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DC-19-0003: Land Use Code Text Amendment to Articles 3, 9, and 18
Lots of houses in residential neighborhood with the Rocky Mountains in the background.

DC-19-0003: Land Use Code Text Amendment to Articles 3, 9, and 18


Staff requests Board authorization to pursue text amendments to the Land Use Code related to three separate topics:

1. Clarifications for Lot Mergers and Treatment of Townsites Relative to Definition of Subdivided Land

2. Environmental Resources and Development Impacts

3. Lodging Uses: Short Term Rentals and Bed and Breakfast


Community Planning & Permitting staff is working on a proposed Land Use Code update related to Subdivision Exemptions, Exemption Plats, and the definition of Townsite. Subdivision Exemptions and Exemption Plats are addressed in Article 9 of the Land Use Code.

The Boulder County Land Use Code applies to the unincorporated portions of Boulder County, not in incorporated cities and towns.

The purpose of the Code amendment is to simplify and clarify the Subdivision Exemption (SE) and Exemption Plat (EP) process and criteria, as well as provide a definition of Townsite.

On May 31, 2019 House Bill 19-1274 was signed into action which allowed the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) to delegate authority to county administrative officials regarding land use determinations affecting subdivision platting. By delegating this authority to the Director, staff believes this Code update will streamline the SE/EP decision making process and utilize BOCC hearings when appropriate.

Currently Article 9-102 Merger of Unsubdivided Parcels does not account for instances when a legal lot is split into two illegal lots, and subsequently the property owner would like to recombine the parcels to reconstitute the legal lot configuration. This proposed text amendment will address how a property owner can recombine the previously separated lots into a single buildable lot. Additionally, staff has proposed an update to the relevant content in Articles 3 (Processes) to effectively integrate the changes proposed in Article 9. Staff has also provided a proposed definition to Townsite which does not currently exist in the Code. By incorporating a Townsite definition, this clears up confusion around what is and is not considered a townsite. Staff believes this definition will also provide clarity on throughout the Code where Townsites are mentioned. Organizational changes and updates to the existing language throughout the Code will also be needed to make the Code easier to navigate.

On July 02, 2019, the Board of County Commissioners authorized staff to pursue these text amendments.


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Jack Sheehan, Long Range Planner I

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