Oak Creek is reviewing its comprehensive plan and land-use code. One suggested provision in the land-use code would be to require Main Street business owners to get approval from the Planning Commission to make major changes to the buildings.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Oak Creek is reviewing its comprehensive plan and land-use code. One suggested provision in the land-use code would be to require Main Street business owners to get approval from the Planning Commission to make major changes to the buildings.

Oak Creek comprehensive plan to be revised

Updated town policy draft makes few, but significant, changes

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— The town of Oak Creek has until Dec. 31 to update its comprehensive plan, giving new direction and guidance to the city government.

The comprehensive plan, created in 1996, was designed to be used as guidance for town policies. The original deadline for the town to submit the documents to the state was Saturday, but because of delays with a company contracted to handle updates and review the plan, the town received an extension.

Oak Creek Town Board and Planning Commission member Chuck Wisecup said there were few major changes in the plan or the land-use code, a separate document that creates policy that town officials also are updating. But the changes that are suggested in the drafts could affect some home and business owners.

Among the biggest changes is a proposal to prohibit mobile homes outside of mobile home parks.

The provision would not affect mobile homes currently outside of a mobile home park but would stop any new development.

"The other thing we've still got to tackle, I believe, is some kind of solution if the board desires to allow people to replace older mobile homes outside of mobile home parks with newer ones," Wisecup said.

The comprehensive plan and land-use code also are geared to preserve the character of the town. Another suggested provision in the land-use code would be to require Main Street business owners to get approval from the Planning Commission to make major changes to the buildings.

Susan Corser, who works as an urban planer for small rural communities, was among the creators of the 1996 plan. She said affordable housing is also a high priority to include in the comprehensive plan. Corser has not worked with the town on the update but might help revise the plan before the Dec. 31 deadline.

"With development pressures increasing the cost of land and construction, the town should take strides to assure the homes remain affordable," the draft update states. "The town must strike a balance between market forces, affordable housing and development that is sensitive to the environment."

Corser said the Sierra View development in Oak Creek was an example of how affordable housing guidelines could have been better used.

There are "some concerns that those houses went on sale for a higher price point than some people would have liked," she said, noting that there is at least one Yampa Valley Housing Authority plot.

The town was scheduled to discuss the comprehensive plan at its Oct. 22 meeting. That was delayed because the company contracted to handle the comprehensive plan reportedly had not included several recent updates sent by the Planning Commission, and the plans were not ready for the board's acceptance.

The public will have a chance to comment on the proposals during a Planning Commission meeting Nov. 18. After the Planning Commission accepts the revisions, the Town Board will then approve the changes before the documents are submitted to the state.

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