Routt County The Routt County Regional Planning Commission, planning staff and County Commissioners agreed to move ahead on gathering public opinion about skyline regulations Thursday night, which are estimated to affect 5,200 lots in Routt County.
The regulations are part of the revamping of the county master plan, which gives guidelines for local zoning and subdivision regulations. They would limit the height a structure can be built in certain areas in Routt County in hopes to protect views.
The areas identified are scenic views three miles off numerous roads around the county that were identified as important scenic routes, County Planner Allison Willets said.
Any property within 100 feet of the visual areas could be subject to height restrictions on buildings. The restrictions would be applied if the structure is planned to be 40-feet high and in the skyline when looking from one of the roads identified.
However, officials discussing the matter didn't want to imply that the property affected would mean no building would be allowed.
"No one here is interested in getting into litigation with 5,200 landowners," Planning Commission Chairman Troy Brookshire said.
He explained the county won't tell property owners they cannot build on the land. But they may have to mitigate for the visual impact the structure would have on the land. That could mean finding an appropriate place to build on the land or adhering to a height restriction.
County officials will write a letter to the owners of the 5,200 properties in question, informing them the new regulation could affect their land.
The planners and commissioners struggled at the meeting trying to find a way to create a map that would be accessible for the landowners to see where their land is in proportion to the identified scenic areas.
"I can assure you that there will be enough interest that if you tell them in a letter and there is a map at the county that they'll be coming in here to look at it," Planning Commissioner Fred Nichols said.
With that comment, the group agreed to make a large map that showed the scenic routes and what properties are affected and hang it on a wall at the Routt County Courthouse. County officials also may put the map on the Internet.
It could take a couple of weeks to make the map and send the letter to the property owners.
The commissioners and planners said they hoped public meetings on skyline regulation would begin by the end of January.
Willets said nothing is final and the public input on the matter will help the Planning Commission make its final decision, which could be as far as a year away.
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