies and refining definitions to more substantial amendments like the addition of a trade industry district, designating a formal open-space district and updating zoning maps.
On top of land-use and development codes, the update will also address parking, signage, flood damage preventions, two new overlay districts and more. The appendices address application and submittal information, subdivision improvement agreements and construction guarantee agreements.
The code update will go in front of the Fraser Board of Trustees for final approval March 21.
“People shouldn’t have to always go to a staff person or an engineer to understand the regulations,” said Hannon. “So how can the regulations be more self-explanatory, streamlined and simpler to understand? We want to try and address both standards and the process.”
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