County master plan to be reviewed

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— Protecting Routt County's rural and agricultural elements and ensuring affordable housing is emphasized in much of the new text added to the the Routt County Master Plan, including language to discourage 35-acre developments.

For the past year, the planning staff has made it a priority to update the master plan from its 1980 drafting. The plan provides planning commissioners and planning staff leverage when dealing with property owners seeking a permit for property land use change.

For example, a chapter of the plan on mineral extraction outlines a policy that allows the county to enforce mitigation and reclamation for gravel mines. Similar policies provide the county with the ability to encourage growth in growth centers. Also, the plan outlines what the growth centers are in the county and gives instruction on how to develop a growth center.

New sections of the plan include environmental impacts, recreation, transportation, housing and a user guide.

The goal, said Assistant Planning Director Chad Phillips, is to create a document reflecting the public's view on land use in the county and the public's visions of how residents would want the next 15 to 20 years of land-use change to pan out.

"It's not the plan for the county government, it's the plan for the community. It's the community's voice," Phillips said. "That's why public comment is so important."

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