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Zoning district discussions are put on hold in Park County

By 
Justin Post — Enterprise Staff Writer
Monday, April 13, 2020

365体育网址Consideration of proposed countywide zoning in Park County is being temporarily placed on hold out of concern that the public will not have the ability to fully participate in the process during the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

Park County commissioners recently signaled their desire to pause, for now, consideration of the proposed Park County Conflict Mitigation Zoning District.

Commission Chairman Steve Caldwell said the plan all along has been for a “robust” public discussion about the proposed zoning district and regulations. But with the spread of novel coronavirus, residents are being asked to stay home as much as possible and public meetings and gatherings are strongly discouraged.

The proposed zoning district and regulations have been under review since late last year by the Park County Planning and Development Board, which serves in an advisory capacity to the Park County Commission.

365体育网址The board planned to continue discussions on the draft regulations, but the three county commissioners raised concerns about moving forward with the zoning district and regulations  when most meetings are being held by phone or video.

John Heidke, chairman of the Park County Planning and Development Board, notified his fellow board members of the commission’s wishes in a recent letter.

“All three commissioners voiced concerns that the virtual meeting requirements presently in place in the county would have a significant impact on ‘robust public input’ to the process and serve to limit ‘thoughtful public comments,’” Heidke wrote.

Heidke added that he spoke with Caldwell about the commissioners’ desire to postpone discussions on the Conflict Mitigation Zoning District until the board is able to meet in person and when the public has the opportunity to be in the same room, his letter said.

“Based upon our discussion at previous meetings to actively seek out citizen input, this action seems reasonable,” Heidke wrote.

Meanwhile, Heidke encouraged Planning Board members to contact Planning Director Mike Inman with comments, questions, ideas and concerns about the draft regulations.

“What you have to say is important,” Heidke wrote. “Mike will then put together a written response for us. In this way we can be well prepared to move the process along as we get back to more ‘normal’ meetings.”

365体育网址The Planning Board’s efforts on the matter come after Park County adopting a new growth policy, effective May 1, 2017. The policy called for planning officials to take a more proactive role rather than being reactive in responding to and addressing growth in the county. 

365体育网址The Planning Board has largely focused on Goal 16 of the growth policy: “Take an active role in the land use and development process.” 

365体育网址The development of the Draft Conflict Mitigation Zoning District Regulations is just one of the issues explored under Goal 16 of the growth policy. 

The county in January 2019 adopted the U.S. Highway 89 South — East River Road — Old Yellowstone Trail Zoning District and Regulations to address signs, and a proposed Park County Community Decay and Litter Ordinance is currently under review. 

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