The Mancos Town Board has approved a new land use code, although a few height-related details are being ironed out.
After being in the works since mid-2018, the Town Board approved the code update at its regular meeting Nov. 13, with the stipulation that Town Administrator Heather Alvarez work with consultants to determine appropriate height encroachment limits for items such as antennas, solar panels, chimneys and more.
The approval was unanimous at 4-0, with Trustees Ed Hallam, Cindy Simpson and Brent McWhirter absent.
The town has been updating its code since April 2018. It regulates property development by establishing town districts, setting standards for lot and building features and sizing and determining how to best landscape areas throughout Mancos.
The purpose of the update is to modernize outdated standards and appropriately guide future development. Consultants SAFEbuilt have been assisting the town with the project.
The final cost for the project was just less than $65,000.
While public input opportunities were held throughout the process, last week’s public hearing was the final official chance for community members to share their thoughts.
The Planning and Zoning Commission had its final review of the code in October 2016 and asked for a few revisions. It also asked to look over the permitted height encroachments for structural elements such as chimneys, antennas and others when they are set.
All height encroachments are measured from the maximum building height.
For everything except solar panels and emergency elements, the permitted height encroachments ranged from 15 to 30 feet. Solar panels are limited to extend 3 feet above the maximum height or no more than 10 feet above roofline (whichever is less), while emergency sirens and similar devices are permitted to be any distance.
Planning and Zoning commissioners thought that some of the heights were too high, Alvarez said – in particular, the 30-foot maximum height increases for antennas and towers.
While a 30-foot tower or antenna may not be significant in a larger city, it could be in Mancos, she added.
The numbers are currently serving as placeholders, she said, and ultimately it’s up to board members to decide what they want their town to look like.
“Our community is the one who decides,” she said.
The board felt it would be better to return to the item after they had the opportunity to look it over, and after staff deliberated further with the project’s SAFEbuilt consultant.