#FortCollins staff give preview of new 1041 regulations for #water, highway projects — The Fort Collins Coloradoan

Mammatus clouds, associated with strong convection, grace a sunset over Fort Collins, Colorado, home of the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at Colorado State University. Photo credit: Steve Miller/CIRA

Click the link to read the article on the Fort Collins Coloradoan website (Jacy Marmaduke). Here’s an excerpt:

Earlier this year, council decided to create 1041 regulations specifically for new major water or sewer systems and new highways or interchanges. They placed a moratorium on review of those kinds of projects until Dec. 31, but that moratorium applies only to projects that would cross through city parks or natural areas…

The proposed review process is a tiered system where the intensity of the review would depend on the impacts of the project. The draft regulations contain a long list of impact categories that staff would use to decide a route of review for the project. To name a few impact categories: local infrastructure or services such as roads, housing or stormwater management; recreational opportunities; visual quality; air quality, surface water or groundwater; wildlife; riparian areas or wetlands; and noise, dust or odors. The draft regulations also include impact categories specific to water or highway projects, such as impacts to natural resources or the productivity of agricultural lands for water projects and impacts to local traffic for highway projects. If staff find that a project isn’t likely to create any significant adverse impacts, the city could issue a “finding of no significant impacts” (FONSI) and waive the permit requirement. Projects going through the FONSI route could still be subject to other types of city review, and staff’s decision could be appealed to the Planning and Zoning Commission. The commission’s decision could then be appealed to City Council.

The other two review types would be “full permit” and “administrative permit.” The full permit process would be reserved for projects that would probably create multiple types of significant impacts or require eminent domain. The administrative permit process would be reserved for projects that would probably create significant impacts in just one category and not require eminent domain. The main difference between a full permit and an administrative permit is who makes the decision. For a full permit, staff would review the application and City Council would make the final, unappealable decision on the permit. For an administrative permit, the city’s director of community, development and neighborhood services (currently Paul Sizemore) would decide whether to issue the permit. That decision could be appealed to the Planning and Zoning Commission, whose decision could be appealed to council.

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