Thank you to everyone who participated in the first round of public comment and review, of the proposed land use regulations.
Two topics were the focus of most of the comments received; Urban Growth Area districts as well as Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).
We heard from numerous property owners within the areas designated as the Urban Growth Area district. This is a zone district that was designed to reflect the Urban Growth Management Areas that each of the municipalities have identified as a part of their long range plans for potential future annexation. Many property owners expressed concern for being zoned Urban Growth Area instead of agriculture, and the potential impact that this designation could have on their agricultural operations.
The second topic we received numerous comments on was Intensive Agriculture, also known as CAFOs or confined animal feeding operations. We heard from several individuals that they believe the proposed regulations are not restrictive enough, and that the regulations will not protect public health. We also heard the opposite; that the proposed regulations go too far. Some of our ranching community expressed concern that their operations could be considered Intensive Agriculture.You can view all of the comments received here.
The County Commissioners have spent the last few weeks reviewing the comments and discussing edits to the draft land use code, and zoning maps. A revised draft has been completed and is now available for you to review here. Updated zoning maps can be viewed here. All revisions made are redlined to help you identify where changes were made.
Based on input the following edits have been made:
Reorganized the Intensive Agricultural standards and criteria into Chapter 2 Section 5 to make them easier to follow. An overview of how the regulations will apply to applications for each type of Intensive Agricultural operation can be found here. This overview helps answer questions and respond to many of the comments received.
Clarified the definition of Intensive Agriculture. Ranching operations that move livestock from winter and summer pastures are exempted from the definition of Intensive Agriculture, even if they are temporarily confining animals due to adverse conditions or breeding stock.
Changed the process requirements for several land uses in the Table 2b, moving several land uses from Permitted (P) to Limited Use review (L), and Limited Use review (L) to Conditional review (C). This will increase the amount of review for these uses.
Made notice to adjacent property owners mandatory instead of at the discretion of the Planning Director for more uses listed as Limited Use (L).
Reduced the amount of properties zoned Urban Growth Area. This will not change the Urban Growth Management Areas identified in the municipalities in their planning documents, and it will not change the Intergovernmental Agreements we have in place. Read our FAQ about the Urban Growth Area and our agreements with the municipalities here.
Updated mapping of the area around the Bowie Mine designating the current mine as RI/C.
Added language and a set of design guidelines regarding irrigation for subdivisions.
The County will host another round of open houses on August 17th to go over the second draft of the land use code. More information on the open houses is available here.
Public comments on the second Draft Land Use Code are due by August 21st to DeltaCountyLandUse@deltacounty.com.
The Planning Commission will begin reviewing the 2nd Draft starting August 12th and continuing August 26th, to develop recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners. The Planning Commission will then certify a final draft of the land use code, and that draft will then be scheduled for a public hearing with the County Commissioners in September. All Planning Commission meetings are open to the public. The public may attend in person, but must wear a mask. The public can also participate virtually. Information on how to participate virtually will be available on the Planning Commission Agenda here.
Once scheduled, the date of the public hearing with the County Commissioners will be noticed in the paper and on the County's website. We will also share that information through our email list, social media, and press releases.