Speak Out About Ouray County Alpine Zoning
Jul 16, 2009 | 1058 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Heads up, neighbors. I am writing to thank our County Commissioners for their work on Section #30 and solicit your help.

They have been researching residential development in mining districts for over a year now (We have 1,200 plus patented claims – some as small as one acre; presently each could have a house and a garage with a fence around it, maybe a barn and a couple snow mobile sheds too).

Several counties in Colorado have already done this in response to inappropriate or cost burdening development in less accessible locations. Five months ago the commissioners put a six-month moratorium on residential building on patented mining claims with the intent of drafting legislation to manage this potential. They set a clear course with the Planning Commission, asking for wide spread public input culminating in a draft regulation that would be enacted by the end of the moratorium (July 26). A schedule was made and released and each individual meeting was noticed. Articles were written and published in local papers. Interested citizens attended, followed and commented at the workshops. There were two editorials and several articles related to this subject in local papers.

It is my contention that most of the people in Ouray County would like to see the some form of protection for an area in our county that could have easily been a national park. Ouray County has visual impact regulations; most all Ouray County residents think they are a great idea. We have regulations that have successfully kept Ouray County from looking like Hwy. 550 north of the county line; I think we liked that too. Each zone in the county has different standards the intent of which are "to be consistent with and to do the least possible harm to, the particular environment of the district."  We have different heights, set backs allowable sizes, color, etc all through the Land Use Code.

Now we are answering the question of what we want our Alpine Zone to look like. We are in the process of answering whether Ouray County's Alpine Zone needs more understandable regulation regarding residential building OR are the regulations that we have good enough ? Is the Gillham house above Ouray City, blocking Horse Thief Trail access, what we envision for all our high country?  Or do we need clarification as to what is acceptable?

Thanks for listening.

Tom McKenney, Ridgway
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