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County seeking input on comprehensive plan

SUMMIT COUNTY – County planners will solicit input about changes to the countywide comprehensive plan – some of which will more clearly outline density caps in the Lower Blue Basin.

According to county planner Mark Truckey, the changes to the plan will incorporate different ideas from master plans for the county’s four basins into the countywide plan. Currently, each basin has its own master plan, with elements that address issues specific to each individual basin.

But all those different ideas have never been included in such detail in the county’s master plan, Truckey said.



“A lot of this plan is taking all the policies that were in the basin master plans that were real generic and moving them into a countywide document,” Truckey said. “That was a big goal of the county commissioners. Then, as we amend basin master plans, we can pare them down to unique issues.”

The general focus of the countywide comprehensive plan is to put urban growth in urban areas rather than allowing it to sprawl into remote locations.



Among the major proposals are changes involving density. Under the terms of the Joint Upper Blue Master Plan (JUMP), new density cannot be added to the basin unless it is transferred from the backcountry or is going to be used for deed-restricted affordable housing projects. Under the amended plan, developers will be allowed to transfer density into other basins unless it’s incompatible with the receiving basin’s master plans.

“We knew that was going to be a concern from the town and people living in the Upper Blue,” Truckey said. “People are are going to be eager to get rid of density from their basins but not real eager to accept it.”

Planners also are considering a change in the Rural Land Use Subdivision regulations, which allow cluster housing on large parcels in the Lower Blue. The proposal would expand the scope of those regulations to cover the whole county.

The changes in the subdivision regulations would benefit landowners who subdivide large lots into 35-acre parcels to get well permits for each lot without going through the water augmentation process.

County officials will hold a meeting about the plan July 7 and begin public hearings in August.

The county hasn’t had a lot of input from developers who were concerned about the JUMP years ago.

“A lot of the issues aren’t that controversial,” Truckey said. “A density cap could be, but to a large extent, we have already implemented them in the county. In the (various plans), it’s there; it’s just not as well-articulated as this would make it.”

Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or jstebbins@summitdaily.com.

Summit County Buildout

(in units of density)

Basin Cap Today

Upper Blue 14,300 9,500

Snake 10,500 7,400

Tenmile 5,500 4,400

Lower Blue 11,000 7,900

Countywide 41,000 29,000


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