Boulder County Comprehensive Plan Open Space Element Update BCCP-15-0001

Boulder County Comprehensive Plan Open Space Element Update BCCP-15-0001

The Open Space Element Update Docket BCCP-15-0001 of the Comprehensive Plan was approved by Planning Commission on March 15, 2017.

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Public Meetings

Meetings will be posted as scheduled, and notification will be sent to the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan email news list.

Past Meetings

July 18, 2017

Staff provided brief overviews of the approved Open Space Element and the draft Sustainable Materials Management Element for the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan.
Documents: Staff report to Board of County Commissioners for July 18, 2017

June 21, 2017

Staff provided a brief overview of minor technical edits made to the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan (BCCP) Open Space Element during a Planning Commission public meeting, as part of efforts to finalize text following approval of the updated element at the March Planning Commission meeting.
Documents:

March 15, 2017

Staff presented the recommended update to the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan Open Space Element to the Planning Commission during a public hearing. Staff summarized overall proposed changes to the Open Space Element relative to the current version. The presentation focused on revisions made in response to feedback provided by Planning Commission in Oct. and Nov., 2016, including minor changes to the narrative, and changes to mapping for view protection from roadways. Planning Commission previously reviewed this and related Open Space Element Update matters at a June, 2015 meeting, at a joint study session with the Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee in Apr., 2016, and as part of the Aug., Oct., and Nov., 2016 Planning Commission meetings. Planning Commission approved Docket BCCP-15-0001 on March 15, 2017.
Documents:

November 16, 2016

Land Use and Parks and Open Space staff presented to Planning Commission the proposed approach to mapping scenic roadway corridors on the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan Open Space Element map. Planning Commission previously reviewed this and related Open Space Element Update matters at a June 2015 meeting, at a joint study session with the Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee in April 2016, and as part of the August 2016 and October 2016 Planning Commission meetings.
Documents:

October 19, 2016

Land Use and Parks and Open Space staff presented to Planning Commission the recommended update to the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan Open Space Element. Planning Commission previously reviewed this matter at a June 2015 meeting, at a joint study session with the Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee in April 2016, and as part of a staff update at the August 2016 Planning Commission meeting.
Documents:

August 25, 2016

Staff from the Parks and Open Space and Land Use Departments presented an update (and recommendations from POSAC and the Planning Commission) on the proposed update to the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan Open Space Element to the Board of County Commissioners.

August 17, 2016

Staff from the Parks and Open Space and Land Use Departments presented an update on the proposed update to the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan Open Space Element during the August Planning Commission meeting. The proposed update reflects input from Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee (POSAC) and Planning Commission (PC) provided at a study session on April 13, as well as additional feedback from POSAC on June 23. Staff sought feedback on the proposed updated narrative, as well as a draft updated Open Space Element map which includes preliminary scenic roadway corridor mapping. View the Staff Report to Planning Commission for August 17, 2016.

April 13, 2016

A Joint Study Session with the Planning Commission (PC) and the Parks & Open Space Advisory Committee was held on April 13, 2016, to review and discuss the draft update of the Open Space Element update. View the Planning Commission and Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee Joint Study Session meeting agenda and packet for April 13, 2016.

July 28, 2015

A public open house was held on July 28, 2015. Staff presented the Draft Goals & Policies for updating the existing Open Space Element of the Comprehensive Plan update.

July 17, 2015

A preview of the Open Space Element Update was presented at the Land Use Planning Commission (PC) meeting on June 17, 2015. Presenters were Ron Stewart and Tina Nielsen from Parks & Open Space, and Pete Fogg from Land Use. Public testimony was taken.
Documents:

Open Space Element Documents

Letter to referral agencies, August 24, 2016
Draft Goals & Policies
Staff Report to Planning Commission
Presentation to Planning Commission on June 17, 2015
Boulder County Parks and Open Space 40th Anniversary Overview

Comments

Send us your comments. Or email them to .

Fill out the OSE Comments Form.

Goals

A team consisting of staff from the Parks and Open Space and Land Use Departments has begun working on the Open Space Element (OSE) Update – Docket BCCP-15-0001. Staff goals for the OSE update are to:

  • maintain the focus at a high level
  • bring the goals and policies up to date to reflect the range of programs and activities provided by the Parks and Open Space Department
  • simplify and shed the “text book” language of the document
  • provide a more forward looking focus that will prepare us for future opportunities and challenges

The update in itself will not change the county’s overarching philosophy regarding open space preservation or site specific management, but will continue to provide high level guidance for open space acquisition and management.

Anticipated Timeline

  • Spring 2015: Preview of OSE update to POSAC & Planning Commission
  • Summer 2015: OSE Update public open house to invite comment
  • Winter/Spring 2016: OSE Update hearings at Planning Commission, POSAC, BOCC

Background

Boulder County Comprehensive Plan

When the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan (BCCP) was adopted in 1978, it provided a vision and blueprint for how the county should develop, on the principle “that land use decisions … should be made in a coordinated and responsible manner” (BCCP, Introduction). The underlying philosophy is that growth should be channeled to municipalities, agricultural lands should be protected, and preservation of our environmental and natural resources should be a high priority in making land use decisions.

The BCCP includes a goals section, a series of Elements containing policy statements, and a series of maps. Several elements pertain to the Parks and Open Space Department: Environmental Resources Element, Agricultural Element, Cultural Resources Element, and Open Space Element (OSE). Most of these elements have been updated at least once since 1978, including the OSE in 1996. A new element addressing Sustainability was added in 2007.

In 2010, the Land Use Department began a process of updating all the elements of the BCCP, and the Planning Commission adopted Guiding Principles on January 18, 2012. By state law, the ultimate authority for comprehensive plans lies with planning commissions. So far the Transportation, Cultural Resources, and Environmental Resources Elements have been updated and approved by Planning Commission. Parks and Open Space staff members were heavily involved in the update of the Environmental Resources Element (ERE), adopted by the planning commission in June 2013. In the ERE update, the element was simplified considerably with a decrease in the number of policies from 67 to 19.

The Open Space Element

When the BCCP was adopted in 1978, the Parks and Open Space Department was just three years old, and had recently acquired its first two properties in 1977: Betasso Preserve and Walker Ranch. The open space movement was still in its infancy, and a large body of knowledge had yet to be developed about open space preservation. Therefore, the Open Space Element (OSE) was a sort of text book for how to create an open space program. The OSE includes definitions of open space and passive recreation, a description of open space acquisition methods, and a set of policies addressing Acquisition, Resource Management, Scenic Area and Open Corridor Protection, Recreation Use, Rural Character Preservation and Community Buffering, Trails, Public/Private Partnerships, and Public Decision Making.

Today the Parks and Open Space Department is a mature program and the largest local government open space program in the state, managing over 100,000 acres. The OSE continues to provide the overarching guidance for open space acquisition and management. In addition, we now have over 50 management plans that provide detailed guidance at the property level, and we are in the process of developing a set of policies that provide more detailed guidance on the management of open space properties at the landscape level. Management Plans and Policies are always approved after public hearings with the Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee, which provides recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners.

Videos

Comprehensive Plan Overview

Growth and Planning in Boulder County since 1950

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