Officials eye local regulations

Routt County Planning Commission to review 1041 draft

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View a draft copy of proposed 1041 regulations for Routt County through the "Planning Department" link on the Routt County Web page, http://co.routt.c.... A copy also is available in the county planning offices in the Courthouse Annex.

If you go

What: Routt County Planning Commission hearing to discuss regulations, known as 1041 regulations, that would govern activities of state interest in Routt County

When: 6 p.m. today

Where: Routt County Courthouse Annex, commissioners' hearing room

Contact: Call 879-2704 or visit www.co.routt.co.u...>

What: Routt County Board of Commissioners hearing to consider the adoption of 1041 regulations in Routt County

When: 6 p.m. Oct. 15

Where: Routt County Courthouse Annex, commissioners' hearing room

Contact: Call 879-2704 or visit www.co.routt.co.u...>

— County officials tonight will discuss policies that would increase local regulations on projects of state interest, such as a proposed pipeline to carry Yampa River water to the Front Range.

The Routt County Planning Commission meets at 6 p.m. at the Routt County Courthouse Annex to review items including 1041 regulations, which involve "the designation of activities of state interest and the adoption of regulations that would govern those activities." Such regulations give local governments a larger voice in projects - such as highways, oil and gas development or pipelines - that are brought to the county by other entities.

The Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, for example, has financed a study exploring routes to pump water from the Yampa River, near the Moffat County town of Maybell. The $4 billion, 16-year project would pump Yampa water for more than 200 miles - and across the Continental Divide - likely to Barr Lake near Denver International Airport. All three proposed pipeline routes pass through Routt County.

While 1041 regulations have been considered in Routt County for many years, the massive water proposal has accelerated the conversation. Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger acknowledged that proposing 1041 regulations is at least partly in response to the trans-basin proposal.

"Our current regulations may not have the ability to govern a pump-back," Monger said. "This, in essence, gives us a place at the table."

If enacted, the regulations could potentially give the county a say about the design and layout of the pipeline and let it stipulate mitigation measures. But the regulations are probably not powerful enough to prevent a project altogether.

"More than likely, it gives us the power to impose mitigation," Planning Director Chad Phillips said. "We might not be able to say no, but it would at least help."

Both Phillips and the commissioners said the regulations have generated little interest among the public. Phillips said that likely is because the regulations aren't designed to affect Routt County residents.

"The way we're drafting them is to avoid any applications that come from locals," he said.

In addition to locals, even the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District seems unconcerned with the regulations.

"I don't know for this type of project if it makes too much difference because we know there's going to have to be a lot of cooperation with Routt County and Moffat County in particular," said Carl Brouwer, project manager for the northern water district. "I find it unlikely that the county wouldn't have had a substantial voice anyhow."

Brouwer noted that the northern water district currently is working on projects in Boulder and Grand counties, both of which have 1041 regulations in place.

"We're working through the process," Brouwer said. "It's just something you need to go through."

Commissioner Nancy Sta-

hoviak noted that the 1041 regulations are not only in response to pipeline possibilities.

"We're not only doing this because that is a potential," Stahoviak said. "Anything that happens in unincorporated Routt County would have to be reviewed by the Planning Commission."

Identified activities that would be subject to the 1041 regulations are:

•Site selection and construction of major new domestic water and sewage treatment systems

•Major extensions of existing domestic water and sewage treatment systems

•Site selection and construction of major facilities of a public utility

•Site selection of airports

•Efficient utilization of municipal and industrial water projects

Even if a project falls into one of these categories, the county planning department could make a "finding of no significant impact," in which case 1041 regulations would not apply. If a project is subject to 1041 regulations, it would go through parallel review processes: the current planning process and a 1041 process.

Eagle, Summit, Grand, Pit-

kin and Boulder counties all have 1041 regulations. Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush noted that the regulations have been tested and supported in court cases.

County commissioners are scheduled to hold a public hearing about 1041 regulations Oct. 15.

Comments

another_local 6 years, 7 months ago

Those folks in Denver and elsewhere on the front range need to stop using so much water. They live in a desert! No more bluegrass!

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