Stage 1 fire restrictions, enacted for unincorporated areas of western Boulder County.

DC-23-0002: Text Amendments to the Land Use Code related to Compositing Incidental to Farming Operations

DC-23-0002: Text Amendments to the Land Use Code related to Compositing Incidental to Farming Operations

Small-scale composting

Approval and Adoption

Docket DC-23-0002: Land Use Code Text Amendment to 4-506.A Composting Incidental to Farming Operations was approved by the Board of County Commissioners on Oct. 12, 2023 in Resolution 2023-096, effective Oct. 12, 2023.

Past Public Hearings

Board of County Commissioners Public Hearing, Oct. 12, 2023

Text amendments to the Boulder County Land Use Code related to composting incidental to farming found in the Composting Facility use section 4-506.A and any other related Articles and provisions necessary to integrate these changes. Public testimony was taken. View the staff report for Oct. 12, 2023 or the video recording of the hearing.
Action Requested: Approval by the Board of County Commissioners
Staff Planner: Jack Sheehan

Planning Commission Public Hearing, June 21, 2023

Text amendments to the Boulder County Land Use Code related to composting incidental to farming found in the Composting Facility use section 4-506.A and any other related Articles and provisions necessary to integrate these changes. Public testimony was taken. View the staff report for June 21, 2023 or the video recording of the hearing.
Action Requested: Recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners
Staff Planner: Andrea Vaughn


The State’s Role in Regulating Accessory Agricultural Composting

Composting in the state of Colorado is largely regulated by the Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE). County regulations may be more restrictive but not more permissive than state regulations. The Accessory Agricultural Composting updates proposed would fall within the state regulations regarding Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity composting. More information about these regulations can be found in Section 14 of 6 of the Code of Colorado Regulations as well as in the Guide to Colorado’s Composting Regulations.

Background and Previous Process

Community Planning & Permitting staff explored ways in which opportunities and access to composting may be furthered through small-scale, decentralized composting operations on farms located in unincorporated Boulder County. Composting

Currently, the Land Use Code allows composting incidental to farming on farms up to a 1,000 cubic yard limit. However, the Code prohibits the collection of composting material from the general public and doesn’t allow retail sales of finished compost products on site. Agricultural community members and local partners pursuing regenerative farming practices have expressed how these provisions act as barriers to local circular economic approaches. For example, farmers incur high costs to import necessary materials from outside of the County to make finished compost products.

Staff sought public input prior to requesting authorization from the Board of County Commissioners to pursue revisions to the Land Use Code to allow the collection of materials and sale of finished compost and will continue to seek feedback throughout any future Code amendment process.


Past Public Meetings

Community Meeting – Docket DC-23-0002: Proposed Boulder County Land Use Code Amendments Related to Composting Incidental to Farming, May 18, 2023

The Community Planning & Permitting Department announced that a draft of the update related to composting incidental to farming in the Land Use Code is available for review and comment. A Community Meeting on the proposed draft Land Use Code Amendments Related to Composting Incidental to Farming was held on May 18, 2023:


Presentation and Virtual Community Meeting, Feb. 16, 2023

On Feb. 16, 2023, Community Planning & Permitting staff held a Virtual Community Meeting to review potential changes to the Land Use Code related to composting incidental to farming. The meeting included a presentation and overview of the existing code language, followed by a Q&A session and the opportunity for staff to hear directly from the community regarding the changes under consideration.
Documents:


Previous Community Questionnaire

A Community Questionnaire was open through March 3, 2023. View the Summary Graphic or All Responses.

Background

On March 21, 2023, the Board of County Commissioners authorized staff to pursue text amendments to the Land Use Code related to Compositing Incidental to Farming Operations.

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