It’s taken many months, but the first portion of the revised draft comprehensive “Comp” plan, known as TOGETHER CHAFFEE, is ready for review. This collaborative effort to update the County’s Comprehensive Plan has been a massive effort from the planning kick-off in July 2019 through the first draft of the plan, that came out in December 2020, until now.
Since December, the Chaffee County Planning Commission and Cushing Terrell, the consultant, have held dozens of meetings with county boards, nonprofits, and community groups to refine the plan. The revised comprehensive plan is being released in two parts. The public has until Aug. 12 to make comments on part 1.
Part 1 Focuses on Community Vision
Part 1 includes the community values statements and guiding principles as well as vision statements, goals, and strategies for six thematic areas. The County is soliciting feedback on the Part 1 draft via an online survey and through email submissions until August 12th.
“To create this draft, we listened to what the community was already working on and what their hopes are for the future. We held seven different focus groups in January alone, met weekly with county boards and agencies to integrate plans, and met with representatives of each municipality and community in Chaffee County to align future growth plans”, said the Chair of the Planning Commission Anderson Horne. “Now what we need is to hear from you, our neighbors here in Chaffee County. Did we get it right? Is this the right direction for our county?”
According to the Chaffee Planning Commission, demographic change can create tension in a community over what values to prioritize. The Together Chaffee Comprehensive Plan intentionally places the community’s values and principles at the front of the plan as a reminder of what matters the most to residents.
The comprehensive plan’s themes have been updated since last December to include a vision for each theme with revised goals and strategies. The vision statements articulate that the community’s intent is for the future while the goals, strategies, and actions are how County government and local partners will work towards that vision.
“We have a diverse community with a lot of ideas and opinions about what we should be doing and how to shape the landscape. What this plan is attempting to do is find areas of alignment and agreement about where we want to go in the future,” said Chaffee County Commissioner Keith Baker.“Lacking a strategic plan, the Comp Plan is the next best thing for establishing countywide priorities and fostering collaboration. The plan revision process confirmed there is a tremendous amount of good planning happening in our community which we can coordinate better.”
Part 2 Will Focus on Future Land Use
Part 2 of the plan, the Future Land Use Plan and Map, will be released in mid-August. The future land use plan physically represents how the County will achieve the vision and goals within the landscape.
After Part 2 is released, Cushing Terrell will be presenting the results of the community input on Part 1 and an overview of the future land use plan. The County plans to share more information soon regarding community engagement on Part 2.
“The County wants to update to the development regulations but this needs to be guided by the comprehensive plan. Without a vision, you just have a set of regulations that may or may not result in the development you want,” said Jon Roorda. “From the land use side of all this, this plan needs to set us up for creating a new land use code that will make doing development that supports the vision the easiest type of development to do. We want a win-win. It should be good for the developer, landowner, and community.”
The draft plan Part 1 can be viewed on the Together Chaffee website at https://together.chaffeecounty.org/draft-comprehensive-plan.
Chaffee residents can take the survey at: https://together.chaffeecounty.org/draft-comprehensive-plan/survey_tools/draft-plan-survey.
Written feedback is requested, via email to:
To learn more about TOGETHER CHAFFEE, visit the website together.chaffeecounty.org and follow the project on Facebook to learn of more informal opportunities for engagement: www.facebook.com/togetherchaffeecounty.