Staging pre-application conference with developers
By Katherine Nettles
The town of Mt. Crested Butte is in the process of adopting a new ordinance to more easily handle the pre-application process for major land use applicants.
The town approved the first reading on February 5 for amending the town code to include a concept plan review between potential developers and the Town Council. The idea was presented by the Planning Commission staff to facilitate better communication between the Town Council and potential developers so that when the application does come before the council they have some familiarity with the project. The plan won’t be implemented until after it is approved at its second reading, scheduled for March 5.
Mt. Crested Butte’s building code has otherwise required no pre-application process, according to community development director Carlos Velado. Velado reported at a council meeting in the fall of 2018 that he had begun talking with councilmember Lauren Daniel about the possibility of having a conference between the town’s Planning Commission and the council prior to bringing a land use resolution to them for a vote, in the case of a major Planned Unit Development (PUD).
Daniel asked if anticipated alterations to the North Village PUD might be an example of when such a conference could be helpful, and Velado agreed that it would, but predicted that North Village would be more than an alteration.
“My hunch on North Village is that it’s not going to be a major alteration. It’s going to be a new PUD,” he said.
Todd Carroll, community development coordinator, spoke by phone later and further explained that in the case of major PUDs, a pre-application conference could make a big difference in smoothing the process out for everyone involved. He cited another example of the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL).
“RMBL is working on a plan near the Snodgrass trailhead. This could be a pretty major thing for the town. A pre-application conference could make a big difference,” he said. “By the time it gets to the Town Council, a lot of work has already been done. The Planning Commission has seen a lot of it, but the Town Council is the one making the final decision, and sometimes they can be left feeling pretty green about the plans.”
“This would not be for everything—just big things,” said Velado.
The Town Council was open to the idea, and Velado said town attorney Kathleen Fogo has been looking into the legality and examples in other towns of such meetings. “There are a few other [examples],” said Fogo.
The Planning Commission took the council’s direction to draft a resolution.