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Zoning code process ramps up on May 29

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UDC outline available online, at town hall and library

By Lynn Burton

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Sopris Sun Staff Report

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At the May 29 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, the public gets its first, and possibly last, look at a unified development code outline that among other things:

• Says the town should consider eliminating eight of its 28 current zone districts;

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• Recommends the new code to “create residential uses that allow a wider range of housing types;”

• Consider the increasing the number of districts where ADUs (accessory dwelling units) are allowed;

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• Allow for detached ADUs in residential zone districts;

• Allow for modular construction “where appropriate;”

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• Allow accessory structures related to local food production like “hoop houses, green houses or coops” in residential districts as a use-by-right if clear standards are met.

• Write the UDC not only to accommodate, but also to encourage, innovative and creative projects that respond to the Comprehensive Plan, rather than restricting or prohibiting such projects.

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• Update the development standards to clearly articulate the expected quality of development rather than negotiating over quality issues with each PUD application.

In total, the UDC outline lists 73 recommendations found on pages 3-6 of the 65 page document, prepared by Clarion Association, which the town hired in 2013 to help it draft a new zoning code (UDC).

Public comment will be taken at the May 29 P&Z meeting; the deadline to comment via e-mail or in written form is June 6, according to a memo from planning assistant Teka Israel.

Israel said the UDC will be based on the town’s new comprehensive plan, which the trustees approved in 2013. She said the trustees expect to approve the UDC later this year after numerous public hearings.

Israel’s memo also states: “The purpose of the outline is to allow staff, elected and appointed officials, and the public the opportunity to review the overall structure of the proposed (code) revisions before the actual (UDC) drafting begins.”

In its UDC outline introduction, Clarion states the 2010 U.S. Census put Carbondale’s population at 6,427 and that projections call for an additional 3,600 people by 2032.

Among other objectives, the UDC will “incorporate environmental sustainability provisions throughout the code.”

The UDC process also calls for looking closely at maintaining or improving Carbondale’s:

• Compact community form;

• Maintenance of air and water quality;

• Promotion of alternative energy and reduction of waste;

• Diversity and affordability of housing stock;

• Multimodal transportation choice;

• Greater economic self-sufficiency; and

• Fiscal responsibility.

The UDC outline is divided into four parts titled: Introduction, Key Themes, Annotated Outline of a Unified Development Code and Detailed Review of Current Development Regulations.

Next steps

The P&Z holds a public meeting to discuss the proposed UDC outline at town hall at 7 p.m. on May 29. The outline is available at town hall, the Carbondale Branch Library and at www.carbondaleudc.com. Comments can also be submitted to tisrael@carbondaleco.net. The deadline is June 6.

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