As of 2/2011, the Garfield Board of County Commissioners removed compliance language from the Comprehensive Plan, that made it a state mandated document.
A mandated Comp Plan provides a measure of checks and balances, transparency, and accountability to the public for permits issued, and provides an umbrella standard for creating land use codes with public safety, environmental protections, and local enforcement within that process.
Without compliance, the Comp Plan is nothing more than a discretionary advisory document without legislative protections for the public.
Permits can be issued or denied at the discretion of the county commissioners without public review or impact assessments.
Individual property rights are sacred to all, and should be respected as a Constitutional Right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. When land use affects and impacts public health and safety, the land, water, and air quality, then we need protections. A "right" by definition means equity for all, not some.
Please return the compliance language in its entirety to the Garfield County, Colorado Comprehensive Plan 2030.
Garfield County is known for it's scenic beauty and natural resources. Each requires a tremendous commitment to balance with regard to short and long term planning with goals. Sustainable economic development is contingent upon a fair and equitable process, and land use codes provide the rules that all should play by under the umbrella of a strong comprehensive plan. When rules are changed, and public health, safety, and environmental protections are considered "barriers to development" - removing these "barriers" in land use codes - can effectively create long term damage based on short term gains.
Without strong compliance language in the comp plan unincorporated Garfield County reverts many controls to land owners under a private right to use without public review process. This would include increased PUDs, Oil/Gas/Shale development, hazardous waste disposal, and the general affects of unmitigated urban sprawl. Each has the potential to hinder our communities natural beauty and integrity short and long term. This will have a tremendous impact on growing municipalities, as well as land owners throughout the county.
Without compliance language that makes a comprehensive plan a state mandated document under Colorado statute, there are few options for the public to oppose developers, industry, and businesses that are not consistent within a broader scope of the community. As such we have waste transfer stations near newly developed housing developments, asphalt recycling plants with emissions next to sensitive organic farms, and fossil fuel extraction processes that can pollute entire water shed areas. Restoring the compliance language in Garfield County's comprehensive plan protects the public as a whole, instead of a few who profit off the backs of many.