Larimer County Offices, Courts & District Attorney are closed Friday, July 3 for Independence Day
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Chapter 1 - The Planning Process
Chapter 2 - Our Changing Society
Chapter 3 - Economic Overview
Chapter 4 - Land Use
Chapter 5 - Mobility and Circulation
Chapter 6 - Purpose and Use of the Plan
Area 1 - The North End
Chapter 7 - Action Plan
I - Summary of Interviews
Chapter 4 - Land Use
A. Land Use PlanPURPOSE AND DIRECTION
The Land Use Element is the focal element of Estes Park Directions and has guided the formulation of transportation, economic, and housing elements. As the focal element, the Land Use Map illustrates the vision that the Valley has for itself in terms of where it should develop, the anticipated scale and intensity of development and how various land uses relate to each other.
The Land Use Element also recommends a wide range of land uses and densities, in response to extensive citizen participation, existing land use analysis, and the community survey. The Land Use Element also serves as the guide for implementing new land development regulations (zoning and subdivision).
The Future Land Use Plan has several key elements:
The land use issues identified during the public workshops provide the basis for defining the opportunities and directions for the Future Land Use Plan. The following issues tend to be among the most important discussed during the process. They include:
Note: There are 138 parcels representing 1106.08 acres with a "null" value. These parcels are typically road right-of-way.
Source: Town and County Records
EXISTING LAND USE SUMMARY
The study area consists of approximately 32 square miles. A little over 5.4 square miles are within Town limits. Figure 4.2 below summarizes the existing land use within the study area.
Within the study area, 6,823 acres are vacant, with 1,001 acres in town, and the remaining 5,822 acres outside of town. Within Town limits, 79% of the existing parcels have some type of improvement; 70% within the County are improved. However, many of the improved parcels are eligible for subdivision, or additional development. The larger parcels of undeveloped land tend to occur in the North End and Marys Lake planning areas.
Current Town zoning consists of three residential districts, two commercial
districts, and one industrial district. Current County zoning consists
of eighteen districts, with twelve used in the Estes Valley.
Source: Larimer County Assessors Records
Current Town and County zoning classifications allow for substantial residential and commercial growth. Based upon the public workshops, and revised future land use categories and a proposed Future Land Use map were developed. Utilizing these two tools, a residential growth projection was also made, with the following assumptions:
It should be noted that Census Tract 28 is not the same geographic area
as the Estes Valley Planning Area. The 1990 census count for the census
tract was 9,139. Based on a current analysis of each improved residential
parcel, it appears that the Valley's 1996 population is approximately 9,861
people. Assuming an existing population of 9,861 within the Valley, and
a 2.8% rate of growth as suggested by Dr. Adams, (Chapter Three) future
population projections are shown in Figure 4.3 below:
B. Future Land Use PlanINTRODUCTION
This section describes the proposed Future Land Use patterns and development types for the Valley as a whole. Additional information on the nature and character of each planning area is included in Chapter Six. In order to define the desired future land use for a specific parcel, please refer to the Future Land Use Map and the specific discussion associated with the land use classification for the given parcel. This narrative is intended to provide an overview.
FUTURE LAND USE WITHIN THE VALLEY
The future land use portion of the plan focuses development so that more compact or urban types of development occur close to the Town core. More compact development patterns are also encouraged in areas which can easily be provided with urban services. In general, the plan focuses commercial development within the downtown core, and transitions to lower density commercial and accommodation uses and ultimately residential uses as one moves away from the center of the community.
Future land use patterns also relate to environmental features within the study area and the geographic features which create the Valley. In general, commercial and accommodation development is discouraged in areas where environmental features pose a constraint for development. The Plan proposes limited development on steep slopes, visually sensitive areas, areas with significant wildfire hazards, wildlife migration routes and habitat, and flood-prone areas allow for only limited development within the plan. Performances standards will be developed for these areas.
The plan also acknowledges a relationship between the community and Rocky Mountain National Park. Accommodations and commercial development outside of the core area are generally located on transportation spines which connect to the park. Undeveloped land close to the park is generally proposed to have lower densities, corresponding to natural features and providing a transition to National Park Service lands.
In summary, the plan proposes more intense development in the core of the community, transitioning to lower density development as one moves out from the center. The plan also recognizes the relationship between the Valley and Rocky Mountain National Park as it relates to access and land use transitions. The future land use plan allows for a direct correlation between the existing land use and the desired future land use patterns on a parcel-by-parcel basis. The future land use map provides information on an individual parcel.
C. Future Land Use CategoriesWithin the Town of Estes Park and Larimer County there are several locations where the zoning and allowable use and densities are not compatible with the physical or built environment. A new set of land use categories has been proposed as part of this Comprehensive Plan. The Town of Estes Park and Larimer County will use these land use categories as the basis to prepare a unified development code, including uniform zoning, subdivision, and development review.
The proposed future land use categories and their definition follow. These categories do not represent a proposed regulation, but identify concepts. These proposed land use categories and locations have been identified on the Future Land Use Map. In order to implement the future land use map, zoning will need to be modified.
In preparation of the Future Land Use Plan, a "best-fit" land use category was applied for existing developments.
In some cases, an existing lot may be smaller than the proposed land use category. It is the intent that pre-existing, legally created lots, having an area less than required for the category in which it is located, may be utilized for an allowable use. (e.g., a legal lot of record, 0.75 acres in size, proposed to be placed in a 1.00 acre single-family residential category, could be used for one single-family dwelling.
SPECIAL STUDY AREAS
Future land use designations have not been made for two areas that are identified as special study areas. The Fall River special study area is located along Fall River Road and the Giant Track special study area is located on Marys Lake Road. These areas are shown as "Special Study Areas" on the future land use plan and will be subject to additional study and analysis during Phase III prior to receiving a future land use designation. The special focus of this Phase III study will be additional neighborhood input and in depth study of the unresolved land use issues which were the subject of special concern within these areas.
RESIDENTIAL FUTURE LAND USE CATEGORIES
RE-1 - Rural Estate: 10 acre minimum. There may be a provision that would allow for one house on a site, for example, but if 75% of the site were placed under an open space conservation easement, two dwelling units could be built.
RE - Rural Estate: two and one-half (2½) acre minimum.
E-1 - Estate: One (1) acre minimum. This would allow for low density single-family development.
E - Estate.: One-half (½) acre minimum. An intermediate density single-family neighborhood. (1 dwelling unit/net ½ acre)
R: One-fourth (¼) acre minimum. Higher density single-family district which could assist with affordability. (4 d.u./net acre)
R-2 - Two-Family Residential: 27,000 S.F. (minimum). Two-family dwelling.
A residential district providing for duplex construction.
MF - Multi-Family: 3 - 8 dwelling units per net acre. A multi-family district.
PUD-R Residential Planned Unit Development: An overlay district, for which the P.U.D. is reviewed based on demonstrated and approved exceptional site and architectural design.
Note: Net Density: The number of dwelling units (d.u.) per net
acre of land (i.e.,. 1 d.u./ net acre).
COMMERCIAL FUTURE LAND USE CATEGORIES
CBD - Downtown: A district allowing many uses with the purpose of establishing the downtown as the retail, cultural, and entertainment center of Estes Park. Several use levels may be established by location. Second floor housing may be a requirement for new construction and substantial rehabilitation.
C - Commercial: A district allowing a wide range of uses, modified with a system of performance standards. Residential uses would be allowed, but not as a principal ground floor use. (e.g., residential uses, if proposed, would be required to be on the second floor of a commercial use).
O - Office: A district which could allow transition between residential and commercial areas. Construction to be residential in character.
A - Accommodations: A district specifically designed for the Estes Park accommodations market. This district could also include some accessory uses (e.g. gift shop, restaurant). There would be locational development considerations (e.g. riverfront, neighborhood), and performance standards for site and architecture.
A-1 - Accommodations: A district designed for development of rental cabins, which are residential in character. Density may range from 2 - 4 units per acre. The size of buildings and number of units per building may be limited.
CR - Commercial Recreation: A district designed for uses such as campgrounds, miniature golf, stables, etc.
I-1 - Light Industrial: A district allowing light industrial use, with performance standards
PUD - C Commercial Planned Unit Development: A district that would allow for a mix of use types, including commercial and residential, and having performance standards for site design and architecture.
INSTITUTIONAL FUTURE LAND USE CATEGORIES
INS - Institutional: A district for public and semi-public uses.
PR - Parks/Recreation/Open Space: Public use and park areas.
Development in special areas would also be further refined through a system of locational and environmental performance standards and level of service. sA short description of potential "performance standards" follows.
Source: Town of Estes Park
*Note: This does not include 3,517 acres of Parks/Recreation/Open Space
Next chapter - Chapter
5 - Mobility and Circulation