Progress on master plan stalls

Projects at standstill since county cut staff for Planning Department

More than a year after adopting a master plan for development, Moffat County has yet to implement many action items the plan calls for.

The master plan is one of several county projects that has stalled since the Moffat County commissioners cut the Planning Department from full-time to part-time.

The Planning Department's only employee is its director, Sue Graler. The master plan was a joint effort between the county and the city of Craig to plan how to deal with development issues in the county. Some progress has been made on it by the Natural Resources Department, Graler said. The previous master plan had not been updated for 20 years.

Graler has also chipped away at implementing a county addressing policy since her time was cut. The policy, adopted by the county about two years ago, calls for private roads to be named and houses to be addressed according to a system.

But at least a dozen private roads in the county still aren't named, Graler said. Other houses still don't have addresses that don't conform to any logical addressing system.

In the meantime, subdivision, exemption, conditional use, and temporary use applications have increased. Graler was hopeful that the Planning Department's role would be clearly defined at a strategic planning meeting the county will hold later this month.

"I'm pretty confident that at this strategic planning workshop some good things are going to come from it; the county will take a look at the importance of the planning department," Graler said.

Commissioner Saed Tayyara said the county would return the Planning Department to full time if demand required it. The current load of applications doesn't require a full-time employee, he said.

"It all depends on demand. If the demand is there, I don't see the problem," Tayyara said.

He thought adequate progress had been made on the addressing policy.

One of Tayyara's goals is to develop new planning and zoning regulations for an area 3 miles around Craig. The regulations would be compatible with the city's regulations. His idea also is a key part of the master plan. Tayyara thinks it would be possible to create compatible regulations with a part-time Planning Department.

The commissioners have given Graler additional working hours to develop a database of the status of county mineral interests.

The database will be used to create a map of the county's mineral interests.

The Planning Department has revised the subdivision regulations, but the zoning resolution is from the 1980s and needs work, Graler said.

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or rgebhart@craigdailypress.com.

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