Routt County Golf courses will be allowed in land preservation subdivisions.
The Board of County Commissioners voted 2-0 last week to amend a process for dividing land for development, including a provision that allows recreational commercial uses such as golf courses.
Land preservation subdivision, or LPS, regulations allow developers a higher density of homes if they cluster homesites and set aside a large remainder parcel. The regulations were developed as a way to protect agricultural land from development.
County planners and developers had debated whether using that remainder parcel for commercial purposes is appropriate. Several planning commissioners who reviewed the LPS regulations said golf courses were not an appropriate use of rural land.
County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak suggested that LPS isn't the way to regulate golf courses. She said because any use allowed in the agriculture and forestry zone district is still allowed in LPS, perhaps the zoning regulations need to be examined.
"If golf courses aren't appropriate in the agriculture/forestry zone district, then when someone comes in for a permit for a golf course in the agriculture/forestry zone maybe they should be required to rezone to recreational," Stahoviak said. "I don't know if it's good or bad but that's the discussion we need to have with the Planning Commission."
Overall, county officials said they attempted to resolve any issues brought to their attention from developers who used LPS. The county softened language that once ordered developers to mitigate impacts to now try "to the extent practicable."
"We tried not to complicate the process or make it onerous for people going through it," Stahoviak said.
County Commissioner Ben Beall said he hopes the LPS process will now be more user-friendly, specifically because of the amendment process which allows applicants to make either minor or major changes with planning staff instead of going through a formal hearing.
To reach Michelle Bales call 871-4208 or e-mail email@example.com