Council will look at CDC changes

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— The city has a list of proposed revisions to its Community Development Code.

The proposed changes, which will be brought before the Steamboat Springs City Council in large chunks over the next two to 18 months, are intended to make the code more clear and the city review process more efficient.

City Planning Director Steve Stamey identified more than 70 areas in the code that need revision or to be examined. Those areas range from adding a definition and criteria for a real estate office to looking at the procedures for administrative permits and appeals of administrative decisions.

Last month, a group of local developers came before the City Council to lodge complaints about the city's planning process and express frustrations with the code. The council agreed to start holding meetings to look at the code and make revisions.

At last Tuesday's City Council meeting, City Manager Paul Hughes told the council the staff held its first meeting to look at changes to the code.

The meeting held after a Technical Advisory Committee meeting was attended by 13 staff members and three members from the development community.

At Tuesday's meeting, the council also had the chance to review the proposed revisions.

Changing the city's review and approval process is one of the more significant revisions.

Stamey proposes expanding its administrative approval process. The change would mean the City Council and planning commission would no longer be notified for minor or technical administrative permits such as uses with criteria, final plats or lot line eliminations.

The proposal would reduce the number of applications reviewed by the council and designate the planning commission as the decision-making authority for an appeal.

Stamey said the city should look at revising its Architectural Review Commission process to include more of a substantive review for design issues.

Stamey divided the more than 70 revisions into three categories, based on the complexity of the issues.

Within two months, staff could draft and bring before the Planning Commission amendments that are straightforward, technical or critical.

It will take four to 12 months to implement changes to policy-oriented amendments that are not too complex, but require some research or the completion of the Steamboat Springs Community Area Plan, Stamey noted. Some of these amendments would require a stand-alone public process.

Stamey estimates that substantive, policy oriented amendments that are highly complex would take eight to 18 months to draft and bring to the planning commission.

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