Last month Moffat County adopted an updated zoning map for the first time since 1978, completing its first step toward overhauling zoning regulations.
The updated map, adopted Dec.22, will be a great help for planning, because it correctly displays how the entire county is zoned, Moffat County Commiss-ioner Marianna Raftopoulos said.
"It helps with master planning in the future so we can see where we need to grow and what can be developed," she said.
The biggest changes came south of the Craig city limits, in the area north of First Street. That area had been zoned on the map as an agriculture area, meaning single families and farms were allowed to live and operate there. Instead, mostly industrial businesses existed there, so the area is now zoned for heavy industry.
The area north of the city limits and south of Shadow Mountain Village had also been zoned agricultural, and it was changed to business, allowing any type of business but industry to operate in that area.
Areas around the Craig Municipal Airport, Loudy-Simpson Park, and Yampa Valley Golf Course were designated as open space. A subdivision that has not yet been built northeast of the city has been zoned as residential.
No homes or businesses were adversely effected by the zoning updates.
Planning Director Sue Graler has worked on updating the county zoning map off and on for the last year. The task required her to review documents and zoning regulations that were sometimes 25 years old.
Zoning updates lapsed during the years because the county had no planning department. All zone change applications were processed through the clerk and recorder office, but no one marked any changes on a map, resulting in discrepancies.
In 1992, the county clerk hired someone to update the zoning map, but that map was never adopted or approved.
When the Moffat County Board of Commissioners hired Graler as planning director in 2000, one of her goals was to update the zoning map. Now that she's done that, Graler's next task is to update the county zoning regulations, a job that hasn't been done since 1983.
Graler plans to work with Craig city officials on the new zoning regulations, so that when the city annexes new land, property owners won't be in violation of any city regulations. The regulation updating process could begin in March, and Graler estimated it may be finished in early 2005.
Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.