Larimer County begins rural planning effort

Larimer County is considering new rural development guidelines and plans a series of public information-gathering sessions later this summer and fall on that topic.

“The big picture question is ‘What’s your rural-area vision and what needs to be improved or changed?’ We’re also trying to learn more about what residents want easy access to with regards to conveniences such as: groceries, gas stations, banking, and repair service,´ said Larimer County Community Development Director Terry Gilbert. “We also want to know what types of support service/businesses farmers and ranchers would like to see located closer to their operations and is there an ability co-locate these support service/businesses near or on their operations? Lastly, what do residents like or dislike about the services provided by the County?”

Gilbert said the process of data gathering, community meetings and new planning guidelines will likely take 18 months to two years.

“We do have some standards and some planned areas. But the standards are not all encompassing and there are no real standards for design criteria,” Gilbert said.

The first phase will include evaluating all the information that we get and then we will look at the impact of trying to accomplishing those. The second phase we will bring the information back to (residents) and see if we’re tracking the way they would like things to go.

In the end we want to do as much as we can to meet the desires of rural areas and get that to the planning commission and county commissioners so that they can adopt regulations to meet everyone’s desires. This is recognizing that the rural areas are different and that hasn’t been dealt with in the past.”

Meetings will be held beginning this month through November. To see a list of planned meetings visit www.larimer.org/planning/planning/areavision.

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