County Master Plan

To the Citizens of Larimer County:

The Partnership Land Use System (PLUS) has produced a Draft Master Plan for Larimer County. What that means is that literally hundreds of people - citizens, staff, elected and appointed officials and specialists - have worked thousands of hours together over a two-year period to develop a shared vision of the future and a careful description of how we can best achieve those desired future conditions.

Not only do we have a document with Guiding Principles, Implementing Strategies and techniques for addressing problems like:

  • rural sprawl,
  • costs of growth,
  • loss of agricultural land, open space and rural character,
  • health and safety and environmental quality,
  • insuring procedural consistency for applicants, and
  • fundamental fairness for property owners and all Larimer County citizens.

We have something equally important. We have begun a process of community involvement that surpasses what we have known before.

The symposia, task forces, work groups, committees and councils and staff time that it took to develop the Master Plan required a new level of participatory democracy. In a time when special interest and skepticism can easily divide us, taking the time to listen carefully and with respect to one another for so many months about complex and potentially inflammatory issues represents an important accomplishment. We had the help of staff to learn about land use. We discovered our common goals and our ability to reach consensus (many times!). It is an investment in the future that has created a sense of ownership and fairness, and which makes it much more likely that the Master Plan will be connected to the people of the County. This partnership approach to planning has also created a large network of knowledgeable citizens who can now assist staff and officials with implementing the Plan.

It is with pride that we invite you to read and make comments on the Larimer County Draft Master Plan and its attachments, to make the Master Plan even better, and to help us to continue the partnership process in the coming months and years.

(signed)

The Partnership Land Use System Steering Committee

Larimer County Board of Commissioners and Planning Commission

Master Plan Table of Contents