Planning Commission approves Master Plan


— A year of negotiations about the best plan for future development in Routt County came to a close Thursday night.

The County Planning Commission unanimously approved the final revised version of the Routt County Master Plan, a set of goals and policies that influence decisions about the way land is used in the county.

The Planning Commission's endorsement ended months of back and forth dialogue with the Board of County Commissioners about proper word choice.

Their differences stemmed from different interpretations of how softly or strongly to word guidelines in the master plan.

The board said it could not endorse a revised master plan without certain changes.

Chad Phillips, assistant director of the Planning Department, described the differences as "deal breakers."

The Planning Commission broke the deal Thursday night when it voted to accept all but one of the board's recommendations.

It did not agree with the board's suggestion to tone down a description of the impact of protruding houses on skylined ridges in the county.

The newly revised master plan now goes back to the board for an April 8 hearing, but the board cannot suggest any more changes to the plan.

Unlike other petitions, the Planning Commission does not need the board's final endorsement of the master plan for the plan to take effect.

The board, however, was hoping for consensus in order to strengthen the plan's legitimacy in future decisions.


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