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.
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.
Over 400 people reportedly attended the February 28, 2023 hearing in person and an additional 75 or more attended remotely on Zoom. The overwhelming majority asked that the draft revision developed by the Planning commission be rejected by the Board of County Commissioners and that a Land Use Code more appropriate for Delta County be pursued instead.
The DCC presented numerous specific issues with the draft code at the hearing including quotes and citations. Click here If you would like to review our specific issues and proposed changes document which we submitted at the hearing. The commissioners, after more than 4 hours of public comment, voted to REJECT the proposed Land Use Code revision under review. A link to the recording of the hearing will be provided on the Resources Page once it becomes available.
We are excited to announce that DCC made the news after this meeting! The recent Article on High Country Shopper about the public hearing goes into great detail about the Delta County Coalition (DCC) and several of our recommended changes to the LUC update proposal.
The commissioners are now in the process of creating a new draft update to the Land Use Code. It is our understanding that they are working with a redline document based on the LUC update that was rejected at the February 28th hearing, which shows the changes from the current 2021 code. They will be reviewing the changes in their regular work session meetings to decide on what is incorporated into the new draft and what other changes should be made.
On request, DCC was provided a copy of the current redline working document, which we have posted on the Resources Page. We are in the process of reviewing it and we will be creating an updated recommended changes document in the coming days, which we will submit to the county and post here on the website.
On February 7th the County Commissioners held their regular meeting. One important outcome of the meeting was that Commissioner Suppes stated that they will not pass the Planning Commission’s proposed land use code revision as it currently stands. As quoted from the meeting minutes: “Commissioner Suppes added that if it [the land use code revision] was what they saw last time he can assure… it will be remanded [voted down] again.”
Commissioner Don Suppes further clarified in the same meeting, that this stance was the result of the tremendous community response and issues which have been brought forward concerning the land use code revision proposal.
The Commissioners need to continue to receive clear support to follow through and vote down the 2023 draft Land Use Code Revision in its current form, in order for the issues to be addressed.
February 28th is the scheduled upcoming hearing for public input and for the County Commissioners to vote on whether this version of the land use code revision will be adopted. It is critically important for the Commissioners to hear from residents of Delta County at this hearing. An auditorium has been booked for this meeting and a large number of county residents are expected to attend and voice their input. Each person is likely to have only 3 minutes to speak, so it is recommended to have notes and prepared comments.
Date: February 28th
Time: 4:30pm to 7:30pm
Location: 822 Grand Ave., Delta, Colorado
NOTE: this hearing will be available to watch on zoom, but public comments via zoom will NOT be allowed. You must attend the hearing in person to make comments to the commissioners.
We encourage concerned community members to educate themselves on how the proposed code will affect you, contribute constructive feedback to the county at the hearing, and attend even if you don’t plan to speak in order to show the Commissioners that this topic is important to you.
For information on specific major issues identified in the code or examples of how the proposed 2023 LUC revision might affect you, your property, business, or farm, visit our Issues Page.
BUILDING A BETTER FUTURE THROUGH CIVIC PARTNERSHIP
A Civic Partnership can create a pathway for citizen groups and local authority leaderships to work together to create and build resilient and healthy communities. A Civic Partnership is a framework for developing partnerships between governments, regional and local authorities, civil society organizations and other relevant actors,
Local efforts to build effective civic partnerships need to engage with various complexities and challenges.
Some aspects of the local strategies required to work with this complexity for civic gain include:
- Setting clear goals through defining valued outcomes.
- Working across agency and other boundaries so as to engage whole systems.
- Making local people active partners in co-producing the future.
- Strengthening local resilience to cope with uncertainties.
- Working with multiple stakeholders with various interests.
- Bringing all these processes together to seek cooperative solutions to local challenges.
Civic partnerships work to establish clear goals to guide the action required to meet a complex set of local challenges through outcomes based policy-making. This concept is a simple idea to encourage civic leaderships, working with their communities and other local stakeholders to ask – and answer – the question ‘what are the key things (the valued outcomes) we are seeking to achieve overall in this locality?’ and then to use this public statement of priorities as the template to guide and evaluate everything which is done e.g. through the enabling role of the local authority, the services it commissions/provides and different kinds of community action.
Local people become active partners in shaping and delivering the actions which affect them and their communities now and into the future. People are experts in their own lives and this expertise needs to be the key contribution. Communities are typically rich in the capabilities of their members, their reciprocity and social networks. These are all important assets in improving local well-being.
Communities joining in Civic Partnership with public agencies to build a better future has come to be described as ‘co-production’. This partnership may be at the level of the individual or involve a particular group or be about challenges facing the whole community.
Each Civic Partnership is unique but always involves shared goals and agreements on how to best achieve those goals. There is no specific framework for creating a Civic Partnership because it is created through processes of building relationship to achieve positive outcomes for challenges faced within a community. Therefore it is a self-defined partnership based on trust and mutual benefits for all involved in those outcomes.
The website is now officially launched and will serve as an information and feedback portal of community coalition members and the community at large to stay informed, updated and involved in the current Land Use development of Delta County. The site is still being developed by the hour so check back for updated information.
Background…where we are now
Delta county is currently in the process of revising the Land Use Code (LUC). The public was relatively unaware of this revision or the breadth and depth of the proposed changes during most of the 9 month revision process. The first proposed/certified revision was met with wide concern and opposition around the county in January 2023. The revision is still under development and has not yet been passed. Previous dates set for final hearings and vote have been canceled due to public concern, and have not yet been rescheduled.
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