Chaffee County is moving ahead toward the development of the much-needed, new Chaffee County Comprehensive Plan, with the next step taking place from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on April 17 and 18. The Chaffee County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) and the Planning Commission will begin interviewing consultant candidates to develop the Comprehensive Plan. Candidate presentations are scheduled to take place in the Commissioners Meeting Room at 104 Crestone Ave., Salida. Reflecting their commitment to public involvement, community members are encouraged to attend the candidate presentations.
The current Chaffee County Comprehensive Plan was finalized in 2000 and is significantly outdated. Counties develop a comprehensive plan as long-term guidance documents, intended to offer an overriding vision for decision making regarding a broad range of issues. Those issues can include future growth and development, strengthening economic opportunity, protection of natural resources, supporting affordable housing goals and developing an effective transportation network.
Comprehensive plans are not inexpensive, the upcoming effort may total close to $250,000. Chaffee County recently secured a $125,000 planning grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to match the county’s contribution. Of the total investment, $50,000 will be dedicated to the execution of complementary regional water, wastewater and transportation infrastructure evaluation. This is intended to determine service capacity and the best opportunities for investment. The county and municipalities will cooperate in this study, which will help identify geographically appropriate areas for more intensive development.
The process has been underway since January when a request for consultant proposals was issued and seven were received. A working group was convened, including two members of the Planning Commission, a county commissioner, a representative from Envision and county staff, to develop evaluation criteria for the proposals. The entire Planning Commission and the BoCC used this methodology to evaluate the proposals and selected the top four candidates for in-person interviews.
The Planning Commission and BoCC have particularly emphasized public engagement in their request for proposals say they anticipate consultant presentations that strongly address this element.