EL PASO COUNTY POLICY PLAN


 CHAPTER IV

 GLOSSARY OF TERMS

 
(The following terms are defined for specific use in this Policy Plan. Where applicable, terms referred to in this Section should be interpreted as they are defined in the El Paso County Land Development Code, the Colorado Revised Statutes, applied federal statute, applicable case law, and other adopted County Plans.)
 
SECTION 1.0 SMALL AREA PLANS
 
Neighborhoods
Primarily residential areas unified by shared characteristics, functional connections and spatial perceptions. Elements which define or reinforce a neighborhood orientation include common design themes, pedestrian and bicycle linkages, shared facilities and public spaces and identifiable boundaries, edges or gateways.
 
Traffic Calming
A technique where modifications to streets are made in an attempt to slow down or divert vehicular traffic with the objective of providing streets that are safe and inviting to pedestrians, bicyclists, and children at play.
 
Buffer Zones
Areas of transition between varying uses which may consist of open space, screening or a transition of uses and densities.
 
SECTION 2.0 NATURAL SYSTEMS
 
Alluvium
A general term for clay, silt, sand, gravel, or similar unconsolidated material, deposited fairly recently, by a flowing body of water.
 
Aquifer
A formation, group of formations, or part of a formation containing sufficient saturated permeable material that could yield a sufficient quantity of water that may be extracted and applied to a beneficial use.
(Colorado State Statute 37-90-103)
 
Aquifer Recharge Zone
An area where water infiltrates and is added to a groundwater reservoir suitable for pumping.
 
Bedrock
A term for the rock, usually solid, that underlies soil or other material.
 
Biosphere
All life forms on the earth and their relationships that allow the organisms to exist.
 
Climate
The characteristic weather of a region, particularly as regards temperature and precipitation, averaged over some significant interval of time.
 
Colluvium
Any loose, heterogeneous, and incoherent mass of soil material and/or rock fragments deposited by rainwash, sheetwash, or slow continuous downslope movement.
 
Depreciation
The loss in market value of an asset.
 
Ecosystem
The complex interrelationships within the natural environment.
 
Endangered Species Act
16 U.S.C. 1531, et. seq. Federal law whose purpose is to provide a means where by ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species of fish, wildlife or plants depend may be conserved.
 
Exurban Community
Areas that develop beyond suburbs and are generally associated with wealthier residents who often commute long distances to their places of employment.
 
SECTION 3.0 WATER RESOURCES
 
Adjudicated Water Right
A decree issued by the Colorado State Water Court that grants an appropriation of water to land owners.
 
Alluvial Ground Water
Water found in unconsolidated clay, silt, sand and gravel deposits of relatively young geologic age that is hydraulically connected to a stream .
 
Augmentation Plan
A detailed program, which may be either temporary or perpetual in duration, to increase the supply of water available for beneficial use in a division or portion thereof by the development of new or alternate means or points of diversion, by a pooling of water resources, by water exchange projects, by providing substitute supplies of water by development of new sources of water, or by any other appropriate means. "Plan for augmentation" does not include the salvage of tributary waters by the eradication of phreatophytes, nor does it include the use of tributary water collected from land surfaces that have been made impermeable, thereby increasing the runoff but not adding to the existing supply of tributary water. Refer to C.R.S 37-92-103.
 
Bedrock Ground Water
Ground water found in consolidated or semi-consolidated sedimentary rocks or in igneous or metamorphic rocks. Includes ground water found in the Denver Basin aquifers known as the Dawson, Denver, Arapahoe and Laramie-Fox Hills.
 
Beneficial Use
The use of that amount of water that is reasonable and appropriate under reasonable efficient practices to accomplish without waste and purpose for which the appropriation is lawfully made and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes the impoundment of water for recreational purposes, including fishery or wildlife. Refer to C.R.S. (37-92-103), "beneficial use" .
 
Diversion
Removal of water from its natural course or location, or controlling water in its natural course or location, or controlling water in its natural course or location, by means of a ditch, canal, flume, reservoir, bypass, pipeline, conduit, well, pump, or other structure or device. Refer to C.R.S. (37-92-103).
 
Domestic Use Permit
Permitted water use for up to one acre foot per year which may include household use, irrigation and watering of domestic animals.
 
Exempt Water Well
Water permits issued by the State of Colorado for certain small capacity wells based on the presumption of non-injury to senior water rights. C.R.S 37-90-105 and 37-92-602.
 
Ground Water
Any water not visible on the surface of the ground under natural conditions.
 
Household Use Only
Water permitted for household use only.
 
Not Nontributary Ground Water
Ground water located within those portions of the Dawson, Denver, Arapahoe, and Laramie-Fox Hills aquifers that are outside the boundaries of any designated ground water basin in existence on January 1, 1985, the withdrawal if which will, within one hundred years deplete the flow of a natural stream, including a natural stream as defined in sections 37-82-101 (2) and 37-92-102 (1) (b , at an annual rate if greater than one-tenth of one percent of the annual rate of withdrawal. C.R.S 37-90-103 (10.5)
 
Nontributary Ground Water
Ground water located outside the boundaries of any designated ground water basin in existence on January 1, 1985, the withdrawal of which will not, within one hundred years, deplete the flow of a natural stream, including a natural stream as defined in section 37-82-101 (2) and 37-92-102 (1) (b), at an annual rate greater than one-tenth of one percent of the annual rate of withdrawal. C.R.S. 37-90-103 (10.5)
 
Pollution
Contaminants that degrade the physical, chemical, biological, and radiological integrity of water, air or soil.
 
Potable Water
Water that has been purified to a level that is considered to be safe for human consumption.
 
Nonpoint Source Pollution
A diffused pollution source that is not regulated as a point source; including but not limited to sources that are often associated with agriculture, inactive or abandoned mining, silviculture, urban runoff, or runoff from construction activities. Nonpoint pollution does not emanate from a discernible, confined, and discrete conveyance (such as a single pipe) but generally results from land runoff, precipitation, atmospheric deposition, or percolation.
 
Non-potable Water
Water that has been treated so it is not for consumption.
 
Surface Water
Refers to renewable sources of water, generally from precipitation or snow melt occurring along or west of the Front Range and diverted to communities such as the City of Colorado Springs and Denver.
 
Tributary Water
Water from streams and alluvial aquifers hydraulically connected to surface water.
 
Well
Any structure or device used for the purpose or with the effect of obtaining ground water for beneficial use from an aquifer. Well does not include a natural flowing spring or spring where the natural spring discharge is captured or concentrated by installation of a near-surface structure or device less than ten feet in depth located at or within fifty feet of the spring or springs’ natural discharge point and the water is conveyed directly by gravity flow or into a separate sump or storage. C.R.S. 37-90-103 (21) (a) and (b); 37-92-103 (14) (a) and (b).
 
SECTION 4.0 HISTORIC RESOURCES
 
Artifacts
Simple objects such as tools or ornaments showing human workmanship.
 
Historic Sites
Sites, such as Elephant Rock, that have significance in either the way they were used or revered.
 
Historic Structures
Structures that were built in an earlier time and have significance with respect to architectural style or the purpose for which the structure was used.
 
Historic Preservation
The restoration or protection of a historic site or structure as it was originally constructed or used. Generally there are preservation guidelines established to ensure historic accuracy. The Pioneers Museum might be considered a historic preservation, even though it is being adaptively used for some non-historic purposes.
 
Restoration
The act of either restoring a historic site or structure that is in decline or rebuilding a replica of it.
 
SECTION 5.0 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
 
Economic Development
The attraction and retention of basic employment in a community
 
Quality Economic Development
Economic development efforts which result in moderate rates of growth in balance with available infrastructure and services, employment diversification, emphasis on higher paying jobs and limited adverse impacts on the natural environment.
 
Basic Employment
Jobs which primarily bring money in from outside of the County (e.g. military, manufacturing or agriculture)
 
Non-Basic Employment
Jobs which primarily re-distribute dollars within the County (e.g. retail).
 
SECTION 6.0 GROWTH AND LAND USE
 
Growth Management
A combination of policies and approaches which direct the rate, location and design of land development in order to provide assurances that facilities and services will be adequate and
effective, uses will be compatible, and growth will occur in an orderly and anticipated fashion.
 
Obsolete Zone
Any zone district formally declared obsolete by the Board of County Commissioners and therefore subject to county-initiated rezoning action and not available as a privately initiated zoning options.
 
Urban Density Development
Land development of higher density and intensity which is characteristically provided with services of an urban nature (i.e. central water and sewer, fire hydrants, paved roads often with curb and gutter, and shorter emergency service response times). This category of development ordinarily includes most commercial, office and industrial uses along with residential uses with densities of more than one dwelling unit per 2.5 acres.
 
Semi-urban Development
Urban density development which has some characteristics in common with rural-residential development (i.e. residential character, residential lots of 20,000 square feet or larger and drainage swales instead of curb and gutter).
 
Rural-Residential Development
Land development and uses which are characterized by predominantly residential lots or parcels ranging from 2.5 to 10.0 acres in area. The areas are typically provided with a less-than-urban level of services (i.e. individual wells and septic systems, some unpaved roads) and allowing for only a limited amount of supporting commercial, office or industrial development. Designation in the rural residential category does not automatically imply the acceptability of lots as small as 2.5 acres.
 
Rural Areas and Land Uses
Areas of non-urban land uses characterized by dispersed residential development, agricultural uses and activities, or vacant land. These areas have not generally been subdivided into lots of 10 acres or less in area.
 
Rural-urban Fringe
Most often defined as the land extending from 10 to 40 miles (and sometimes further) outside the center of a major city.
 
Cluster Development
A development design technique which concentrates buildings and/or lots in specific areas of a site in order to reduce the overall need for infrastructure or to allow the remaining land to be used for recreation, common open space, and preservation of environmentally sensitive or visually significant features.
 
Mixed or Multiple Use Development
A combination of uses including residences of varying types and densities, employment, shopping and schools, located in proximity with one another, but which are designed to ensure compatibility and minimize transportation and environmental costs and impacts.
 
Infill Development
Development, including provision for parks and open space, which occurs adjacent to or within previously developed areas, and which relies on the existing infrastructure system with little or no need for additions or expansions.
 
Infrastructure
The facilities and services needed to sustain given types, levels and patterns of land development. Infrastructure includes public and private streets, utilities, drainage systems, schools, parks and police and fire stations.
 
Planned Unit Development (PUD)
An area of land, controlled by one or more landowners, to be developed under an integrated and unified plan that may include multiple land uses, and is designed specifically to address the unique characteristics of the site and area.
 
Strip Commercial Development
A linear arrangement of commercial or retail development, usually one store deep, that fronts a major street, often with individual or multiple access points.
 
Cooperative Planning Area
An area which includes the cities of Colorado Springs and surrounding unincorporated territory as defined in a 1985 intergovernmental agreement among these entities and El Paso County.
 
Enclaves
Areas which are completely or partially surrounded by incorporated municipal property.
 
Land Use BufferingThe effective incorporation of open space, natural features, rights-of-way, phased gradations of densities, or use of screening with vegetation or topography, to either transition between potentially incompatible uses or to define or distinguish developed areas.
 
Critical Land Area
An amount or area of land devoted to a given type or density of land use which is sufficient to allow that use to function efficiently and economically, and such that the use will be reasonably insulated from health and safety risks or compatibility concerns related to differing land uses which currently exist or may reasonably be projected to exist in the vicinity.
 
SECTION 7.0 SPECIAL AND UNIQUE LAND USES
 
Transfer Station
A facility at which solid wastes are temporarily held and often compressed to reduce volume prior to removal to a site for permanent disposal.
 
Municipal Solid Wastes
A federally-defined category of wastes which includes most solid materials which are not defined as hazardous.
 
Special Wastes
Wastes which are not federally-defined as hazardous, but which may have unique characteristics for handling. Examples include scrap tires and non-hazardous ash and sewage sludge.
 
Special and Unique Land Uses
A general term meant to include those uses or combinations of uses which are not easily categorized, clearly defined or accommodated within the
County's current zoning regulations. Current examples include some combinations of housing and employment uses on the same parcel, and some instances where second dwelling units are applied for on the same property. These uses may or may not be comparable to those listed in the Land Development Code as allowable subject to special review.
 
Institutional Uses
A general term meant to encompass a variety of public and quasi-public uses such as educational facilities, religious institutions, hospitals, libraries, cemeteries and various governmental facilities.
 
HB 1041 Regulations
Land use-related regulations beyond normal zoning and subdivision authority adopted by the County to address "matters of State interest", as authorized in C.R.S. 24-65.1-101, et. seq.
 
 
SECTION 8.0 PARKS AND OPEN SPACE
 
Open Space
Publicly or privately owned parcels of land which have been permanently set aside or otherwise preserved to retain land, water, historic and other aesthetic features in a primarily natural state. Open space includes trail corridors and may serve one or more of the following functions:
    -Identify or separate communities and other
    developed areas, and to provide expansive
    visual relief.
    -Buffer and provide transitions between
    different land uses.
    -Preserve or protect scenic areas and vistas,
    prominent landforms, floodplains, riparian
    areas and critical ecosystems.
     
Parks
Generally open areas, dedicated and maintained for public open space and recreational uses.
 
Regional Parks
Parks of more than two hundred (200) acres in area which are intended to serve the resource preservation and recreation needs of the entire County population, especially those residents within a radius of from approximately 5 - 10 miles.
 
Community Parks
Parks of typically 25 to 100 acres which primarily serve the active and passive recreation needs of residents within specific communities or subareas of the County.
 
Neighborhood Parks
Parks of up to 25 acres which are generally within walking or easy bicycling distance of the neighborhoods or subcommunities they serve.
 
Trails
A corridor or recreational easement developed for non-motorized uses such as biking, hiking, horseback riding.
 
SECTION 9.0 TRANSPORTATION
 
Transit-dependent population
Those individuals without regular access to automotive transportation (i.e., parts of the elderly, handicapped, economically disadvantaged, and youth populations, as well as others who do not have the physical, financial or legal capability to drive themselves).
 
Indirect Costs and Benefits
Any costs or benefits associated with transportation systems which cannot be fully accounted for in the financial element of a traffic impact analysis. Examples include the added or diminished value of adjoining property and relative impacts on the natural environment.
 
Activity Center
A higher density concentration of one or more employment, commercial, governmental, educational, cultural or recreational uses sometimes in combination with housing.
 
High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV’s)
Vehicles, including cars, vans and busses, occupied by three or more people.
 
Flexible-route Para Transit
A Federally-mandated subset of the public transportation system specifically designated for persons with mobility impairments. Unlike the typical scheduled bus routes, Flexible-route para transit may be programmed to meet the specific transportation needs of the mobility impaired through personal scheduling, specific routing and elevated lifts.
 
SECTION 10.0 WATER AND WASTEWATER
 
Aerobic Sewage Treatment System
An individual sewage disposal system employing biological action which is maintained by the addition of air or oxygen.
 
Anaerobic Septic Tank
A septic tank in which anaerobic bacteria ( a family of organisms that live without oxygen) digest most of the scum and settled solids. The decomposition of these solids without oxygen releases a foul rotten-smelling gas, and the digestive process is termed septic-hence the name "septic tank."
 
Best Management Practices
Techniques developed to prevent or reduce the amount of erosion and/or flow of contaminants from non point source pollution into surface and ground water systems.
 
Effluent
The liquid waste discharged from a sewage disposal system.
 
Impermeable Soils
Soils, such as heavy clays, which either do not permit or greatly impede the subsurface movement of water.
 
Individual Sewage Disposal System (ISDS)
A subsurface absorption system of any size or a system or facility for treating, neutralizing, stabilizing or disposing of sewage which is not a part of, or connected to, a centralized sewage treatment works.
 
Permeable Soils
Soils which permit movement of water through the material.
 
Point Source Pollution
Any discernible, confined and discrete conveyance, including but not limited to any pipe, ditch channel, tunnel, conduit, well discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, concentrated animal operation, or vessel or other floating craft from which pollutants are or may be discharged. This term does not include return flows from irrigated agriculture. 33 N.S.C. 1362 (14)
 
Lift Station
A wastewater pumping station used to pump wastewater when the continuance of a gravity sewer line is not feasible.
 
Special District
Locally controlled, these quasi-governmental units are generally set up to provide utilities and services to the outlying areas of the County. Special Districts are regulated by the State and run by an elected board of directors.
 
Suitable Soil
A soil which will effectively filter effluent by removal of organisms and suspended solids before the effluent reaches any highly permeable earth such as joints in bedrock, gravel, or very coarse soils and which meets percolation test requirements and has a vertical thickness of at least 4 feet.
 
SECTION 11.0 DRAINAGE AND FLOOD CONTROL
 
Detention
Stormwater management approaches which reduce peak flows but do not permanently retain them. Often this is accomplished by fitting an impoundment with a low flow outlet.
 
FEMA
Federal Office of Emergency Management Administration. A office which among other things, administers federal flood plain regulations and programs.
 
Retention
Stormwater management approaches designed to permanently hold back flows. These facilities will only allow for out flow above the level of a permanent pool.
 
Prudent Line Approaches
The use of setbacks from regulatory floodplain limits to allow for the channel migration and/or bank failure which is reasonably anticipated over a 30 to 50 year period. (FEMA - Dan Bunting)
 
Regulatory 100-year Flood Plain
Areas with the statistical probability of flooding once every 100-years as defined and delineated by the FEMA.
 
Flooding
A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:
1) The overflow of inland or tidal waters.
2) The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters form any source.
3) Mudslides (mudflows) which are proximately caused by flooding as defined in     paragraph (2) of this definition and are akin to a river of liquid and flowing mud on     the surface of normally dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of     water and deposited along the path of the current.
 
Floodplain
Any land area susceptible to being inundated by water from any source. (see Flooding)
 
Floodway
The channel of a stream, plus any adjacent flood plain areas that must be kept free of encroachment so that the 100 year flood can be carried without substantial increases in flood heights.
 
GIS Information Mapping
GIS (Geographic Information Systems) is a system of computerized mapping fixed into a satellite network and recognized internationally for its accuracy and ability to connect to other agency inter-regional maps.
 
Impervious Surface Coefficient
The percentage of the entire area within a given development or drainage basin which is or is anticipated to be covered by man made impenetrable surfaces including but not limited to roads, driveways, parking lots, roof tops and sidewalks.
 
SECTION 12.0 OTHER UTILITIES AND SERVICES
 
Defensible Space
Office of Emergency Management: A thinning or reduction of vegetation to reduce heat and direct flame contact from a wildfire onto a structure, and to provide space for fire equipment maneuverability.
 
Sheriff’s Department: The area around a property that can be viewed from the surrounding properties.
 
Mutual Aid Agreements
Intergovernmental agreements among municipalities, military installations and/or fire districts for the purpose of coordinating the cooperative provision of fire protection services.
 
Telecommunication Act of 1996
47 U,S,C, 151 et. Seq. Federal law whose purpose is to provide for a pro-competitive, deregulatory national policy framework designed to accelerate rapidly private sector deployment of advance telecommunications and information technologies and services to all Americans by opening all telecommunications markets to competition. While the Act provides for local authority over zoning of cellular towers and residential satellite dishes, local authorities cannot discriminate against similarly situated telecommunications providers without a solid rationale. The Act expressly preempts any state or local statue or regulation or legal requirement that may prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the ability of any entity to provide interstate or intrastate telecommunications service.
 
Wildland Urban-Interface
A zone where man-made improvements intermix with wildland fuels.
 
SECTION 13.0 HOUSING
 
Affordable Housing
Housing which is priced at or below the level where it can be purchased or rented by households with incomes equal to the County median average. Due to changes in the local and national economies and the housing market, this is a dynamic definition.
 
Low Income Housing
Housing that is provided to households with below average incomes through various targeted subsidies.
 
New Development
Any land use activities which are precedent to or directly cause a significant modification of the current land use condition. This term is inclusive of development, re-development and/or infill activities.
 
Specialized Housing
Non-traditional housing types which are oriented toward populations with special requirement or needs. This term includes but is not limited to assisted living development for the elderly and/or disabled and various group quarters.
 
SECTION 14.0 PUBLIC FINANCING DISTRICTS
 
Amendment One (TABOR)
Article X, Section 20, Colorado Constitution. A voter-approved amendment to the Colorado Constitution, known as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) which imposes revenue and spending limitations on most governmental entities. These limitations may only be exceeded if there is a prior approval by voters at designated elections.
 
Public Financing District
Any existing or potential district set up under Colorado Statute for the purpose of providing or maintaining services and facilities for the benefit of unincorporated residents or businesses. This term includes, but is not limited to special districts and local improvement districts as defined and governed under state statute.
 
Service Plan
A document, submitted, reviewed, and potentially adopted, in accordance with state statue, which describes the boundaries, services, financing plan and other pertinent information associated with a special district.
 
Alternative Public Financing Methods
Mechanisms other than CRRS Title 32 special districts and local improvement districts which can be used to provide or operate public facilities or services for the benefit of particular geographic areas of the unincorporated County (e.g. Rural Transportation Authorities).
 
SECTION 15.0 LAND AND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS
 
Concurrency
The principle that an acceptable level of public facilities and services (e.g. road, school, park, drainage, water and sewer capacity) is or will be available at such time as the demand for it is generated.
 
Concurrency Management System
A regulatory system which comprehensively defines which public facilities and services are necessary to support given types of development, outlines minimum standards for these and establishes a method by which the rate or sequencing of development is tied to their availability.
 
Fiscal Impact Analysis
A quantitative comparison of the projected long-term public capital improvement, maintenance and operational costs for a proposed development with the corresponding revenue the development will generate.
 
Land Development Code or "Code"
El Paso County Land Development Code (EPC LDC) as revised, which includes among other things the County zoning and subdivision regulations.
 
Off-site Fiscal Impact
The costs of needed off-site public facilities and services such as road and school capacity which can be reasonably attributed to a proposed development.
 
Potentially Impacted Property Owners
Persons or properties which can reasonably be expected to be directly impacted by a proposed land use activity or a site-specific land use. This normally includes adjoining property owners, but may be extended on a case-by-case basis to be more inclusive.
 
Setback
The distance from the property line to the edge of a structure. The minimum set back for any use depends on a number of variables which may include zoning or type of structure or additional criteria such as landscaping. For further information consult the EPC LDC.
 
Sketch Plan
A scaled drawing and accompanying documentation for a proposed development which presents generalized land uses, densities, infrastructure systems and other elements. For larger, mixed use or multi-phased projects this is ordinarily the initial step in the land development process. The EPC LDC should be consulted for specific requirements.
 
Vested Property Rights
The general concept that a property owner should be able to reasonably rely on prior land use approvals for his or her property. However the legal vesting of pre-existing use rights should be understood to be strictly limited to the situations addressed in Section 35.10 (Pre-existing Use Right) of the El Paso County Land Development Code or in applicable case law.
 


To Next Page

To Previous Page

To Index Page