Commission approves land-use code

Plan will provide clear guidelines to help Hayden's future development

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Hayden Planning Commission members were satisfied Thursday after their final review of a new land-use code.

Members recommended that next week the Hayden Town Board adopt the code, which the commission has been analyzing and tweaking since last September.

Thursday's meeting was a public hearing, but few residents attended, and there were no comments about the draft.

Although more people atten--ded meetings about the comprehensive plan, the land-use code provides the rules and regulations backing the growth guidelines in the plan.

If the Town Board adopts the code next week, it will be effective Oct. 21.

The comprehensive plan, which defines Hayden's vision for future development, was adopted in April. It's rare to have the two documents tied so closely together in concept and timeframe, said Tim Katers, the town's planning consultant.

The Planning Commission requested that developers explain how proposed projects fit into the comprehensive plan. The land-use code provides developers the authoritative nuts and bolts to make that happen.

The Colorado Model Land Use Code was a template for Hayden's code, and Katers and Planning Commission members spent hours adjusting it to the town's needs.

"It's been very well thought out," chairwoman Donna Hellyer said.

Although somewhat daunting in its fat binder, the code -- nearly three times the size of the old code -- is organized into 13 chapters, including zoning, subdivision regulations and annexations.

The Planning Commission revised, changed and added elements to the old chapters. For example, there now are zones dedicated to Yampa Valley Regional Airport, historic downtown and auto- and pedestrian-oriented businesses.

There also are "planned unit overlay districts," which are zoned open, high- or low-density residential but may be adjusted through the PUD process to allow other uses or densities. The base zoning remains even if there are changes in use.

Town Manager Russ Martin encouraged residents to view a new zoning map posted in Hayden Town Hall, where there also is a copy of the land-use code.

The code also includes new chapters, such as Historic Prese--rvation and the meaty Community Design Standards section, which dictates every aspect of subdivision development.

A main goal of the new land-use code was to help the Planning Commission make efficient and solid decisions with the help of clear, detailed rules. An entire chapter of the new code, for example, is dedicated to signs, which now will require permits.

Martin has emphasized that, like the comprehensive plan, the new land-use code will require regular adjustment.


-- To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204

or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com.

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