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UDC process now gets interesting

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(Editor’s note: Carbondale is in the process of updating and consolidating land use regulations into a unified development code (UDC). 

This column from the Planning & Zoning Commission continues a series of updates that will carry on throughout the 16-month process. Visit to sign up for the UDC updates and to view upcoming events.) 
Will new buildings in downtown be 10 stories tall? Will there be a Walmart on Highway 133?
The answer to both questions is “no” but now that your interest is piqued, let’s talk about the new Carbondale Unified Development Code (UDC), the document that will codify answers to our most burning development questions. 
The P&Z’s last UDC update column in The Sopris Sun left off in January when Clarion submitted the UDC outline to town staff and the Planning & Zoning Commission. The P&Z and staff have spent the last eight weeks reviewing and redlining this outline in preparation for additional citizen input. The goal of the outline is to create the final skeleton, or the bones, of the UDC. This outline contains all the essential features and changes that will need to be included in the updated UDC.
Because this outline sets the entire stage for the UDC, it is critical to review the UDC outline with a careful eye toward being an inclusive document. It must contain all the critical components that we ultimately want the new UDC to address in greater detail. 
The P&Z and staff’s eight-week review process appraised the UDC outline in four sections and provided input on errors or omissions in this initial document.
The Planning & Zoning Commission and staff provided significant revisions to the 60-page outline for Clarion, who will revise this version in preparation for additional input. What’s next? Once revisions are complete the next stage of public input on the UDC outline will begin including review by other town commissions and committees, elected officials and the general public 
The Planning & Zoning Commission will be looking for these stakeholders to continue to review this UDC outline with some critical questions in mind, such as:
Does the outline align with our new Comprehensive Plan? 
  • Does the outline represent a new code that will be user friendly, streamlined and tailored to Carbondale and our collective goals? 
  • Does the outline include everything that the new UDC will need to address? 
  • Does the outline consolidate multiple ordinances in a consistent way? 
The outline will be available for public comment sometime in April. Sign up for updates at and you’ll be notified when the outline is ready for review. The updates will also provide a schedule of the P&Z public meetings directly related to UDC reviews. 
After the UDC outline is finalized, Clarion will begin drafting of the new UDC. This is when we put the “meat on the bones!” Clarion will provide the UDC in two to three chapters at a time, which will be reviewed first by staff and P&Z and then provided to our stakeholders for their review. 
As always, thank you very much for your involvement as we all work together through this extensive and vital update effort. Your care and participation will make this effort a HUGE success!