Planning Commission Study Session on Agriculture and Sustainability, March 20, 2019
At the request of Planning Commission a study session will be held on the topic of agriculture and sustainability in Boulder County. Staff will provide an update on current efforts and plans, touching on the activities of both the Parks and Open Space Department and the Sustainability Office. The session will also include public comment and discussion by Planning Commission. Public testimony will be taken.
Action Requested: None, Information item only
Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Location: Commissioners’ Hearing Room, Boulder County Courthouse, Third Floor, 1325 Pearl St., Boulder
Documents: Link to meeting materials and video livestream
DC-18-0003: Agriculture-Related Amendments
The Board of County Commissioners authorized staff to pursue text amendments to the Boulder County Land Use Code related to agricultural uses and definitions on May 10, 2018. Primary areas of focus for the amendments included farm events, farm sales, structures to extend the growing season, and potential changes to Land Use review processes for producing farms. On Dec. 13, 2018, the Board of County Commissioners approved the amendments to the Land Use Code in docket DC-18-0003, effective Feb. 1, 2019. View the DC-18-0003 webpage for more information on the changes.
The agricultural community has expressed to the county that they face a variety of significant challenges. Staff is working with the community to identify and address potential issues that will better position farmers and growers to succeed and thrive in Boulder County. In late 2017 a team of staff from Boulder County Land Use, Public Health, and Parks & Open Space departments and CSU Extension launched the Agricultural Outreach Project to identify topics and prioritize for updates to the Land Use Code and related regulations and programs.
While staff accepted comments on a variety of issues specific to agricultural operations in Boulder County, the intent of the project was to identify current priorities for Land Use Code updates and related regulations and programs. Often, the challenges facing the agriculture community are complicated and are related to regulations in multiple county departments. The use of genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-resistant crops on county-owned open space agricultural land is a separate topic not related to the Land Use Code and therefore was not part of this process. Please visit the Cropland Policy page for more information.
Members of the agricultural community have provided input through online comments and surveys, an open house in January, and topic-focused public meetings in March, 2018.
Agricultural Outreach Project Summary of Public Comments to Date
- Summary of March 2018 Public Meetings
- Summary of Jan. 18, 2018 Open House and online comments
- Summary of Jan. 18, 2018 Open House and online comments in tabular format
Subscribe to the Agriculture Outreach Project news list to receive updates via email or text message.
Agriculture Outreach Survey Results
A team of staff from Boulder County Land Use, Public Health, Parks & Open Space, and the CSU Extension surveyed members of the agricultural community in May, 2018 regarding how the current Land Use Code and other regulations affect agricultural operations. Public input about what is working well and what could be improved was used to update Land Use Code and Boulder County staff priorities. The survey included focused questions identified as important based on input from prior meetings. View the survey results overview.
Topic-focused community meetings, March 8 and 14, 2018
Staff held two topic-focused community meetings on March 8 and 14, on Farm Sales and Farm Events, and Hoop Houses, Greenhouses and Housing.
The purpose of the meetings was to gain a deeper understanding of some of the specific needs of the community, review staff’s initial ideas, and ask some additional focused questions. The meetings helped to equip staff with more detailed information to guide preparation of proposed Land Use Code revisions.
Open House, Jan. 18, 2018
Staff conducted an open house to introduce the project, provide information, review the feedback received, and discuss the current Boulder County Land Use Code.
County staff is available to discuss this project with interested parties and answer questions: