What is a Comprehensive Plan? Public document required by state law. Outlines how the county should develop; promotes harmonious development of the county. Land-use regulations flow from the plan.
1996 Current Master Plan. Themes described in current vision statement: small rural town values and agricultural heritage; safe for children and quality education; balance of ag, open space, recreation, commerce, industry and residential; preservation of natural resources and environment; respect private property rights; county and town governments work together; new development pays its own way; commerce and industry work together.
2009 Housing section of Master Plan updated.
2016 Open Lands Study - done to help landowners explore a range of options for the future of their land, assist conservation organizations and identify open land partnerships and guide decision makers as development pressures increase.
2017 Water Supply Study - currently in progress
Comprehensive Plan Update:
-guides inevitable future growth and development
-establishes consistent vision of future land uses, parks and open spaces, community facilities, transportation and utilities
-informs county leaders in decision-making concerning community character, economic development, historic preservation, cultural and environmental resource conservation
-focuses on financial resources and sets priorities
Citizens had keypads for polling.
-Planning context: bulk of citizens live in unincorporated EC
-What kind of population should we plan for? State says EC will double in next 20 years with 29,000 more people (will need 8500 additional housing units)
-More than 1/3 of current residents have lived in EC longer than 15 years
-96% of county zoned agricultural
Polling results: (following responses elicited/highest percentages per attending audience)
-Rural lifestyle is most highly valued characteristic (defined as low density development)
-How would citizens prefer to see growth occur? - encourage development of needed commercial and services followed closely by preference for large lots (5 acres or more)
-Biggest concerns related to accommodating new growth - increased traffic and depletion of water resources
-Best tools for retaining and increasing younger population - encourage and incentivize retail/commercial development
-To support affordable housing (defined as $150,000 or less) - encourage development of multi-family housing and smaller lot development
Summary of economic conditions in EC by DesignWorkshop:
-majority of county revenue comes from property taxes
-property taxes from residential development typically do not cover costs to provide services
-costs of services exceed revenues
More polling results:
-What tools should be used to support economic development in EC - encourage development of commercial along I70 and provide tax incentives
-Where should retail/commercial development take place - Elizabeth, Kiowa and NW part of county
-Where should industrial development be targeted - Elizabeth, Agate, Eastern Elbert County
Presented density comparisons with various sized lots/acreages. From “Chip Game” (at April presentation) - most agreed:
-new growth should be near existing development
-higher densities should happen within existing towns
-improvements to transportation network are important
-40% of land in county designated as low suitability for open space presentation; 33% has medium suitability; 25% has high suitability. Currently 7% of county land is developed for residential uses. Still about 75% of EC land optimum for development.
Alternatives proposed to accommodate increased population:
1) Business as usual - residential development acreage will increase from 7% of county land to 13%; average 5 acre lots
2) Reduced Development Density - average 10 acre lots
3) Cluster Near Towns - preserves 50% open space; residential development area increases from 7% to 8%; average 1 acre lots
4) Encourage Growth in East - preserves 50% highly suitable open space; average 1 acre lots
5) 35 Acre Subdivisions - residential development area increases from 7% to 37%; significant reduction of agricultural lands
6) Clustered near Existing Services - residential development area increases from 7% to 11%; range of densities
More polling results:
-Preference for development scenario - clustered near existing services and towns
-Helpfulness of meeting in providing information about the Comprehensive Plan/planning process - large percentage of audience said “yes”
-Plan to attend next public meeting in November - most said “yes”
Design Workshop will take responses from tonight’s meeting to formulate next program:
Wednesday, November 15, Fairgrounds -
6PM Open House, 6:30 Presentation