County Land Use Planning – County Commissioner Meeting

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County Land Use Planning – County Commissioner Meeting

October 1, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

WHAT:  Request from Gwen Lachelt, County Commissioner to attend County Commisioner meeting to support County Land Use Planning

WHEN:    Tuesday, October 1, 2019, 10:00 am.

WHERE:  1101 East 2nd Avenue, Durango, CO

“Dear Friends,

Although my second and final term as county commissioner comes to a close in January 2021, there is much work to be done.

You know I ran to take La Plata County back from anti-land use planning interests – to develop a new comprehensive master plan and a new land use code (among many other priorities).

The good news is that we have a new comp plan on the books and we’re close to adopting “1041 regulations” this year and a new code in 2020.

But we need you. Please attend and voice your support for 1041 regulations.

Outside interest groups have once again sunk their teeth into our community and are working hard to derail efforts to get common sense land use tools on the books. 1041 regulations and a new code will help us maintain our rural character, ensure development occurs where it makes the most sense and afford developers predictability and certainty when bringing a project through the county planning process.

In our first public hearing last week to consider 1041 regulations, almost 100 people turned out to picket the county building and voice opposition to 1041 “powers.”

1041 refers to House Bill 1041 which became law in 1974. 60 of Colorado’s 64 counties have adopted 1041 powers which give local governments the authority to review and analyze large projects (airports, utility scale solar, subdivisions of 250 homes, etc.). Without these regulations, the county has little ability to protect public health and safety.

For example, if a large city proposed to divert water from our high country and dry up our streams and rivers, the county would have no voice in preventing the impacts of such a project on our community.

You can read La Plata County’s draft 1041 regs here:

You can also read the Colorado Department of Local Affairs study on 1041 powers here:

Thank you for your ongoing support. I hope to see you next week.
Best –

Gwen Lachelt


With respect to major projects, 1041 will give the County the following tools that it presently lacks:

The ability to consider whether a project:

A.        Is financially and technically feasible before major land use disruptions occur.
B.        Will create an undue financial burden on existing or future residents of the county.
C.        Will have a significant adverse effect on the capability of local government including schools, fire districts, water supply, transportation infrastructure, housing, law enforcement to provide services or if the project will exceed the capacity of service delivery systems.
D.        Will significantly degrade any substantial sector of the local economy.
E.         Unduly degrade the quality or quantity of recreational opportunities and experience.
F.         Benefits the county and its citizens and whether those benefits outweigh the losses of any resources within the county, or the losses of opportunities to develop such resources.
G.        Will significantly degrade air quality, visual quality, surface water quality, groundwater quality, wetlands and streams, terrestrial and aquatic animal and plant life or soils and geologic conditions.
H.        Will unduly degrade the quality or quantity of agricultural activities
I.          Will significantly interfere with the preservation of cultural resources, including historic structures.
J.         Significantly degrade areas of paleontological, historic, or archaeological importance.

Depending upon the type of activity proposed, the regulations provide additional tools that are not listed above.”


October 1, 2019
10:00 am - 12:00 pm