Area Planning Commissions

DCC has presented proposals to the county representatives for implementing Area Planning Commissions (APCs) since January 2023.  APCs were in place in Delta County for over 2 decades until just before the passage of the 2021 LUC.  The APCs benefited the county and residents by:

  • Facilitating neighborhood meetings that allowed for neighbor’s questions to be answered in a low pressure environment
  • Facilitated and allowed time for some mediation and civil problem solving amongst neighbors that often avoided larger conflict or litigation later
  • Educated participants on the regulations, requirements, and proposed use or development
  • Brought localized expertise and understanding to the planning process with APC members that better knew and understood specific neighborhoods and areas
  • Helped avoid litigation in and with the county, resolving many conflicts and addressing concerns in advance before official hearings
  • Often reduced the time for many projects spent in front of the main Planning Commission in order to address all questions, details and concerns, from 2 or 3 hearings to only a single hearing

The DCC has been working with the county to explore APCs that may be considered for inclusion in the LUC.  Please contact the DCC with any input or questions regarding APCs.  If you support the APC concept, please consider contacting the commissioners with an email supporting the concept.

Colorado Considering Bills To Increase Affordable Housing

The State of Colorado is considering several new bills that would increase affordable housing and remove restrictions on: residential zoning, ADUs, multifamily developments, and unrelated persons living together in a home (Boulder currently has some of these restrictions in place).  Most of these bills would not apply to Delta County because it falls below the population thresholds to qualify.  It does indicate the state is getting serious about working on the crisis of housing affordability, and that the state is proposing to remove onerous land use restrictions on additional dwellings and affordable housing.

Colorado Proposing Regulations On Tiny Homes

The State of Colorado is proposing regulations and restrictions for tiny homes that would include imposing building codes on tiny homes in jurisdictions which do not currently have such regulations, such as Delta County.  This could affect affordable housing, and introduce additional costs and red tape to constructing tiny homes or using other prefabricated structures like barns/sheds as homes or dwellings. The state is holding a stakeholder meeting in May and accepting public input.

DCC is supporting Delta County in pushing back against state control in local land use regulation.  See a copy of the proposed regulations and how you can make comment to the state here.

Floodplain Regulations

The DCC has recently acquired and posted copies of the Delta County Floodplain regulations.  These regulations are proposed in the upcoming LUC to be referenced and applied to Allowed-by-right uses in the county.  Development permits are required in areas impacted by flood hazards.  The county states that these regulations match the federal floodplain requirements and that the county itself is fined if there are violations.  The DCC has not verified these details or yet reviewed the floodplain regulations. Please contact the DCC with any questions, input or suggestions regarding these regulations.  Copies of the regulations are posted on the DCC Resources Page in the Existing Ordinances section.

Seeking Community Input On Changes To Currently Allowed-By-Right Land Uses

Delta County Commissioners are seeking input from the public and stakeholders regarding possible additional regulations that would have far reaching impacts on the economy and way of life in Delta County.

Commissioners are currently reviewing proposals which would change the following uses from Allowed-By-Right to instead require Limited Use Permits:

  • Events, one time events, private events, event centers
  • Additional dwellings (not ADUs, but additional houses on a property eg. cabins, mother in law units, housing for kids or grandparents, affordable housing, farmworker housing etc)
  • Veterinarians
  • Community gathering spaces like granges and wedding venues
  • Duplexes (part of affordable housing)
  • Short term rentals that have more than 4 total rooms.  

The existing 2021 Land Use Code rules on page 33, in table 2B, currently designate these activities as Allowed-By-Right.  

Leading up to the February public hearing, there was a large amount of public input to the County Commissioners asking that the uses designated Allowed-By-Right in the 2021 code remain allowed-by-right.  During the development of the 2021 code, the county heavily promoted the allowed-by-right designations to protect residents property rights and property freedoms as part of the 2021 code.  

The public and stakeholders that would be affected by these changes are encouraged to contact the Board of County Commissioners right away with input on these proposed changes from Allowed-By-Right to Limited Use Permits.

Please take a few minutes today to write to the County Commissioners to let them know your thoughts on these proposed changes.  

Commissioner contact info: “Mike Lane” <>, “Don Suppes” <>, “Wendell Koontz” <>

Please also consider sending us a copy of your email at and also like and follow us on our new Facebook Page for more information and updates.

Additional Residences allowed-by-right now to require Limited Use Permits?

    During the March 22nd Board of County Commissioners Land Use Code Work Session Meeting, the BoCC proposed changing the designation in table 2B of the Land Use Code for additional dwellings on a piece of property from allowed-by-right, as it is currently designated, to a more strict and potentially costly Limited Use Permit (which could also be denied). This proposed change would impact the following uses:

    • Additional dwellings on a property, including houses, cabins, yurts, etc.
    • Duplexes (including duplexing off a basement in an existing home)
    • Multiple residences on a single property of any size

    Under the 2021 code now in effect, single family homes and all of the above uses are listed as allowed-by-right.  These uses do require address, access, septic, a permanent water source, and state electrical permitting.

    The DCC has heard from large numbers of residents who are concerned this change from allowed-by-right to Limited Use Permits for additional dwellings, duplexes and communal living would negatively affect them.  This includes additional dwellings for children, farm workers, grandparents, mother in law units, rentals, affordable housing, and caregivers.

    Allowing additional residences also supports rental income for farmers and farmworker housing that avoids splitting up family farms, when most farmers retirement funds are tied up in the farm itself.  This supports long term agriculture in Delta County.  Under the proposed code, additional residences are to avoid impacts to irrigated farm ground.

    If this proposed change is concerning to you, please consider writing a short email, even one paragraph, to all 3 county commissioners asking the Board of County Commissioners to keep additional dwellings, duplexes, and communal living allowed-by-right in Delta County in the upcoming code revision, as they currently are designated under the existing 2021 code.

    Contact information for the county commissioners: “Mike Lane” <>, “Don Suppes” <>, “Wendell Koontz” <>

    Please consider forwarding a copy of your letter to after you send it to the county.

    March 15th, 2023 BoCC Work Session Meeting

    The next Board of County Commissioners Land Use Code work session is on March 15th at 1:30pm.  These work sessions are open for public attendance but not public input.  Also, remote zoom access is not available for these meetings.  We will be attending each work session and providing updates on the LUC revision process.

    This upcoming work session will likely begin focused on allowed-by-right designations for residential, small business and other uses and the proposal to change them to “permitted” or “site plan review” instead.  This is on page 33 table 2b of the 2023-03-09 Land Use Code Working Document we received from the county upon request.  Residents concerned about the topic of allowed-by-right may contact the county commissioners via email or phone prior to the work session.

    County Position On Drone Use In Response To DCC Inquiries

    Several County Residents have reported county drone surveillance for land use code compliance already taking place over their backyards.  This has led to strong concerns regarding citizens’ basic right to privacy.  These instances of county drone surveillance have reportedly been for minor alleged violations of the existing 2021 Land Use Code, and not for serious concerns related to human health or safety.  The current 2021 Land Use Code does not allow for or provide provisions for drones.

    Note that the new draft of the County Planning Department Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) currently under review does currently include and allow drone usage.

    Responding to these concerns brought forward by the DCC, the County has now stated emphatically and asked the DCC to share the following information:

    • The county does not authorize or use drones for Land Use related matters, period.
    • The county has not and will not condone or authorize county use of drones for Land Use related matters.
    • County employees and contractors are not and will not be authorized to use personal or other drones in relation to county business or county land use matters.
    • County drones are only used over county gravel pit and county landfill and for search and rescue
    • These policies and assurances to the public regarding drones will be reflected in writing in the upcoming LUC revision and not just in office notes and office procedures

    The DCC will be working with the county to ensure that this stated prohibition on county drone surveillance for Land Use related matters is upheld and included in writing, codified in the Land Use Code update, and written resolutions.  The DCC will provide updates as they become available along with opportunities for the public to support and thank the County Commissioners in putting this important policy prohibiting county drone surveillance in writing in the upcoming 2023 Land Use Code Revision.