EL PASO COUNTY POLICY PLAN


 CHAPTER II

IMPLEMENTATION RECOMMENDATIONS 

A. INTRODUCTION
The basic premise behind this Policy Plan is that it should be largely self-implementing through its use as a source of guidance in the design and review of land use applications. These land use proposals are most often initiated by developers and private property owners. In other words, the role of local government should be to articulate the overall development framework, establish community priorities and provide basic infrastructure. It is the responsibility of the private sector to decide when, where and exactly how development should take place within this context.
It also needs to be acknowledged that effective and proactive citizen-based public planning and programming is a resource-intensive process. In a County where a high value is placed on limiting both the cost and reach of government, it needs to be clearly understood that the demand for both public plans and programs will always greatly exceed the availability of resources. County-initiated implementation of this plan will only be successful if proposed actions are undertaken in an efficient and prioritized manner.
Within the context described above, the purpose of this Chapter is to outline a number of proactive steps which are recommended by the Oversight Committee for potential use in implementing this Plan. These proposed actions are organized into a number of categories for ease of use and reference, beginning with those which relate directly to effective use of this Plan as a guidance document. The expectation is that these suggestions will be considered carefully by the Board of County Commissioners and County staff for incorporation into future work programs and operating procedures.
B. IMPLEMENTATION PROGRAMS
1. Make Effective Use of this Plan
        a) Ensure that each member of the BOCC and Planning Commission have a personal copy of the County-wide Policy Plan
        b) Integrate and maintain this planning document in an electronic format which promotes maximum public access and ease of use and develop and maintain a geographic information system database which allows planning and other public policy decisions to be made in the most informed and efficient manner.
        c) Evaluate all applicable land use applications in the unincorporated County for consistency with this document.
        d) Prepare an annual "State of the Master Plan" report centered on the effectiveness of this document and other supporting elements. Within this report, summarize activities associated with the application, development and refinement of the Master Plan over the past year, with special emphasis on identifying controversial land use issues or situations where there was a perceived void in policy guidance.
        e) Prepare and refine an annual Planning Division work program using the "State of the Master Plan" report as its basis.
        f) Comprehensively re-evaluate this Policy Plan approximately five (5) years from its date of publication, through the use of a focused public process. Amend this document as appropriate based on that input.

2. Develop, Maintain and Refine Other Plan Elements
        a) Place a high priority on providing Small Area Plan coverage for the entire unincorporated area.. Specifically develop an element for the eastern County.
        b) Revise the County’s Major Transportation Corridors Plan (1987) and every five (5) years thereafter in consultation with other transportation planning authorities.
        c) Integrate all elements of the County Master Plan into the County’s Geographic Information System (GIS) for effectiveness and ease of use.
        d) Prepare solid waste and open space elements of the County Master Plan if dedicated funding sources can be identified.
        e) Maintain current data within the Wildlife and Mineral Resources elements of the Master Plan.
        f) Prepare a County-wide trails plan in coordination with municipalities, parks departments and the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG). This document could be structured to apply variable approaches to differing sub-areas of the County.
        g) Prepare new and updated Master Plan elements in a cost-effective and efficient manner by using the following strategies:
        -do not undertake projects without clear direction and support from elected officials,
        -rely on GIS resources to do more efficient analysis and communication,
        -make effective use of consultants and outside expertise, and
        -develop partnerships and seek outside funding to assist in Master plan efforts, and
        -to provide for effective public involvement.

3. Maintain an Effective Public Process
        a) Maintain and effectively use lists of contacts for defined sub-areas of the County and for specific topical areas and projects.
        b) Post key hearing dates, agendas, updates and planning documents on the County’s Web site to maximize public access by those residents who are most interested in particular items or topics.

4. Enhance and Update County Regulations
        a) Reformat the El Paso County Land Development Code to make it more user-friendly and efficient to use. Include the ability to electronically cross-reference and search. This process should best be done independently from changes to the content of the Code, and could be done with the assistance of a consultant.
        b) Comprehensively zone or rezone those areas of the County for which specific zoning is recommended in Small Area Plans.
        c) Consider zoning for the balance of the unzoned eastern portion of the County only with the explicit direction of a majority of the Board of County Commissioners. This effort should be based on a plan developed in full coordination with a representative group of affected property owners.
        d) Comprehensively rezone all parcels with obsolete zone designations through a legislative action process.
        e) Revise the County zoning regulations to reduce the number of use variances requested for land uses where no appropriate zoning category exists.
        f) Prepare and adopt review standards for approvals of location (CRS 30-28-110) and use variances.
        g) Facilitate the creation of a drainage fee system which is tied to impervious surfaces and which has the ability to assess previously developed areas for the reasonable costs of maintenance, operations and system upgrades. This system should be developed in close coordination with the City of Colorado Springs and other appropriate municipalities.
        h) Adopt a combination hillside and wildland fire overlay zone district for use in the unincorporated County where applicable.
        i) Increase submittal fees to defray a larger proportion of application review costs.
        j) Develop a fair, equitable and cost-effective process directed toward maintaining compliance with those land use related regulations which are in effect for the currently unzoned areas of the County.

5. Coordinate with Other Governmental Entities
        a) Facilitate the inclusion of all remaining privately and State-owned unincorporated land within the boundaries of organized fire protection districts.
        b) Continue to provide support for the El Paso County Water Authority.
        c) Execute an updated Cooperative Planning Agreement among El Paso County, Colorado Springs, Fountain, Monument and Manitou Springs. This effort should be directed toward development and adoption of joint land use policies and standards for these areas.
        d) Undertake a comprehensive program to cooperatively analyze the costs and benefits of providing services to enclaves and peninsulas within municipalities.


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