New Section 9 Is ‘Less Restrictive’
by Tom McKenney, Ouray County
Jun 13, 2013 | 1024 views | 0 0 comments | 113 113 recommendations | email to a friend | print


Still trying to figure it out the Visual Impact thing. What am I missing?

Nobody came here for the roads, or the great-paying jobs, the convenient services, public transportation or high school sports.  In fact not that many people have come here at all. It is just us; maybe that is what we like about it. Yet, until 2008, our growth rate has been higher than the rest of the state, relatively.

For a minute let’s just look at who did land here and call this home.  These people, we, all saw something – and most of us saw the same things – a rural landscape surrounded by the best of the San Juan Mountains, two small towns, a variety of subdivisions, way off the road parcels for off the grid home sites, good schools, just enough churches, just enough bars, fantastic neighbors and a community that is disparate and eclectic in general yet is supportive and right there when needed.

What makes us different? My take is this: The people of Ouray County, born here or adopted, had the foresight years ago to understand the value of what we were blessed with and crafted a Master Plan as a vision of their values; the elected officials had the will to codify this vision in the Land Use Code by adding the tools to protect the same. Those of us who have since found Ouray County didn't stumble into a place forgotten, but a place that has been actively protected for the past 30 years 

What are the" tools" in the LUC you are talking about ? There are several.  One is not letting commercial business, other than agriculture, mining and specific home occupations, occur in the county, but to direct those businesses to one of the two municipalities.  No unincorporated businesses spread out up and down 550 and 62. Is that novel or what ? Another is the IGA  between the towns and the county. It is an agreement that the towns will accept growth in exchange for the county attempting to keep the county rural. Another big one is Visual Impacts (I knew he was getting to this). It is what has kept the sky lines unobstructed and it attempts to keep the natural environment and the working landscape in the forefront of our view sheds. Do we need these tools to help manage future growth? You be the judge.

The new No. 9 is less restrictive but covers a larger area of the county. Don't believe me. Read it for yourself before Aug. 7 and 8. Be informed. Be part of the answer. Be at the Public Hearing.

The new Section No. 9: If you go to the county web site and click on the big red button labeled Visual Impacts, another page of references will appear.  Do not give up right at this point !  The second hyperlink down, "Section #9 – Report for BOCC", hit it and see the difference for yourself – between old #9 and the new #9. 


– Tom McKenney, Ouray County


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